Capacity management is the practice of ensuring IT resources are the right size to meet both current and future needs. Effective capacity management avoids being reactive to problems by being proactive to make sure capacity problems never start.
Using capacity management tools is crucial to keeping IT costs down while maintaining quality and service. It helps organizations get more out of their existing IT resources, improve performance, reduce consumption, eliminate redundant work, and so much more.
Creating a solid plan is key for launching capacity management projects. The following are five steps to make sure your project is a success.
1. Collect the Data
Before you can plan for capacity, you need to assess where you are atright now. First, select a capacity manager and form a team to manage capacity management tools.
By forming a solid capacity management team, they can be empowered to:
- Create a mission or purpose statement featuring the team’s desired results, processes, and responsibilities.
- Evaluate current capacity management.
- Assess current skills as it relates to capacity management.
- Gather budget information to perform capacity management work.
- Create a master inventory list of current software and tools for monitoring, performance management, capacity planning, and chargeback.
- Locate areas needing process improvements, training, or better software.
2. Create the Plan
It’s important to build a project plan for implementing capacity management tools. To create your plan:
- Understand the three major components of capacity management: people, processes, and tools.
- Identify costs to form a preliminary budget.
- Decide where capacity management should be in the organization.
- Create workflow processeswith data input, information outputs, and work processes.
- Schedule sufficient time to train the team.
- Find out if any other work is needed to acquire, consolidate, or implement performance and capacity management tools.
After creating a well-defined plan and budget, you can submit these documents to management for approval.
3. Execute the Plan
Once your plan is in place, the first step in executing the plan is building your team. Decide the size of the team, position titles, job descriptions, salary ranges, and skill requirements.
After you build your team, document and publish the work processes. Processes generally involve capacity planning, performance management, modeling, data collection and reporting, and sizing for new applications or major upgrades.
After you have your processes in place, it’s time to acquire and implement the appropriate tools, including:
- Data collection
- Infrastructure monitoring
- Automated reports
At this point, you can implement metrics to achieve success. Make sure to connect the metrics to business value and not only technical measurements.
To help your staff understand the work and processes, build training materials and execute the training plan. Having these valuable processes in place will improve your chances of success.
4. Manage Performance
After you execute your plan, now it’s time to manage performance through measuring. As a starting point, select a visible but not overly complex area to measure. This should be a low-risk problem with high visibility offering a significant benefit to the organization. Gather performance data for at least 30 days before establishing trends or models. Start with capacity planning by platform, then work your way through the other applications.
5. Monitor and Control
Once capacity management processes are working, now it’s time to assess the situation and make sure it’s working as planned. Create a list of lessons learned and note any process changes that should be made in the future. Audit your work every 6-12 months to find out what’s working and fix anything that’s not.
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