Posted by: Mark Fontecchio
Hewlett-Packard Co. announced yesterday that about 250 users have migrated off the mainframe to its Itanium-based servers over the last three years.
HP named a few of the customers that have migrated from Big Blue iron to Itanium, including the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Astellas Pharma Inc., and the Brazilian Navy. Unfortunately, HP couldn’t provide a single customer — out of a reported 250 — that could speak to me about their migration.
HP also announced a new mainframe migration calculator online that users can test to see if migrating to the mainframe is worth it. Given that HP created the calculator, I doubt there’s any scenario in which the tool will say, “No, stay on the mainframe!” But it could be useful nonetheless.
HP is also offering a free HP NonStop BladeSystem to qualifying migrating customers. To qualify, your mainframe must be running a “payment or other financial services application.” HP then gives you the necessary NonStop blade hardware and software to run that application, along with a free one-year software license. There are no requirements for what you have to do with the mainframe, so you can use the freed up space for something else if you want.
John Pickett, worldwide manager of HP’s mainframe alternative program, said many mainframe users migrating over are just getting off older 31-bit mainframe computers. However, a Microsoft- and HP-sponsored study by the Robert Frances Group in July identified a customer moving off a z9 mainframe, to the reported tune of $23 million in hardware and software savings.
“Predominantly where you’ll see the biggest delta is in software costs,” Pickett said. Mainframe software costs are a difficult issue IBM has been dealing with for some time.