Where best to deploy your SWIFT solution?

When system architects and administrators think about a replacement solution for MERVA the operating environment for the future solution may cause them a major headache. These guys are typically senior professionals who have relied for many years on the reliability, stability and scalability of IBM mainframes for their central SWIFT solution and are not at all amused about the idea of moving this to decentralised UNIX or Windows servers.

So they will discuss the option for running a new solution under zOS Unix System Services. However, the results of performance tests will cause another serious headache at least for the IT manager who is under daily pressure to cut costs.

MERVA is a native MVS application written largely in assembler and so makes most efficient use of System z resources. In contrast any application with comparable functionality running under Unix System Services naturally consumes much more CPU resource as a large overhead is required for the UNIX emulation. And CPU under zOS basically means money, a lot of money, as IBM charges according to the MIPS (millions of instructions per second) consumption.

However, there is a way out of this dilemma called Linux for System z or z/Linux. z/Linux is nothing other then a Red Hat or SUSE Linux distribution running on the Series z hardware directly under z/VM. As IBM is competing here with other hardware suppliers supporting these environments they offer a completely different and much cheaper pricing model for hardware and software. They do not care anymore about the famous MIPs as long as you use dedicated processors exclusively for z/Linux but charge you a flat rate called IFL (Integrated Facility for Linux) per processor.

Under z/Linux you can carry on operating your SWIFT solution in the IBM mainframe environment and at the same time reduce costs by a factor 10 compared with its operation under Unix System Services. “We estimate that the migration of our SWIFT solution to z/Linux will save us up to 90 % of the MIPS cost” emphasises Mel Stricker, Vice President Global Treasury Systems, one of the major reasons for Citigroup to implement BOX for SWIFTNet under z/Linux.