This week I had the pleasure of visiting some of the biggest & leading utility and technology companies in France and Spain. Here are some of my personal observations based on these conversations. ITIL is finally becoming the discipline I hoped for years past…a new trend - really - why? Peeling the layers with these seasoned IT professionals – it quickly was apparent that ITIL Capacity Management provides a detailed level analysis or profile of existing IT infrastructure resource performance and utilization that can be used to develop capacity plans which essentially function as a balancing act of Cost against Capacity, and Supply against Demand. Which is seen as the building blocks as many customers are moving aggressively to cloud computing.
One of the key highlights of my discussions with customers is that – as customers are migrating to private clouds to provide an on-demand computing model they are starting to become more and more disciplined with how Capacity Management interfaces with hardware and software technology planning, financial planning, and budget functions. As most of us understand, Cloud computing implementations have both common attributes and individual attributes that distinguish one cloud from another. The IT/ capacity management teams should be aware of these differences and incorporate these differences into their operations. The sub-processes of ITIL capacity management easily align to the cloud computing models that are emerging.
The reasons (and benefits) why these companies are looking at ITIL based Capacity Management to navigate their cloud is as follows:
· Matching the capacity to business need. Unused computing power & under-utilized resources are therefore not required to be maintained and cost savings result, ultimately existing Capacity is optimized to supply the most utilized service and/ or applications resulting in higher SLA’s.
· The ITIL Capacity Management process interfaces into the Change Advisory Board (CAB) assisting to assess the impact of Changes upon existing Capacity, thus reducing the risk of Capacity Problems caused by Changes
· Capacity management translates into planned procurement and therefore results in more optimized buying practices
· Existing service and application risks are minimized through the managing of resources and service performance effectively
· The reduction or elimination of the number of urgent Changes required to increase Capacity based on on-demand computing models can be achieved through effective Capacity planning & management
Based on these observations – I implore more and more IT experts start to thinking about Cloud (both public & private) in a manner which addresses Capacity management as a life-cycle discipline inside-out which addresses many of the challenges which are inherently native to on-demand computing models.