IBM recently announced a new software licensing metric called Midrange Workload License Charges (MWLC), which is available exclusively for z/VSE Version 4 users running on IBM System z9 servers. It’s the latest in a series of software licensing options announced in conjunction with new mainframe servers to help reduce IBM software licensing costs. MWLC provides a sub-capacity pricing option that was previously available only with other licensing methods for z/OS customers. This article provides a perspective on this new announcement and how it might benefit VSE customers.
History, Terms, and More Terms
In the last decade VSE customers have seen several new IBM software licensing methods introduced along with their respective acronyms:
Graduated Monthly License Charge (GMLC) was among the earliest where software license charges were based on the group in which a machine was classified.
Growth Opportunity License Charge (GOLC) was introduced in 1999 with the Multiprise 3000 servers and was specific to the models in that family of servers.
Extended License Charge (ELC) also was announced in 1999 and provided the first MSU-based pricing for qualified VM and VSE software running on machines larger than group 80. Millions of Service Units (MSU) is a measure of machine capacity.
Workload License Charge (WLC) was made available in 2001 with the zSeries 900 (z900) server. This was the first software licensing method that offered sub-capacity pricing based on system utilization rather than the full capacity of the machine; however, this option was available only for selected z/OS software products. A flat WLC price, independent of the full capacity of the machine, was charged for VSE software eligible for this pricing method.
zSeries Entry License Charge (zELC) was announced in 2002 for zSeries 800 (z800) servers running in a stand-alone environment. This pricing option also was announced later as the only option available for the smallest of the zSeries 890 and the System z9 Business Class servers (z890 capacity setting 110 and z9 BC capacity setting A01).
Entry Workload License Charge (EWLC), announced in 2003 for the z800, was available for only selected z/OS software products.
Tiered EWLC pricing method (TWLC) accompanied the announcement of the z890 in 2004 and was made available exclusively for all z890 servers except the z890 capacity setting 110, which is zELC-based only. This method also was available exclusively for all z9 BC servers when they were announced, except the z9 BC capacity setting A01, which is zELC-based only. TWLC provides flat monthly pricing using a tiered structure based on MSUs. Figure 1 shows the tiers and range of MSUs for each.