This is so exciting! I don’t know if any of you will remember Bernie Mazur – he was the mainframe systems lead capacity planner at the Bank of Montreal, where I work, from the early 1980s until he retired in 2005. I started working with him in 1999, and he brought me to my first CMG, in Orlando, FL, in 2000. I trained with Bernie for several years – you could do that in those days – and took over for him when he retired. In the meanwhile, I’ve attended CMG many times, and volunteered every year whether I could get there or not. I’ve led BOF sessions, refereed and edited papers and presentations, presented my own work at CMG Canada and other venues, and mentored speakers. But this will be my first time actually presenting at the international conference – just a few weeks before my wife and I visit with Bernie and his wife at their home on Vancouver Island. What a coincidence! So what will I be presenting? In a nutshell, I’ll be sharing a series of essentials about controlling IT hardware & software costs. I’ve always seen my job as finding the optimal balance between sufficient capacity to ensure availability (including failure scenarios) and minimal cost. Since most of my time has been spent on mainframe, I’ll use examples drawn primarily from that area to illustrate effective use of workload characterization; ensuring internal customers understand the cost of system resource utilization; early adoption of technology features; and use of capacity limiting mechanisms to maximize value in Development environments. I can’t share a lot of detail, of course, but in this short discussion I’ll review how some of those initiatives have helped us keep our mainframe cost per unit of capacity dropping over the years. I believe the audience will find they can use these nuggets to help them in other domains too – distributed systems, storage, networks, cloud and hybrid cloud arrangements, and even data centre infrastructure. I only wish Bernie were going to be there. I’m looking forward to seeing lots of you on Wednesday at 11:30am in Beauregard!