Trends Report

Capacity Management In A Virtual World

Transforming The Traditional Process To Serve Virtualization Imperatives

April 17th, 2009
With contributors:
Christopher Andrews , Edward Radcliffe

Summary

Traditional capacity planning is seen as an exercise in forecasting the alignment of hardware resources to enterprise activity growth. Cheap systems meant that this was eventually considered to have little value: Why use scarce and expensive intellectual resources when acquiring extra hardware is a viable economic alternative? Several factors are now conspiring to derail this approach: 1) Today's enterprise business technology sees service performance as being the key to end user productivity; 2) preventing performance problems rather than reacting to them saves IT resources and business costs; 3) application complexity combined with new technologies such as virtualization does not guarantee that hardware is always the right solution; and 4) even if the capital investment in hardware is less, the cost of administration, power, and floor space imposes a limit on hardware sprawl. For all of these reasons, we see an improved version of the capacity management process making a strong comeback in data centers.

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