April 24, 2012
    Vice President and Principal Analyst J.P. Garbani of Forrester Research delivered an excellent presentation on the changes that traditional capacity management and planning processes need to implement in order to stay current with virtualization, private, and public could deployment platforms. Taking full advantage of these computing models requires decision support: performance and costs are two elements of the decision. With the emergence of these new platforms, some thought capacity management would become obsolete, but the reality is that these platforms make it even more relevant than before.

    More than ever, we need to know where things are. Applications must be easily moveable, application architecture must change, and financial information must be available to drive technology choices. Capacity planning becomes a necessity. Performance and capacity management must be redefined.

    Most of the existing capacity planning and management processes are component-oriented (network, storage, compute) and run in isolation. Virtual and cloud technologies require a holistic approach that is business-service-oriented, not component limited. The process is aimed at:

    1. Placement of virtual and physical resources

    2. The resolution of conflicts between virtualized applications running on the same host

    3. The consideration and integration of power, cooling, and floor plans

    4. The creation of service-oriented capacity plans, which will let the organization determine the best potential platform for the deployment of new and existing services

    Garbani's recommendations include:

    1. Reinforce and capitalize on I&O’s capacity planning skills at the technology level.

      1. Tool expertise needed to provide the objective data used in capacity planning

    2. Capitalize on service management solutions.

      1. Service catalogs, dependency discovery tools, and configuration management systems are critical elements.

    3. Place more focus on financial management.

      1. The cost-value ratio is what counts. Without the ability to evaluate and simulate financial scenarios, capacity planning is a mere exercise in technology forecasting, not a decision support process.

    4. Take advantage of roles outside of IT and their unique skill sets.

      1. There are roles outside IT that are used in cost-value analysis and global production requirements analysis.

    For more information, check out the Forrester Research article, I&O'S New Capacity Planning Organization.