April 12, 2011

    *This post was written by Drew Robb.

    Day One of TeamQuest Technology Summit (TTS) kicked off today with two dominant themes; the changing role of capacity planning; and how the subject becomes more valuable than ever in today's virtualization, cloud computing world. But that doesn't mean capacity planning will necessarily grow in importance, according to Cameron Haight, an analyst at Gartner Inc. His presentation, "Capacity Planning is Dead: Long Live Capacity Planning," covered a false perception in the business that the cloud does away with the need for the profession. He urged the audience to do a better job of communicating their value within the enterprise. He even suggested that a new name was required that better described that evolving role. Capacity planners, for instance, could be seen as being responsible for the health of the enterprise, as the people who validate cloud SLAs, compliance with corporate edicts, manage risk and verify the very viability of the cloud when all factors are taken into account. To emphasize the need for capacity management in the virtual world, he cited a recent survey of ESX Server utilization rates where they averaged less than 40 percent. That highlights an inability to model and plan accurately in those organizations that are heavily implementing virtualized infrastructures. The problem is that many in the industry are stuck in mainframe mindsets from 30 years ago. There is a need to evolve or the field may become less relevant. Part of this, said Haight, is dropping the prevalent MIPS-laden vocabulary and learning the language of the business. Scott Adams, director of Product Management at TeamQuest, followed up with an explanation of how TeamQuest is evolving with the times to provide greater functionality in terms of virtualized and cloud-based infrastructures. Up the line, he said, real-time automation of capacity and performance management was a long-term goal. Rich Rodgers, executive director of system integration, engineering and finance at Verizon Wireless, laid out how the company uses TeamQuest on a daily basis to drive down costs. He gave attendees an informative example concerning the company's iPhone launch earlier this year, and how TeamQuest modeling assisted in the elimination of delays and bottlenecks. As it was a winter launch, the telecom giant offered customers a chance to pre-order online. This cut down on long lines at retail outlets. When it opened its online portal for those customers at 3 a.m. a few days before the official launch, it received more orders in two hours than in any single day in Verizon Wireless history. Good planning of IT resources made sure that there were no crashes or major flubs on launch day.