September 25, 2012

    If you're at this level, you probably...

    • Compile workload information across tiers to analyze and report on services;
    • Have established a dialogue with the business, trying to anticipate changes; and
    • Use analytical modeling to predict the outcome of those scenarios.

    However, you also probably...

    • Are not accustomed to reporting IT results in business productivity or financial terms.

    The Service level is a continuation of the Proactive level, but with a stronger focus onworkloads representing services. The view is extended to cover the full spectrum ofworkloads that make up a particular service, from the end user to the backend systems.By automatically gathering the information needed from each of the components thatcomprise the service, one can detect, prioritize and execute those actions that willimprove end user experience.

    To achieve this, simple trending is not enough to predict future needs. When lookingat the complex environment needed to deliver a service, it is necessary to have moreadvanced tools that predict the effects of future business changes.Analytical modeling offers a simple yet powerful way to address different scenarios.Based on the empirical data collected during the monitoring of systems, models of thesystems are created. These models can then be used to accurately predict the impactof growth, changes to the infrastructure, migration of workloads, etc.

    Reaching this level takes more than a focus on technology. You alsoneed to establish processes for exchanging information. To identifyand verify prediction scenarios, there must be a two-waycommunication between the business and IT. If the business wants IT to provide acertain level of service without excessive over-provisioning, it needs to supply IT withgrowth projections and business plans. On the other hand, to demonstrate the valueof the information received, IT needs to share cost-benefit analyses of this planningwith the business. Building this mutual trust is integral to success.

    At this level, since IT knows the characteristics and importance of different services,they can start to optimize the usage of them by implementing chargeback mechanismswhere different parties pay for the actual use of resources. This will yield not only afair distribution of cost, but also a way for IT to influence the usage patterns. Offeringa discount during low activity hours might smooth out the peaks and troughs oftenseen in a data center.

    See where your organization falls in the TeamQuest Capacity Management Maturity Model.