IBM Z, previously called z Systems, is widely known as its series of flagship mainframes with the z/Architecture that started with the z900. Last summer (2019), IBM announced IBM z13 and z13s mainframes were being pulled from active marketing meaning they are no longer selling these models actively and only servicing them. IBM actively markets and sells the z14 and z15 series today.
Based on the recent IBM Mainframe Life Cycle History update in April 2020, mainframe lifecycle histories are about 4.1 years of sales and service and 7.3 years of follow-on service. You can estimate that z13 mainframe servers have another six years of life before they go end of service (EOS). Now is a great time to consider alternatives to OEM maintenance support contracts for IBM Z mainframes with a third-party server maintenance provider.
We compiled 4 key business reasons to consider a third-party server maintenance provider for your IBM Z Mainframes:
1. Extend the life cycle of IBM zSeries.
IBM will encourage you to upgrade your technology to the z14 or z15 over the next few years. This is why charts are released by the manufacturer to encourage you to refresh technology before the EOS. However, with the high availability IBM zSeries mainframes provide – often they can meet your business and operational requirements well beyond the EOS date. Many TPMs provide server maintenance on IBM z13 models and below extending the life of the mainframe servers substantially.
2. Reduce hardware support costs by 50% or more.
Gartner stated recently in its Market Guide for Data Center and Network Third-Party Hardware maintenance that “TPM contracts can offer customers 50% to 70% savings off OEM support net prices.” This is especially important as companies respond to ongoing calls to reduce infrastructure costs amid COVID-19.
3. Gain a Flexibility advantage in IBM zSeries maintenance and other hardware.
TPMs allow you to consolidate your IBM zSeries with other IBM servers or storage, equipment as well as other OEMs. TPMs also provide flexible service levels based on your evolving business needs during the contract term of your contract.
4. Get Faster support on your IBM zSeries Mainframe.
OEM support is known for long call scripts and a bias towards eliminating their brand as the issue’s root cause versus finding and fixing a problem as soon as possible. Global support is also limited. TPMs call response should be less than 30 minutes with an immediate availability of skilled engineers onsite globally. Curvature, a global leader in TPM, has its own IBM zSeries Engineering lab with spare parts that are fully tested in accordance with the OEM specs. These parts are readily available for immediate dispatch to any of our 100+ service center locations across the globe to meet or exceed the client’s service level agreement – including storage within 2 hours of your location. Our support includes Remote Enterprise Monitoring (REM), a proprietary call-home tool (for proactive monitoring and problem resolution). We can facilitate firmware updates (MCL) on our client’s behalf with our IBM zSeries support. Our engineers receive hands-on training in its $5 million-dollar IBM zSeries Engineering lab so you can be assured of in-house level 3 support who are trained beyond web-based portals.
Gartner, Market Guide for Data Center and Network Third-Party Hardware Maintenance; Rob Schafer, Christine Tenneson, Mike Toussaint, Daniel Bowers; 29 August 2019