Flexibility is the Headline with Container Pricing for IBM Z
Alongside the launch of the next generation mainframe, IBM announced Container Pricing for IBM Z.
At first glance, it is easy to focus on the Container Pricing offerings. They focus on very critical areas, making it both simpler and more economical to bring new workloads to the mainframe, as well as enabling customers to develop and test their workloads on Z.
Dig deeper and you’ll see the start of a journey. Container Pricing is not a specific offering or set of offerings; instead, it is a framework for hosting simplified and flexible software pricing for qualified solutions running on the z13 and z14 IBM processors. With Container Pricing, IBM creates a technical framework that will allow specific workloads to be metered and reported on, even if collocated on an existing LPAR. Additional capability is provided as well, with minimal up-front setup, including the ability to optionally cap these workloads.
When associated with an IBM offering, such as a new workload, the Sub-Capacity Reporting Tool (SCRT) uses the new Container Pricing data to understand the resource consumption of these solutions. This allows SCRT to remove the direct impact of these solutions from the rolling four-hour average of the LPARs where it runs. The SCRT using Container Pricing also provides an isolated view of the Container environment, including the products in use.
New workload pricing is a prime example to show the benefits of the Container Pricing framework. In the past, obtaining new workload pricing has often meant that a client must either:
- Isolate a new workload to a separate LPAR
- Manually collect, analyze, and format the CPU time consumed by the workload
With Container Pricing, this is no longer necessary. Qualified workloads can be deployed where it makes the most sense – collocated on an existing LPAR or on a new LPAR.
After the initial set up is performed, the SMF data that SCRT uses will contain all the information required for Container Pricing. There is no need for any complex data collection and analysis – even for cases where the new workload is collocated.
If you choose to run a solution on a separate LPAR, the process is simplified as well. Most clients have separate development and test environments. The Container Pricing framework allows you to easily identify these LPARs, providing a simplified reporting process for the new Application Development and Test solution.
Container Pricing for IBM Z provides the capability for IBM to better understand the characteristics and impact of offerings – which in turn, allows us to provide our clients with offerings that are relevant to their business needs.
For more information about Container Pricing for IBM Z, visit:
For additional technical details, please see the Container Pricing for IBM Z whitepaper, found here:
About the Authors
Andrew Sica has 17 years’experience working in z/OS development on various projects. He focuses on Sub-Capacity Reporting and related z/OS enhancements and on enabling a better technical framework for new offerings. Twitter: @AndrewSica
Bob Abrams is an IBM Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM) with 39 years in z/OS Development. He focuses on solutions related to reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS), analytics, and problem determination for IBM Z clients. Twitter: @bobabrams1
Scott Engleman is currently IBM’s z/OS Offering Manager. He has many years of experience at IBM and has been a leader in numerous roles, including development, Functional management of z Systems, Global Firmware Development (focused on Hardware Systems Management), and Program Manager of z Systems hardware products. Twitter: @senglema