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Mainframe Migration: A Total Cost of Ownership Comparison

In this white paper by Alinean, the process and results of a recent case study concerning the migration from mainframe to open system is shared. The paper highlights the experience of two representative case studies examining economic factors: one study is a financial services company which re-hosted a SAP implementation onto an Intel Itanium Processor based solution. The other case study involves what benefits can be found in replacing a mainframe installation, as evidenced through a municipal government which moved several applications to HP ProLiant servers. The case studies found, primarily, that the move to Open Systems allowed for dramatic cost savings in both cases: The mainframe environment was supported by four systems administrators and two database administrators. The four systems administrators were needed to support the three distinct operating systems on the mainframe. Each of the operating systems was rather complex and required deep knowledge to properly support the environment and insure high availability. The fully burdened salary for these six staff, including benefits, taxes, paid time off and other overhead averaged $120,000 per year for a total annual server administration cost of $720,000. By moving to the HP Integrity SuperDome configuration with a single operating system the organization expected that it could cut its systems administration requirements down to two full time staff. They would still need two database administrators for a total server administration staff of four. Eliminating the need for senior mainframe skills would also reduce the average annual salary for the administration staff slightly to $117,500 for a total annual cost of $470,000, resulting in a savings of $250,000 per year. The return on investment analysis also showed that after year 1 the benefits far outweighed the investment, as the project in both cases paid for itself in around a year's time.

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