Thursday, 30 March 2017

Capacity Management Maturity, Assessing & Improving (4 of 4)

Our Capacity Management Maturity Survey helps you to see where your organization scores on the Maturity Scale.

Capacity Management Maturity is not easy to achieve.

Most organizations that have dedicated Capacity Management functions or teams typically score either a 2 or a 3 in this model. Organizations that do not have dedicated teams or functions normally score between a 1 or a 2.

Our survey is a perfect discussion point between the Capacity Manager and management. The results of the survey provide quick feedback on areas to improve.

Using the survey to compare the results for your organization against others in your industry or geography gives an opportunity for you to see where you stack up….possibly identify where you are behind others so that you can catch up.

Take our survey now

It’s the perfect opportunity to put processes in place that give your organization a competitive advantage over others in your industry.

Don't forget to sign up for our next webinar too 'Capacity Management Maturity series - Initial to Repeatable'

Rich Fronheiser
Chief Marketing Officer

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Capacity Management Maturity, Assessing & Improving - 5 levels of process maturity (3 of 4)

As promised today I'll discuss the 5 levels of Capacity Management Maturity.

They are:

Level 1 – Initial
Processes are undocumented and in a state of dynamic and chaotic manner. They tend to be driven in an ad hoc, uncontrolled, and reactive manner. Processes at this level tend to be unstable.

Level 2 – Repeatable
Some processes are repeatable, possibly with consistent results. Discipline is unlikely to be rigorous, but where it exists it may help to ensure existing processes are maintained during stressful periods.

Level 3 – Defined
Sets of defined and documented standard processes are established and subject to some degree of improvement over time.

Level 4 – Managed
Using process metrics, management can effectively control processes and identify ways to adjust and adapt the process to particular projects without losses of quality.

Level 5 – Optimizing

The focus is on continual improvement through both incremental and innovative changes / improvements

Don't forget to check out our Resources, there are some great white papers and on-demand webinars available to you.

The final part of my series will be on Thursday.

Rich Fronheiser
Chief Marketing Officer

Friday, 24 March 2017

Capacity Management Maturity, Assesssing & Improving - Setting the Landscape (2 of 4)

What is Capacity Management?

A fairly standard definition of Capacity Management is:
An IT process that helps ensure capacity meets current and future business requirements in a cost-­‐effective manner.

A welldefined Capacity Management process will focus on four subprocesses:

Business Capacity Management translating business needs and plans into capacity and performance requirements for services and infrastructure.

Service Capacity Management – managing the capacity of live, operational IT services. This includes both proactive and reactive activities to ensure SLAs are met.

Component Capacity Management managing the performance, utilization, and capacity of IT resources and individual IT components.

Capacity Management ReportingTo provide other ITSM processes    and management with information related to service and component capacity, utilization, and performance

In order to support the process, specific activities (monitoring, analysis, tuning, modeling, etc.) are undertaken in both proactive and reactive ways.

What is Maturity?

A maturity model is a set of structured levels that describe how well the behaviors, practices, and processes of an organization can reliably produce desired outcomes.

Various models exist. For the purposes of this survey, we’ll focus on the Capability Maturity Model, which consists of five levels of process maturity.

I'll share the five levels of process maturity in the Capability Maturity Model on Monday.

Don't forget to sign up for our webinar series 'Capacity Management Maturity - Initial to Repeatable'

Rich Fronheiser
Chief Marketing Officer

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Capacity Management Maturity - Assessing and Improving the Effectiveness (1 of 4)

Many organizations have a Capacity Management process or function in place, but no practical way to assess the effectiveness or even the strengths and weaknesses of the process or function.

This led to our development and refinement of a Capacity Management Maturity Assessment, consisting of 20 carefully chosen questions that help an organization assess maturity and effectiveness.

Our Capacity Management Maturity Survey is available to complete on line.

Once completed, the results will allow the Capacity Manager to better communicate the importance of Capacity Management and create a plan to fill identified gaps going forward.

Applying this assessment to multiple organizations allows comparisons to be made - between organizations and between an organization and others sharing characteristics such as type of business, geographical location and organizational size, among others.

This blog series will discuss the concept of Capacity Management Maturity, how the concept of maturity is defined and what are the building blocks that reflect a mature process or function within an organization.

Don't forget to register for the first in our series of webinars, starting on April 12 'Capacity Management Maturity - Initial to Repeatable'

Rich Fronheiser
Chief Marketing Officer

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Adapt your capacity process to support Cloud

Potentially there are a large number of areas within a “standard” capacity process that need to be adapted to support Cloud solutions, but based on experience I believe the following topics represent the key areas.

  • Process interfaces
  • Tooling and monitoring
  • Scope and Maturity

To effectively manage the capacity of “The Cloud” stronger or at least redefined process interfaces will be required.  Closer links with financial processes will be key to understanding the costs associated with the various options Public, Private, Hybrid etc and using this information to assess which will best meet the needs of the business.  The determination of these costs and sizing the environment correctly will be critical in ensuring that using “The Cloud” actually pays. 

Strong configuration and change processes will also be essential in tracking all elements of a service with the focus moving away from the component level information and towards the interconnectivity between these components. 

I believe the relationship with Service Level management will require increased visibility when transitioning to the cloud, both from the perspective of managing the customer expectations and in capturing and documenting key service level performance metrics.  A keen insight into both the service architecture and which Cloud implementation is best suited will be essential in ensuring the required service levels are continually met during and after any transition.  As the popularity of public clouds expands, demand management as providers over commit resource to drive down costs and the available Capacity will become far more of an issue and careful stewardship of the performance targets will be a valuable asset.

The tooling and monitoring requirements will need to be re-evaluated prior to moving to a Cloud implementation  as the traditional capacity focus at the component level will become less important,  with an aggregated service view being key to understanding the service performance and usage.  When selecting a tool try to ensure that it will monitor across the Enterprise and have the flexibility to import a wide variety of data sources.  These information sources can then be used to provide a unified reporting portal to assist in capacity monitoring and planning for the Cloud, service and underlying components.  In a cloud implementation rather than the components being the first bottleneck it is likely the network will be the focal point for initial performance monitoring and planning; more specifically the network links between your organisation and the cloud provider.

Ultimately I believe the biggest changes for the capacity management process will be the perceived scope of the process and the required maturity.  In my experience as a consultant working for a number of large scale organizations the majority will have a detailed understanding of the component level side of the business i.e. the servers, a degree of knowledge at the service level, but little knowledge of the business and financial aspects.  To successfully manage a Cloud implementation that meets the required service levels and provide actual financial savings, the process will need to cover all aspects of both the service and the underlying infrastructure, including networks and potentially facilities.

A detailed understanding of the business needs and drivers and again how these will relate to services and infrastructure is essential in a Cloud environment and to a lesser degree any large scale virtualization project.

Achieving this level of maturity and integration presents a considerable challenge for a capacity management team, but if achieved will benefit both the business and raise the profile of capacity management and ITIL immeasurably.

Come along to our free webinar on ‘Cloud Capacity Management’ this Wednesday

Charles Johnson
Principal Consultant

Monday, 13 March 2017

Cloud Capacity Management

Capacity Management continues to evolve as a practice with new environments in IT.

The inclusion of the Cloud infrastructure within IT requires the Capacity Management discipline to be extended. There are several variables in dealing with Cloud Capacity Management.

Many of them depend on where the Cloud infrastructure is hosted and the type of control a user has over the environment. On-Premise hosting, Hybrid hosting or Cloud provider hosting fit into the equation.

I'm presenting a webinar on March 15 which will discuss the variables that you need to consider when extending your Capacity Management to the Cloud.

I'll be looking at:
  • Capacity Management in general
  • The variables introduced by the Cloud
  • An overview of the most prominent Cloud offerings
  • How to plan to move your environment into the Cloud
  • What metrics you need to capture for the Cloud Infrastructure
  • Reporting Examples

Don't forget to join me, you can register for your place now
Charles Johnson
Principal Consultant


Friday, 10 March 2017

The changing face of Capacity Management - Private Clouds (4 of 4)

With a private cloud, a key output of any capacity management process must be information to the internal customers.  In order to get this information, capacity and performance data must be captured and stored.

As an example, let's consider a VMware vSphere implementation that was put in place to replace an organization's Windows and Linux estate.

First of all, this data must be at the right granularity and at the right levels -- as I mentioned earlier, it's not enough to know what's happening inside the virtual machine or even just within the service itself.

Important data includes availability information, utilizations and allocations, service level agreements (how often are they violated) and financial data (costs, charges, and pricing) as well.

On top of data that's specific to that group, it's probably a good idea with a private cloud to include some "macro" level data.  How much overall capacity is there within the private cloud?  What are the overall utilizations?  How much available capacity is there in the entire environment?

Again, it's easy to over-allocate or under-allocate by a small amount for each internal group or application, but it's just as important to show the "overall" view because it is incredibly costly to an organization if the overall environment is over-built (too much money spent on hardware, software, etc.) or under-built (lost business, unhappy customers).

So it stands to reason that any capacity management solution for a private cloud should capture data from a VMware environment at the datacenter, cluster, resource pool, host, and VM level. Provide you with data capture at a very granular level and have the ability to roll up into multiple levels of summaries over time.  

It’s important to be able to incorporate business statistics, financial and costing information in to the database.
Reports and alerts (performance and trending) including these types of data help you to communicate effectively with your internal customers and your organization's management, in terms they understand.

It will come as no surprise that we have expertise in producing and implementing capacity management processes or that athene®, along with our capture packs, provides everything you need to successfully capacity manage your cloud environment.

Visit our website

Rich Fronheiser
Chief Marketing Officer