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Capacity Management

Capacity management is a process that extends across the service lifecycle.

A key success factor in managing capacity is, ensuring it is considered during the design stage. Capacity management is supported initially in service strategy, where the decisions and analysis of business requirements and customer outcomes influence the development of patterns of business activity, lines of service (LOS) and service options. This provides the predictive and ongoing capacity indicators needed to align capacity to demand. Capacity management provides a point of focus and management for all capacity- and performance-related issues, relating to both services and resources. Like availability, capacity is an important part of the warranty of a service. If a service does not deliver the levels of capacity and performance required, then the business will not experience the value that has been promised. Without capacity and performance the utility of the service cannot be accessed.

The Goal of Capacity Management process is to ensure that Cost-justifiable IT capacity is matched to the current and future agreed needs of the business in a timely manner. To support this goal, Capacity Management has Objectives to:

  • Ensures the Capacity Plan, reflecting the current and future needs of the business, is available and up to date

  • Provide advice and guidance to all other areas of the business and IT on all capacity and performance related issues

  • Ensure that service performance achievements meet or exceed all of the agreed targets, by managing the performance and capacity of both services and resources

The capacity management process should be the focal point for all IT performance and capacity issues Capacity management considers all the resources required to deliver the IT service, and plans for short, medium, and long-term business requirements. The process should encompass all areas of technology, both hardware and software, for all IT technology components and environments. Capacity management should also consider space planning and environmental systems capacity. This management could consider human resource capacity where a lack of human resources could result in a breach of SLA or OLA targets, A delay in the end-to-end performance or service response time, or an inability to meet future commitments and plans (e.g. overnight data backups not completed in time, because no operators were present to load required media). In general, human resource management is a line management responsibility, although the staffing of a service desk should use identical capacity management techniques. The scheduling of human resources, staffing levels, skill levels and capability levels should therefore be included within the scope of capacity management.

Capacity Management – Basic Concepts

Capacity management ensures that the capacity and performance of the IT services and systems match the evolving agreed demands of the business in the most cost-effective and timely manner.

Capacity management is essentially a balancing act, balancing costs against resources needed. The need to ensure that processing capacity that is purchased is cost-justifiable in terms of business need, and the need to make the most efficient use of those resources. Balancing supply against demand. The need to ensure that the available supply of IT processing power matches the demands made on it by the business, both now and in the future. It may also be necessary to manage or influence the demand for a particular resource. Capacity Management maintains or manages capacity at all three levels

  • Business

  • Service

  • Component

The business capacity management sub- process translates business needs and plans into requirements for service and IT infrastructure, ensuring that the future business requirements for IT services are quantified, designed, planned and implemented in a timely fashion. This can be achieved by using the existing data on the current resource utilization by the various services and resources to trend, forecast, model, or predict future requirements. These future requirements come from the service strategy and service portfolio, detailing new processes and service requirements, changes, improvements, and also the growth in the existing services.

The service capacity management sub-process focuses on the management, control and prediction of the end-to-end performance and capacity of the live, operational IT services usage and workloads. It ensures that the performance of all services, as detailed in service targets within SLAs and SLRs, is monitored andmeasured, and that the collected data is recorded, analysed and reported. Wherever necessary, proactive and reactive action should be instigated, to ensure that the performance of all services meets their agreed business targets. This is performed by staff with knowledge of all the areas of technology used in the delivery of end-to-end service, and often involves seeking advice from the specialists involved in component capacity management. Wherever possible, automated thresholds should be used to manage all operational services, to ensure that situations where service targets are breached or threatened are rapidly identified, and cost-effective actions to reduce or avoid their potential impact are implemented. The component capacity management sub- process focuses on the management, control and prediction of the performance, utilization and capacity of individual IT technology components. It ensures that all components within the IT infrastructure that have finite resource are monitored and measured, and that the collected data is recorded, analysed and reported. There are many similar activities that areperformed by each of the above sub-processes, but each sub-processhas a very different focus. Business capacity management is focused on the current and future business requirements, while service capacity management is focused on the delivery of the existing services that support the business, and component capacity management is focused on the IT infrastructure that underpins service provision.

Capacity Management – Key Role

Managing the capacity of large distributed IT infrastructures is a complex and demanding task, especially when the IT capacity and the financial investment required is ever-increasing. Therefore it makes even more sense to plan for growth. While the cost of the upgrade to an individual component in a distributed environment is usually less than the upgrade to a component in a mainframe environment, there are often many more components in the distributed environment that need to be upgraded. Also, there could now be economies of scale because the cost per individual component could be reduced when many components need to be purchased. Capacity management should have input to the service portfolio, and procurement process to ensure that the best deals with suppliers are negotiated.

Capacity management provides the necessary information on current and planned resource utilization of individual components to enable organizations to decide, with confidence:

Which components to upgrade (i.e. more memory,faster storage devices, faster processors, greater bandwidth).

When to upgrade — ideally this is not too early, resulting in expensive over-capacity, nor too late, failing to take advantage of advances in new technology, resulting in bottle-necks, inconsistent performance and, ultimately, customer dissatisfaction and lost business opportunities.

How much the upgrade will cost

The forecasting and planning elements of capacity management feed into budgetary lifecycles, ensuring planned investment.

The key role of Capacity Manager is to :

  • Develop a‘Capacity Plan’and ensure that it is up to date.

  • Assist with the diagnosis and resolution of performance and related incidents and problems.

  • Asses the impact of all changes on the Capacity Plan and the performance and capacity of all services and resources.

  • Ensure that proactive measures are implemented to improve the performance of services, wherever it is cost justifiable to do so.

  • Sizing new services & systems (per future requirements).

  • Aligning capacity & demand correctly as per the business needs.

Optimize existing capacity. Here is the Focal point for capacity & performance issues. Provide management reports on Current Usage, Trends and Forecasts. 



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