Telecom Saves $4m a Year by Reducing MIPS Usage with CloudFrame

Telecom Saves $4m a Year by Reducing MIPS Usage with CloudFrame

Substantial Savings, Reduced Risk
Case Study

Telecom Company Reduced Mainframe Application Costs with CloudFrame Relocate™


A large TeleCom achieved nearly $4M in savings using an incremental project approach with CloudFrame Relocate, moving COBOL workloads to both cloud and zIIP eligible JVM.

Backward compatibility with mainframe VSAM, QSAM, DB2 data, JES Job Scheduler, and MQ messaging was maintained.

Challenges Faced

This Fortune 100 Telecom leader, delivering innovative communications and technology solutions to businesses worldwide, sought to exit the mainframe and achieve substantial financial goals by retiring their legacy billing application. Their mainframe COBOL billing application was a critical business system and utilized a large amount of CPU, which grew annually with the company’s success. The system consistently peeked above 2000 millions of instructions per second (MIPS). Resultingly, increasing MIPS increased software monthly license lease charges (MLC) for every software product installed.

To alleviate their mainframe MIPS and MLC cost, reduce the risk associated with declining mainframe developers, and remove dependency on “modernization” vendors, this customer created a plan to develop a new non-mainframe replacement application.

This “Rewrite”, a multi-year modernization initiative, proved to be underscoped and inadequately budgeted — resulting in a more extended project than expected, exceeding their cost projections, and increasing the risk of not finishing; meanwhile mainframe costs continued to increase. As the project progressed, CloudFrame Relocate was introduced to immediately reduce MIPS, which reduced costs, and helped fund the application “Rewrite”. Using Relocate, the customer devised a plan to self-fund their modernization journey.

The Solution

Relocate is a Java cross-compile solution for mainframe COBOL applications. Relocate enables the customer to shift costly COBOL and Db2 SQL workloads from the mainframe general-purpose processor (GPP) to the mainframe zIIP specialty processor, which is 40 – 70% less costly than GPP. IBM enables Java and JDBC to be zIIP eligibility. Relocate does not require any Cobol coding changes, easily integrates with mainframe build systems, and guaranties execution to be 100% functionally and data equivalent. Relocate provides backward compatibility with job schedulers, calling load modules, using IBM MQ, using data—IBM VSAM, QSAM, and Db2, all while reducing the modernization risk.

The business case for Relocate was to shift non-production atch COBOL workloads from the GPP to a lower-cost Cloud. Overachieving the business case in 3 months, Relocate was approved to shift production workloads from the GPP to the zIIP.


The customer achieved annual recurring cost savings of over $4M. The savings from this effort were used for their more extensive application “Rewrite”.


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