Infrastructure Capacity Planning

What is Capacity Planning in IT Infrastructure?

Capacity planning refers to identifying the changes needed to be made to the environment to maintain the predefined user experience over the lifecycle of an application. 

In its simplest terms, the changes can refer to adding any combination of additional CPU, Memory, Storage or Network capabilities along with suitable configuration changes to the hardware configuration as and when identified to be required. Capacity planning consists of anticipating demand ahead of time and recommending suitable changes to the environment in advance of actual needs.

Some examples of infrastructure capacity planning include:

  • Understanding how resources consume time demands across CPU, memory, network, and storage, over appropriate time frames
  • Knowing the available capacity of hosts and datastores, and possibly the underlying IT infrastructure like physical storage and computing capabilities
  • Meeting optimal service levels while maximizing infrastructure with virtual machines
  • Accounting for possible adjustments in VM resource allocations and sizing (CPU, memory) enabled by virtualized environments
  • Projecting growth in resource demands based on growth (e.g. users/ customers) of existing applications
  • Understanding the expected resource "profile" of net new applications that may be added and factored in to the plan – for example by estimating resource demands of the VMs or workloads making up that application
  • Factoring in how much resource allocation may be needed for the implementation of future applications 
  • Accounting for committed capacity needs

What are the 4 Types of IT Capacity Planning?

Capacity planning strategy is typically classified as lead strategy, lag strategy, match strategy, and adjustment strategy.

  • Lead strategy - Planning for future increases in product demand. Lead capacity planning can help get new products and services up quickly, possibly beating out lagging competition.
  • Lag strategy - Lag strategy involves adding resource capacity only when full capacity has been met. This reduces wasted resources and is cost-effective.
  • Match strategy - Increasing capacity incrementally as demand increases.
  • Adjustment strategy - Adjustment strategy is a catch-all strategy of sorts; it involves adding or reducing capacity directly in response to demand or architecture changes.

Need Help With Your Capacity Planning?

Since DSI has long and in-depth experience with various application technologies and hardware platforms including Unix/Linux, we can provide optimal capacity planning and expert advice on sizing in view of anticipated growth. DSI consults with key power users and management, and we also review statistics from various subsystems such as the operating system, storage and network over a period of time. Our consultants have the knowledge and wherewithal to interpret the numbers and establish thresholds and to extrapolate the stats for future growth.

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