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Capacity Planning for the Cloud

When it comes to issues of capacity planning, many IT groups find themselves playing a guessing game

When it comes to issues of capacity planning, many IT groups find themselves playing a guessing game. You can look at what you have today and try to extrapolate where you’ll be in six months or a year, but the fact is you just don’t have all of the necessary data. You can’t predict what various business units will decide to do next, and how that will impact your resources.

Cloud computing solutions have mitigated the problem to some degree. They offer the kinds of flexibility and scalability your organization needs. Yet, you still need to be able to know how much you’re going to use in terms of cloud resources. You still need to do capacity management and planning.

Here are some steps you can take to get your capacity planning in line with your cloud services:

  • Offer mixed deployments. Sometimes, it’s worth implementing a solution that proposes both internal and external solutions. What this does, in part, is allow you to offer pricing transparency to the application groups. Those business units can then make the decision between whether an internal cloud (and the higher cost that goes with it) is the right option, or whether they are willing to use a provider that may offer less in the way of service. Not only does this allow IT to be able to plan for capacity and pay for it, it puts the capacity choices where it should be – in the hands of the business units.
  • Implement rationing. Your organization needs to understand that IT resources are not unlimited. You need to find ways to keep demand in check. Demand has to be relative to what’s actually available. Rationing isn’t usually an easy policy to implement, and many organizations will push back. Ideally, however, an application group should have to justify their access to resources. Just because it is possible to get a new virtual server online within a matter of minutes does not mean that you can implement an infinite number of such servers.
  • Consider chargeback. Chargeback is controversial in most IT departments, but it’s undeniably effective in those instances where it’s implemented. Being able to demonstrate cost shows your business units that capacity really does require resources, and it put  internal solutions into perspective with external ones.

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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.