Capacity planning is the process of determining the production capacity needed by an organization to meet changing demands for its products.
IT capacity planning involves estimating the storage, computer hardware, software and connection infrastructure resources required over some future period of time.
Capacity management is concerned about adding central processing units (CPUs), memory and storage to a physical or virtual server. This has been the traditional and vertical way of scaling up web applications, however IT capacity planning has been developed with the goal of forecasting the requirements for this vertical scaling approach.
A discrepancy between the capacity of an organization and the demands of its customers results in inefficiency, either in under-utilized resources or unfulfilled customers. The goal of capacity planning is to minimize this discrepancy. Demand for an organization’s capacity varies based on changes in production output, such as increasing or decreasing the production quantity of an existing product, or producing new products.
There are several steps involved in efficient capacity planning. The first step involves determining service level requirement. This is where a business breaks down work into categories as well as quantifies users’ expectations for how that work is accomplished.
This first step often encompasses three additional stages: establishing workloads, determining the unit of work and setting service levels.
The second step is about analyzing current capacity. This is where an organization takes an in-depth look at its current production schedule to evaluate capacity and analyze each workload and system as a whole.
Details of this second step include:
- Checking the usage of the various resources of the system
- Determining where each workload spends its time, which provides insight into which resources take the greatest portion of response time for each workload
- Comparing the measurements of any items referenced in service level agreements with their objectives
The third step is a call for planning. Basing a plan on forecast processing requirements helps prevent overwhelming the system. In order to accomplish this task, organizations must know the amount of incoming work expected over the coming quarters. Then an optimal system should be configured for satisfying service levels over this period.
Want to know more about Capacity Planning? Tonex offers Capacity Planning Training, a 4-day course that covers tactics for doing performance analysis, system sizing, performance measurements, trend analysis in today’s challenging business and IT environment.