The Value of an IT Capacity Planning Strategy

Planning to ensure that requirements are met is a practice that is performed in many different situations. The need to accurately plan manifests itself in choices that we make to navigate everyday life. We routinely calculate the fuel our vehicle requires to get to our intended destination or the amount of time it will take to mow the lawn. This type of planning becomes second-nature and does not demand any special skills or extra tools.

Additional forethought is required when coming up with ideas for activities that are more complex. Cooking a multi-course meal or holding a party for a dozen people may necessitate the use of simple tools such as a paper and pencil to keep track of things. Retaining all the details mentally becomes challenging as the complexity of an endeavor ramps up. Without some additional help, the probability of a successful effort is significantly hampered.

Computing environments are some of the most complex artifacts of the modern world. The interrelated nature of the software and hardware components makes it virtually impossible to keep abreast of system requirements without employing a methodical approach. Capacity planning is an exercise that is important in the world of information technology. There are multiple benefits to performing capacity planning and potential pitfalls awaiting organizations that fail to address this important practice.         

Developing a Capacity Planning Strategy

The ability to meet evolving business requirements is the main reason that organizations adopt a strategy of capacity planning. Three main aspects of your environment need to be considered when developing a strategy that will address the needs of an enterprise.

  • Evaluating existing capacity is the essential first step. It is impossible to realistically plan for growth without understanding the resources currently on hand. A thorough inventory of available capacity needs to be conducted to provide the foundation for planning efforts.

  • Studying how the current resource capacity is used is the next step in the process. During this review, it may be apparent that certain resources can be redeployed to address shortages. Discovering areas where improvement is needed lays the groundwork for upgrading the environment.

  • Once the current resources have been inventoried and their uses clarified, it’s time to determine the organization’s future requirements. This is the most complex step, as it must take into account variables that cannot always be fully defined. For instance, when planning the rollout of a new web application it can be difficult to estimate the popularity of the offering and the computing resources necessary for its successful delivery.

Dangers of Neglecting Capacity Planning

Several negative issues can arise from a lack of reliable capacity planning. They may impact the ability of an IT environment to meet the needs of a business and therefore affect the viability of the entire organization. The following issues are the most likely impacts of an absence of capacity planning.

  • Resource shortages - A lack of adequate capacity planning exposes an organization to resource shortages, resulting in performance issues that cannot easily be addressed. It can be impossible to provide extra network bandwidth or storage space on the fly.

  • Cost overruns - Failing to successfully plan for capacity needs may necessitate an unexpected procurement of resources to address critical situations. IT budgets can be wrecked and unpleasant meetings will ensue as teams explain why these expenditures had not been anticipated.

  • Low-quality performance - The quality of IT deliverables will be negatively affected by resource issues related to failed capacity planning. Slow and under-performing systems can result in dissatisfied customers and a loss of business opportunities.

A Tool for Effective Capacity Planning

You should now be convinced about the utility of capacity planning in IT environments. The use of a quality tool to assist in the process is imperative and IDERA’s Uptime Infrastructure Monitor is an excellent choice. The application provides a platform from which to monitor your computing infrastructure and perform capacity planning to maintain your performance capabilities.

Uptime enables your team to enjoy a unified view of the servers, applications, and networks that keep your environment alive. The tool lets you answer the questions of how much capacity you have, how much is used, and what areas may be trending toward experiencing issues. Get a picture of your complete environment including physical and virtual systems on-premises and in the cloud. Trend reporting lets you review historical capacity information from the past for comparison with new developments.

Using Uptime to conduct regularly scheduled capacity planning will ensure that your organization is not caught by surprise with resource shortages and can continue to satisfy its users with optimum performance. While you’re at it, you can take advantage of Uptime’s monitoring functionality to make sure everything is working as expected. It’s a valuable tool for understanding and planning for the needs of your environment’s infrastructure.

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