Buyers Guide: Capacity Planning Tool Checklist

    What makes a good capacity planning tool?

    Good capacity planning tools should account for many complex factors. Which factors matter most will depend on your business needs.

    But, no matter what your organization needs most, there are six major factors to consider when choosing a capacity planning tool. 

     

    Use the capacity planning checklist.

     

    Here, we’ve evaluated six different types of capacity planning tools:

    1. Performance monitoring
    2. Trending
    3. Additive resource allocation
    4. Simulation modeling
    5. Analytics model (without automation)
    6. Automated analytic modeling (like with TeamQuest Predictor)

    Each of these types of tools is evaluated across six fundamental factors.

    1. Time it takes to use
    2. Capacity planning accuracy
    3. Automated capacity planning
    4. Scalability
    5. Answers
    6. Simplified comprehensive reporting

    A (+) indicates a positive score. And a (-) indicates a negative score.

    Which Capacity Planning Tool is the Best?

    Go deeper into each factor to determine which factor matters most to you. You’ll find out what that factor is so important. And you’ll learn what sets a positive score apart from a negative score.

    1. Time It Takes to Use

    This is fairly self-explanatory—but nevertheless important. After all, it doesn’t matter how accurate your prediction for tomorrow is if it will take all of today to make.

    A performance monitoring tool doesn’t allow you to make future predictions. So it doesn’t even qualify for this factor.

    Simulation modeling is time- and resource-intensive. So, it should be used sparingly in the capacity planning process.

    The other four types—trending, additive resource allocation, analytic modeling (without automation), and automated analytic modeling)—are quick to use.

    So, if time it takes to use matters most to your organization, steer clear of performance monitoring and simulation modeling.

    2. Capacity Planning Accuracy

    Capacity planning means nothing if it isn’t accurate.

    Trending tools give imprecise forecasts. Capacity planners typically use trending tools only for conservative estimates to avoid bottlenecks and downtime. But that results in overprovisioning and overspending—which leads to a bloated, inefficient IT budget.

    Additive resource allocation tools tend to lack in accuracy as well. And performance monitoring tools , as mentioned above, can’t even do capacity planning.

    The other three types—simulation modeling, analytic modeling (without automation), and automated analytic modeling—excel in accuracy. So, any of these three would make a smart choice if capacity planning accuracy matters to you.

    3. Automated Capacity Planning

    Even the most skilled IT professionals make mistakes sometimes. This especially true when it comes to manual data entry.

    Automated capacity planning takes care of all that. Tools that excel in automated capacity planning automatically run the numbers. That way, IT professionals can stick to the work they do best—analyzing complex sets of data and converting data into actionable insights.

    Performance monitoring tools can’t do capacity planning—much less automated capacity planning. Simulation modeling tools tend to be pretty manual. So do analytic modeling tools.

    If you’re looking for a tool that can do automated capacity planning, you’d be smart to choose trending, additive resource allocation, or automated analytic modeling.

    4. Scalability

    As IT infrastructure gets larger and more complicated, scalability is of the utmost importance. A tool that can’t oversee hundreds of servers at a time just won’t cut it for large companies.

    A scalable tool needs to be able to monitor and make predictions about thousands of servers at once.

    Simulation modeling and analytic modeling (without automation) tools can only handle tens of servers at a time. If you’re at a large organization, those tools just won’t do.

    Performance monitoring, trending, additive resource allocation, and automated analytic modeling tools will be much more effective for large organizations.

    5. Answers

    Even if you get an accurate prediction of future workload demands, it can be difficult to know how to prepare for them.

    Performance monitoring and trending tools only give you raw data. It’s up to you to figure out how to respond to it. So, if you’re looking for fast answers, it isn’t a good idea to place your trust in these.

    Additive resource allocation tools might help you identify servers that are underutilized and that could be candidates for consolidation. But these tools use imprecise methods. So you don’t get definitive answers about workload distribution. It’s better than performance monitoring or trending tools at giving answers. It’s just not your best option.

    Tools like simulation modeling, analytic modeling (without automation), and automated analytic modeling will give you real, easy-to-understand answers. These tools are the best way to solve potential problems in the near and distant future.

    6. Simplified Comprehensive Reporting

    Easy yet thorough capacity reporting is a must if you need to communicate to business leaders.

    Unfortunately, five out of six types of capacity tools fail to provide this.

    Only automated analytic modeling gives you the holistic view of your entire infrastructure that:

    • Makes accurate predictions
    • Offers valuable solutions
    • Communicates IT metrics in business terms

    If this factor matters most, you ought to choose an automated analytic modeling tool.

    Choose the Right Capacity Planning Tool

    Automated analytic modeling tools are the only ones that excel in all six criteria. If you’re looking to guarantee you’re using the right capacity planning tool, you should choose one of these.

    TeamQuest capacity planning solutions fall into the automated analytic modeling category.

    For instance, with TeamQuest Predictor, you can:

    • Get fast, accurate results across thousands of servers
    • Use queuing network theory to automate capacity planning
    • Find answers instantly
    • Present IT results to business leaders in terms they can understand

    Learn more