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Top 10 Myths of Performance Management and Capacity Planning – Part 2

Performance Management is the computer-assisted control of all aspects of the performance of a computer system. Along with other functions, such as resource management, event management and security management, it forms a key part of System Management.

Performance Management can provide ROI to your organization, however there are many misconceptions that can hinder your efforts. In this two part series, we’ll debunk several popular myths about Performance Management and Capacity Planning. Here’s part one in case you missed the first five myths.

Myths and Reality

MYTH 6: Management reporting on a regular basis takes up too much time

REALITY: With the right tools, this can be automated

The need to provide regular management reports increases with business criticality of systems. Rather than issue piles of paper, or stick colored plots on the wall, most sites now want automated dynamic reports showing the status of any node using a browser.

MYTH 7: Analysis and interpretation of performance reports is too complex

REALITY: Automatic advice and exception reporting makes the data easy to understand

The growth of distributed systems with large numbers of nodes requires that management reports are exception-based and can also incorporate some intelligent interpretation automatically.

Capacity management Maturity - A Survey of IT Professionals, performance management

MYTH 8: Money is wasted on redundant or irrelevant equipment

REALITY: Excessive spending remains undetected until measured by Capacity Planning

The solution lies in establishing and maintaining a well-controlled and timely procurement plan to the benefit of the enterprise. The alternative is the problem of trying to resolve performance panics and shorten procurement cycles.

MYTH 9: Network Capacity Plans need too much time to define traffic and workloads

REALITY: Networks are readily incremented and utilization can be assessed by bandwidth

The optimal solution lies in automatic collection of a standard set of performance data (not yet defined) by the network manager for input to new tools and effective planning of networks. Network Capacity Planning tools model the behavior of a network to predict the delay in response time due to the network. Network Capacity Planning has traditionally been a discipline that requires significant effort to collect traffic statistics and relate it to workloads. Typical utilizations on networks were low when most communications were point-to-point and in batches. The emergence of e-commerce, electronic mail, image processing, the increased distribution of computers and the introduction of graphical user interfaces (all of which increase traffic), have all led to concerns about network saturation. The major cost of implementing network planning tools lies in the expertise required to use them and the time required to characterize the workload traffic. So far, this has been seen only worthwhile for major networks where formal Service Level Agreements exist. However, increasing network loadings and the close integration of networks and processing nodes, for example in client/server systems, may force a reappraisal of attitudes. A new generation of network management tools and planning tools that integrate networks and computers in a single model may be required. Although the incremental cost of upgrading networks may be less than that for mainframes and the procurement cycle shorter, the inter-dependence of networks and open systems will lead to greater adoption of such packages.

MYTH 10: Service Level Agreements need too much effort to establish and track

REALITY: SLAs are only agreed to when the service provider knows he’s safe

Service quality has several dimensions, including functionality, ease of use, performance availability and reliability. Traditionally IT managers have concentrated on functionality, usability and reliability and have assumed that performance is something that the technicians will put right once they have made the system work. The results of this approach are clear from a quick scan of the computer press: applications have been delayed or abandoned because they couldn’t be made to perform, and computers and networks have required unscheduled upgrades to handle their work. Although this policy may have sufficed when IT systems were relatively simple, it is fraught with danger as systems have grown significantly in size, complexity and criticality. The importance of defining and managing service levels effectively is now widely recognized, especially in terms of e-commerce.

Often when these myths are believed to be true, businesses need to overcome unnecessary obstacles to then establish the need for a continuous Performance Management and Capacity Planning model. Taking the time to develop a thoughtful approach to establishing your model will ultimately give you a continuous update on the understanding of your system, reliable and automatic reporting, and help control spending.

Looking for more? Download our eBook to discover what defines a mature capacity management process and key takeaways to become best in class.

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