Buyers Guide: Capacity Planning Tool Checklist

    Capacity Planning Tool Checklist

    What makes a good capacity planning tool? Any advanced method of capacity should take a number of complex factors into account, and we’ve summarized a few of the most important ones here in our capacity planning tool checklist.

    Each technology group is evaluated across six fundamental factors, with a (+) indicating a positive score and a (-) indicating a negative one. Let’s take a look at each factor, why they’re so important, and what distinguishes a positive score from a negative one.

    • Time it takes to use: This is a fairly self-explanatory factor that’s nonetheless an important one. After all, it doesn’t matter how accurate your prediction for tomorrow will be if it takes all day to make it. Performance monitoring doesn’t involve making future predictions, and thus doesn’t even qualify for this and several other factors. The other technology groups are fairly quick, with the exception of simulation modeling, which is slow and resource-intensive, and should therefore be used sparingly in the planning process.
    • Capacity planning accuracy: This refers to how accurate the predictions given to you by your technology are. Tools like trending tend to give imprecise forecasts, and the planners using them usually make conservative estimates to avoid bottlenecks and downtime. This results over-provisioning, overspending, and a bloated, inefficient IT budget.
    • Automated capacity planning: Even the most skilled IT professionals make mistakes sometimes, especially when it comes to manual data entry. Automated capacity planning takes care of all that by automatically running the numbers so that professionals can stick to the work they do best: analyzing complex sets of data and converting it into actionable insights.
    • Scalability: As IT infrastructures get larger and more complicated, this factor is especially important. A tool that can’t oversee hundreds of servers at a time simply isn’t comprehensive enough to effective balance IT risk and health for large companies that rely on many environments. A truly useful tool will be able to monitor and make predictions about thousands of servers at once.
    • Answers: Even if your planning tool gives you an accurate prediction of future workload demands, it can be difficult to know how to prepare for them. Performance monitoring and trending just give you raw data -- it’s up to you to figure out how to respond to it. Additive resource allocation might help identify servers that are underutilized and could be potential candidates for consolidation, but it’s an imprecise method that can’t give definitive answers about workload distribution. Truly advanced software will give you real, easy to understand solutions for potential problems in the near and distant future.
    • Simplified, comprehensive reporting: Only TeamQuest software can give you a holistic view of your entire IT infrastructure that makes accurate predictions, offers valuable solutions, and can easily be communicated to business leaders. A tool that’s both comprehensive and simplified will not only drastically improve the quality of your online service, but the standing of IT within your organization.