Monday, 31 August 2015

Maturing your Capacity Management processes ( 1 of 11)

Mature capacity management whilst difficult to achieve can provide enormous value to an organization.

Regardless of the technology; the methods and techniques employed in capacity management are essential in optimizing the IT expenditure, reducing the risk associated with IT change and ultimately ensuring that the IT resource meets the needs of the business.

One of the biggest challenges in implementing a new capacity management process or maturing an existing process is aligning with the business.  This alignment ultimately provides the key information required to understand “the capacity” of an enterprise and plan accordingly. 

This is an essential step in implementing and providing mature capacity management, but the majority of organizations have yet to achieve this and are still very much focused at the component level of capacity management. 

This is true across all market sectors with these organizations exhibiting the following common traits:

·         Business view IT capacity as infinite
·         Lots of data available, but not used to its full potential
·         Capacity management has a reactive focus
·         Planning purely based on historical data
·         Any capacity management is happening in technical silo’s

In this blog series I’ll aim to address some of the challenges faced when implementing business level capacity.

Jamie Baker
Principal Consultant

Friday, 28 August 2015

What is Capacity Management?

The traditional definition of capacity management is as valid today as it ever was.
Capacity management is about balancing service against cost, providing a consistent and acceptable service to the business for a known and controlled cost.
Given a huge budget, service quality can be raised to the highest possible level.  Typically budgets are constrained however so the need then is to provide the best quality of service possible, given these cost constraints.
Capacity management is all about optimizing this balance, knowing what level of service the business needs and identifying how this can be supported for an affordable cost.

The capacity pyramid outlines the key activities involved in capacity management. 

Given availability and capture of raw data, activities range from the reactive day to day tasks of monitoring and alerting through to the more proactive planning tasks such as trending and modeling.  Activities such as analysis to identify root cause of problems and regular, ideally automated, capacity reporting span the gap between the two.
Our proposition has always been that the higher up this pyramid you’re working, the greater value capacity management delivers to the business.  Monitoring and being alerted to problems as they occur is a necessary task, but if that is all that’s done, it falls short of what capacity management should provide.  Finding and fixing a fault means the cost of that fault has already been incurred, both in user impact and resources required to remedy the situation.  Analyzing performance over time, having suitable reports consistently available can help you to understand the environment better and through this, identify and fix issues sooner.
More cost effective however, is to be proactive and identify potential capacity problems before they have impact and then engineer the infrastructure so that those problems don’t occur.
This is the capacity planning element of capacity management and is achieved through a variety of techniques such as trending and extrapolating past performance through to service level modeling of future capacity requirements.
For further reading on capacity management why not join our community and get access to our published papers

or register for our next webinar Capacity Management Maturity -Assessing and Improving
Rich Fronheiser
Chief Marketing Officer

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Do you have quality, capacity management data stored in a CMIS (or related mechanism) that you can quickly access?

One trigger that can expose the lack of an effective capacity management process within a company is a pending merger or acquisition.  

I had the privilege to manage a project where a team of talented consultants was tasked with starting from scratch and providing capacity planning guidance and recommendations to a company undergoing a series of merger-related application consolidations.

When I say starting from scratch, I mean just that. The first step of the project was to quickly start capturing performance data on mainframes and servers that underpinned a few dozen applications and services so we could use a variety of techniques (including analytic modeling and trending) to predict the effects of expected change on these systems.

It's probably a good time if you're reading along to stop and think about this.

Do you have quality, capacity management data stored in a CMIS (or related mechanism) that you can quickly access?  Do you know how utilized (over-utilized, under-utilized) your systems are?  Are you able to look at underlying trends and potential changes to the environment and make recommendations to the business?

In my past, I worked as a capacity planner in a number of industries.  At each of those companies, we had regular data capture in place on all production and many test systems. The cost of doing this was clearly outweighed by the benefits provided to the business.  We were the first point of contact whenever there were performance problems with applications and we were the first point of contact when business conditions warranted a predictive look at the services and the resources that provided those services.

Make sure that you have quality capacity management data stored in a CMIS and ready for use.

Register for our webinar ‘Capacity Management Maturing – Assessing and Improving’ to find out how you can mature your Capacity Management processes

Rich Fronheiser
Chief Marketing Officer

Monday, 17 August 2015

Why do we model in the UK, monitor in Japan, and manage in the USA?

Many times we look at Capacity Management from our own perspective and the culture in which we live.

I'll be presenting at a webinar which looks at the current and future practice of capacity management and considers why it might be different in different countries.

I have experience in the EU, USA and Japan and will concentrate on these, with particular emphasis on Japan as it is possibly the least known of the three.

My webinar will cover the following:
  • Introduction
    • Capacity Management
    • ITSM, ‘do more with less’
  • Objectives of ITSM
    • Find a better way for IT Service Management
    • Assess impact of capacity management
  • Capacity Management review
    • Comparison between USA, EU/UK and Japan
    • What are the differences and why?
  • How to regain customer trust?
    • Case study
  • Who is doing it and why/why not?
  • Summary & Conclusion
It's taking place this Wednesday August 19, 2015 (8am PST, 9am MST, 10am CST, 11am EST, 4pm UK, 5pm CEST) - register for your place now

Charles Johnson
Principal Consultant