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The Cloud and Capacity Planning Strategies

darts resized 600Capacity planning has always been an issue in IT. As business units or particular app groups see an increase in demand for capacity, IT has to be able to respond. Cloud computing adds a whole new set of factors to the game – not the least of which is that some in the organization may see cloud solutions as a much more attractive and cheaper way to get done what they need to get done. Others will see cloud technologies like virtualization and assume that adding capacity is something that can be done easily and with no cost.

So, what does this mean for your organization? How can you make sure and reconcile capacity planning with reliance on the cloud? There are three important steps you need to take, today, to get the issue under control:

1.    Start out with rationing. You need to assert to everyone involved that IT resources are limited. Demand has to be kept under control, and is based on what’s available. Rationing is a difficult process, and one that isn’t easy to implement. App groups might be required to justify their resource access. Operations will probably need to evaluate and approve requests. Just because you can have a virtual server running within a few minutes doesn’t mean you can provide a limitless number of such servers.

2.    Consider offering mixed deployment options. In some cases, it will make sense to offer internal as well as external cloud hosting. This then lets you offer specific pricing transparency to the app groups. The app groups can then decide whether the internal cloud – with its higher cost – is necessary and acceptable, or whether they can live with an external provider who offers less in the way of service. This puts capacity choices in the hands of the users, and provides a means to pay for increased capacity needs.

3.    Implement chargeback rates. This is still somewhat controversial in cloud computing, but it is undeniably an effective rationing method. Demonstrating pricing and showing that chargebacks can be competitive with external competitors can create a situation in which app groups not only think through capacity requests thoroughly, but also recognize the true nature of their requests.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.