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Is Reporting the Weak Link in Your Capacity Management Process?

Reporting is a cornerstone of the performance and capacity management process, especially when it identifies problems before they happen. Enterprise datacenters continue to evolve with new technology and capabilities. External cloud providers enable functionality to be moved outside of datacenters. More components are tied together by applications across different infrastructure environments than ever before. Managing capacity and performance for all these environments is a difficult task, and it is sometimes moved to a low priority, neglected, or not done at all.

Alongside Computer Measurement Group, Syncsort’s Dale Feiste presented a webcast titled, “Is Reporting the Weak Link in Your Capacity Management Process.” Feiste has over twenty years of experience in Capacity Management, from usage to implementation. In this webcast he covers:

  • Proactive Reporting
  • Evolving Datacenters
  • Return on Investment
  • Visibility and Management Support
  • Report Types and Presentation Style

Proactive vs. Reactive Reporting

Reactive reporting only requires action once an issue has occurred. Proactive on the other hand, anticipates problems so that IT professionals can take action when necessary. This requires IT to understand limitations of linear regression when trending and forecasting data. They must be sure to account for all options when evaluating variability and include detail reporting for critical resources.

Evolving Datacenters

In a traditional capacity plan, IT would make adjustments to CPU memory periodically or as needed. In today’s world there are more tools which can alleviate some of the workload but can also lead to infrastructure sprawl and unnecessary overhead. When adapting to the advancing world, some of the questions an organization must ask itself are:

  • How much of it is being used efficiently?
  • How do you define efficient, and does it apply uniformly?
  • Which systems will run out of capacity
  • What visibility is required to make it run efficiently?

Return on Investment

It’s always important to show ROI on any project. In the scenario of the capacity management process it can lead to the implementation of a new plan or improving a plan that’s currently in place. Some great indicators to include in ROI reporting are:

  • Resource utilizations
  • Growth in resource utilizations
  • Count of hardware/software assets
  • Cost of hardware/software assets
  • Maintenance cost for hardware
  • Capacity related incidents
  • Average cost of incidents
  • Risk of capacity related incidents
  • Capacity related labor costs
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Visibility and Management Support

Keeping management involved is important in the capacity management process. Ways to do this include capacity budgeting and asset management, mandatory resource request processes, determining ownership, and handling the necessary reporting to keep them informed. Once the lines of communication are open, the reporting can flow freely.

Report Types and Presentation Styles

Choosing the right chart type can enhance your reports. A decision must be made on what you’d like to show. Once that part is done the capacity management team can fill it with the relevant information for different teams that they may be reporting to. Here’s a sample layout of a written report if a chart/graph is not the style of reporting you’re looking for:

  1. Introduction
  2. Assumptions made
  3. Management summary
  4. Business scenarios
  5. Service summary
  6. Resource summary
  7. Options for service improvement
  8. Cost model
  9. Recommendations

Like many software solutions, automation is the key to managing capacity and performance for complex environments. Implementing an effective reporting process requires a good understanding of who the customers will be and what they need.

For a more in depth look, watch the webcast on-demand!

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