IBM Extends “Tailored Fit” Pricing to Z Hardware

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  May 26, 2021

Over the years, I’ve written quite a bit about the longevity and durability of IBM’s mainframe solutions, especially regarding the company’s ongoing efforts to keep its IBM Z platform current with enterprise computing trends and practices. However, it’s also worth considering how IBM has adapted mainframe offerings (and adjusted its own attitude) to stay aligned with other external forces.

That’s especially true in terms of hybrid cloud computing—an area where, as CEO Arvind Krishna noted in his recent IBM Think keynote, the company is “all in.” IBM has essentially realigned its business model to support customers and partners in maximizing the value of cloud computing. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that those efforts are tangibly influencing and impacting its system portfolio. The recent announcement of Tailored Fit Pricing for IBM Z hardware highlights that strategy.

What is Tailored Fit Pricing for IBM Z?

Put simply, the new pricing model is designed to enable IBM customers to flexibly, transparently pay only for the mainframe resources they use. The company introduced a similar solution for IBM Z software when it launched the z15 platform and solutions in 2019. Since then, over 100 IBM customers of varying sizes, including fashion chain and online retailer Dillard’s, have deployed the solution.

This new announcement extends the same model to IBM Z hardware, as well. In essence, Tailored Fit Pricing for IBM Z provides instantaneous access to additional IBM mainframe compute capacity whenever it is needed. In order to employ the new offering, IBM Z customers obtain an always-on, fixed-price corridor of consumption capacity that sits atop the capacity they already own. That always-on corridor can be employed whenever it is needed at a predictable price while supporting optimal response times and complying with Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

Why is that important? Because modern enterprise workload requirements have become increasingly unpredictable as they focus on supporting business transactions, including mobile payments and real time analytics to name just two. That volatility is likely to grow as companies increase their use of analytics, deploy new edge of network workloads and expose existing assets to new uses.

Aren’t tailored fit and hybrid cloud the same thing?

If Tailored Fit Pricing for IBM Z sounds a lot like cloud computing offerings, it should. In fact, when the company originally introduced the new offering in 2019, it was described as, “a simple cloud pricing model for today’s enterprise IT environment.”

But IBM has designed its solution to address elemental problems with public cloud, including the substantial sums that companies are spending on “wasted” cloud services. In fact, the company cited a recent report by Turbonomics that explores this issue, and estimates that companies will spend some $21 billion (almost $2,400,000 an hour) on unused, idle or over-provisioned cloud resources in 2021.

That sum is obviously good for cloud computing vendors’ bottom lines, but wouldn’t it be better for enterprise customers to invest those resources in their own projects and strategies? To get a sense of how Tailored Fit Pricing for IBM Z hardware and software differs from cloud-based solutions, an IBM white paper compares the new solution to three common public cloud scenarios.

Final analysis

Superior technologies and performance have long been vital to IBM’s Z solutions. However, the company has always been careful to ensure that its new innovations also deliver dependable, measurable business value to enterprise customers. In the case of Tailored Fit Pricing for IBM Z hardware and software, those benefits include quickly responding to swiftly changing business needs and dynamic workload requirements while also supporting fully transparent, consumption-based costs.

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