It’s a given that cloud computing is dramatically changing the way organizations deliver IT services. So, how does this impact capacity management? How do you achieve that delicate balance between utilizing capacity efficiently and delivering cost-effective, higher-quality services? You need to take a holistic approach and become more business aware. Here are six steps to consider that will help you maintain your agreed-upon performance levels without buying more equipment than you need:

Step 1: Move from a Narrow and Reactive Perspective to a Broad and Continuous View

Broaden your capacity planning focus from mission-critical systems to include the entire IT infrastructure. This requires knowing how much total capacity is out there and how it is being used.

Step 2: Focus on a Business Service Orientation

It’s important to manage capacity from a business service perspective, which requires understanding the relationship of capacity to business requirements. Your approach should encompass all the devices and the application layers that make up each service. You need to expand the reach of analytics and reporting from technology metrics to business metrics. Reporting in the cloud environment should link IT resources to measurable business data, such as the costs and KPIs of the business.

Step 3: Move from Manual to Automatic

Business-service-oriented capacity management requires an automated approach that encompasses data gathering, translation, and reporting in business terms.

Step 4: Transition from Siloed Processes to Integrated, Shared Processes

Focus on integrated processes that are extended to and shared by other IT groups, such as application developers and database administrators. This enables you to leverage the expertise of capacity planners and capacity planning as a shared responsibility.

Step 5: Move from Trial and Error to Predictive Analytics

Most IT organizations are moving toward the cloud environment incrementally by migrating physical systems to virtual machines and by determining the most effective placement of virtual workloads in the cloud. Analysis and “what-if” modeling tools let you preview various virtual/physical configurations and combinations before deploying them in production. Predictive analysis of workload trends helps to ensure that needed capacity will be available in the future.

Step 6: Transition from Separation to Integration

Effective management of the cloud environment requires integrating capacity management tools and processes with other Business Service Management (BSM) tools and processes. BSM is a comprehensive approach and unified platform that helps IT organizations cut cost, reduce risk, and drive business profit. Integration provides broad visibility into the physical and virtual resources in your data center as well as insight into how they are being used.


For more information on this topic, be sure to read this article by Fabio Violante, senior director of product development and member of the CTO Office at BMC Software, Achieving Business-Aware Capacity Management in the Cloud: Six Steps to Success.