BMC Leverages IBM Z to Deliver Innovation

Upgrading to the latest IBM Z Hardware ensures BMC Software can maximize the performance.

The Client

BMC Software, Inc.

Headquartered in Houston, TX, BMC Software produces software and services that assist businesses in moving to digital operations. Today BMC has more than 10,000 customers worldwide, including 92 of the Forbes Global 100.

The Challenge

BMC’s core business has always included a dedication to the IBM Z® platform. When the IBM z14® was announced—as has always been the case with new hardware releases— BMC worked with Sirius to ensure that it would be one of the first companies to implement the new platform for its application development and testing efforts.

BMC Software produces software and services that assist businesses in moving to digital operations, including IT service management, data center automation, performance management, virtualization life cycle management and cloud computing management. The company focuses on platforms including mainframe computers, mobile devices, and cloud computing. BMC previously offered primarily on-premises services, but as of 2016 its business model increasingly incorporates Software as a Service (SaaS).

The nature of BMC’s business requires that the company continually deliver innovation and maintain a level of technological currency in hardware and software for their customers in the IBM Z platform universe. To that end, BMC participates in early ship programs in order to have the earliest possible access to new features and functions that are introduced with each generation of hardware, software and operating systems. That way, they can be sure that they are providing compatible services to their customers, as well as features that exploit the new technologies. In sum, the business needed to accelerate innovation, develop new products and services, get to market faster and gain competitive advantage while also improving customer service and reducing cost and risk.

The Solution

In November 2017, Sirius replaced BMC’s z13® model 2964-514 (1,000 MSUs and 1,184GB of RAM) with a new z14 model 3906-514 (1,021 MSUs and 1,216GB of RAM).Because BMC develops applications that must run reliably with multiple releases of IBM Z software, the company has to do rigorous QA to make sure all those products’ features and functions are tested and delivered, and that means a lot of CPU cycles. The z14 is configured with 24 LPARs, and on a typical day there are 50 to 60 z/OS images active, and running different versions of IBM® Db2®, IMS and CICS®.

BMC always develops and tests with the current versions of operating systems, middleware and tools, together with older versions to ensure backward compatibility. BMC typically runs three or four versions of z/OS® and z/VM®, but they can go further back as needed. They also run several releases of both Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® and SUSE® Linux® on a single IFL, as well as at least two releases of IMS, Db2, CICS, and any IBM subsystems.

BMC is using the IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) for z/OS to develop and test their applications, ensuring that those applications are automatically aware of and perform flawlessly with the IDAA for customers that are taking advantage of accelerated analytics on IBM Z.

Pervasive Encryption is another important feature for BMC’s customers. By building toleration into their products and exploiting it across their product lines, BMC is enabling customers to exploit the security features of the Z platform transparently, without forcing them to make any changes to the way they use the applications.

Melvin Krezer, BMC Senior Manager, Mainframe IT explained the high expectations of BMC’s clients made the solution a perfect fit. “Our customers expect us to have and support the most current technologies,” he said. “We are perceived as a leader, and want to continue to be perceived that way, so having the latest technologies is very important. But we’re also very cost-conscious, and we found that with the z14, like the z13 before it, the technology dividends have given us the ability to do as much or more work in our development, test and QA environments with these new machines without having to acquire extra capacity to do it. That’s a value-add for jumping on board the z14.”

The Benefits

  • By using the IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator in development, BMC ensures that its applications automatically detect and utilize the high-speed analytics capabilities of the IBM Z platform without their customers having to perform any additional steps.
  • Enabling the enhanced functionality and awareness of accelerated data analytics further differentiates IBM Z as an unmatched platform for running real-time, complex data analytics.
  • The performance dividend of the z14 means that BMC has been able to meet the growing demands of its development and test environments without having to buy a huge amount of capacity in order to keep workload consistent.
  • Despite the modest increase in MSUs provided by the new z14, BMC was actually able to lower its monthly payments by nearly $20,000 over the projected 48-month life of the system.
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