Capacity Management is responsible for ensuring that the Capacity of the IT Infrastructure matches the evolving demands of the business in the most cost-effective and timely manner. The process encompasses:
Figure 1 Capacity Management – a balancing act
Why Capacity Management?
Capacity Management is often proclaimed as old-fashioned, mainframe-oriented discipline. IT Services Managers in charge of distributed computing facilities have argued that Capacity Management takes more time and effort, and the, therefore, cost than it is worth and that it would be better to pay for upgrades as required. IT organisations with this view tend to exhibit the following symptoms:
Managing the capacity of large networks of distributed equipment is more complex than in the ‘good old days’ of the mainframe and for all thriving organisations, the financial investment in IT is increasing. Therefore it makes even more sense to plan for growth. While the cost of the upgrade to a compone in a mainframe environment, there are often many more components in the distributed environment that need to be upgraded. Also, there could now be economies of scale, because of the cost per individual component could be reduced when many components need to be purchased. So Capacity Management should have input into the process to ensure that the best deals with suppliers are negotiated.
A corporate Capacity Management process ensures that the entire organisations Capacity requirements are catered for. The cost of upgrading all the desktop equipment in an organisation could easily exceed the cost of a mainframe upgrade. Capacity Management should have responsibility for the ‘refresh policy’ ensuring that desktop equipment has sufficient Capacity to run the applications that the business requires for the foreseeable future.