How to Manage Capacity in Virtualized Environments - Page 2

Why capacity management is important

Whether your data center environment is physical, virtual or a hybrid, capacity management is an increasingly critical function in any IT organization today. Many companies are looking to implement a formalized capacity management model for three reasons:

1. Cost savings

It is very difficult to get budget approvals, and it is tedious to wait for long purchasing cycles of new hardware or infrastructure. In the past, once IT departments got a budget, they avoided these administrative headaches by pre- or over-purchasing hardware.

Often this hardware is not used until one month, one year or longer after it's purchased. This hardware and its resources sit idle at an expense. But with the right capacity management tools and processes in place, you can rationalize any purchase and guarantee that any new hardware will be deployed and utilized immediately.

2. Service availability

IT departments need to provide consistent, quality service to their business owners. This is difficult when capacity demands are variable and fluctuate accordingly. Without proper capacity management, IT risks lower service availability and customer satisfaction. This is very costly and may impact your business viability-especially if you're talking about mission-critical, externally-facing applications.

3. Business planning

Like business owners, IT departments are required to have short-term and long-term plans. Creating this plan requires understanding historical capacity utilization and forecasting future capacity needs. Unless this is done systematically, you will lack the historical perspective and insight to accurately forecast future needs, especially in a dynamic virtual environment.

If capacity management is not done right, or not done at all, supply ends up out of balance with demand, resulting in wasted or insufficient resources. Wasted resources, whether purchased too soon or in excessive quantities, can be very costly. However, having insufficient resources is even worse, as this can impact how the business performs and is perceived.