Case Study  |  Mainframe Cost Optimization

With the support of Alebra Technologies, the bank reduced mainframe operating costs by $2.5 million a year

Modernizing and optimizing operations continue to be among the top priorities for organizations. Indeed, many information technology surveys indicate digital business is driving different thinking and new activity toward new investments. Organizations are exploiting new technologies to keep pace with the demands of business growth, competition, and customer experience.

The Story

Modernization and optimization are strategic initiatives driving one Alebra Technologies customer, a multi-national bank, who determined to drive cost out of mainframe operations. The bank was faced with growing data volumes that require lots more processing on the mainframe.

  • SFTP data transfers were taking 55% of the batch window.
  • It was taking 4 hours and 10,500 MIPS to transfer one 117 GB file over TCP/IP from the mainframe to a Linux server, at a cost that was too high.
  • Capacity-on-Demand had to be invoked periodically at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to finish month and quarter-end processing on time.

The data protection officer understood the problem and acted. He researched file transfer alternatives and found Alebra. The data protection officer learned that Alebra not only moves data across platforms at a dramatically lower cost, but in significantly less time as well. After a meeting with the Alebra team, he made the business case for making a change. His executive team understood the need to change, and in a short time the bank and Alebra went to work.

The Objectives

The bank’s investment in new technologies includes a mainframe data exchange platform that supports the bank’s modernization and cost optimization strategy. The investment needed to support 3 main requirements:

  1. Mainframe data transfers direct to storage and Hadoop edge nodes, data piping to VM client databases, and concurrent read/write storage access.
  2. A data network that exploits a 100Gb network once the data is landed, avoiding transferring it again.
  3. The solution needs to be highly configurable to support evolving mainframe and open systems technologies without incurring extra equipment and cost.

Ongoing Savings and Improvements

Alebra soon proved its worth-and earned the data protection officer additional respect and appreciation from his team. The bank experiences an overall 95+% reduction in mainframe MIPS consumption and a 77% to 88% reduction in elapsed time. In fact, the ongoing cost savings in MIPS reductions alone are $2.5 million per year.  This far exceeds the bank’s objectives.


“Flexible”…the data protection officer’s response to a colleague who asked about his experience working with Alebra. Ability to support a short lead time for the Proof of Concept and flexible lease options made it easy to engage. He added with a smile, “I’m piping data across platforms without provisioning storage for 5% of the cost of SFTP transfers.”

“I’m piping data across platforms without provisioning storage for 5% of the cost of SFTP transfers.”

The Road Ahead

Working with Alebra, the bank is improving the experience of its customers. The bank expects to deploy the next use case, a mainframe data exchange platform, this summer.  On-time data will be available to line of business applications across the company. Internal administrative functions, such as finance and accounting who normally wait days to receive operations data, will have access the same day. The finance manager said, “I can significantly improve the bank’s cash flow if I can access the data I need one day sooner.”

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