Introduction to Capacity Planner

Overview

When your business expands or updates its IT infrastructure, you need to be able to predict the changes and challenges to come. Instead of being purely reactive when an issue emerges, or over-provisioning at great cost, Capacity Planner allows you to use advanced statistical techniques and scenario modelling to plan for these changes.

Capacity Planner gives you a complete view of what is happening across your server compute — we call this the Baseline. It highlights opportunities to improve, and the “what if?” simulation functionality lets you build up a timeline of tactical actions to successfully align your IT with your business need.

With powerful predictive capabilities and accurate visibility of potential future capacity events, you can use Capacity Planner to plan pro-actively and optimise your IT infrastructure.

As part of your day-to-day operations Capacity Planner can extrapolate growth and behavioural trends in your existing data and predict potential capacity issues in advance, so that you can take action.

By correlating application and infrastructure data, Capacity Planner can be used to forecast the impact of an increase in business demand on key applications and determine the resources required to support the change.

When you create scenario reports, they can be a perfect reading for customers and stakeholders alike to show the real benefits, the real costs, and the real savings that can be realised when the upgrades that you propose in your reports are implemented.

The following diagram depicts the simplified visualisation of how data is sent to Capacity Planner.

Features

The most prominent features of Capacity Planner are:

  • Capacity planning as a service
    • SaaS means rapid time to value, with minimal effort.
    • Minimises need for analytics skills in-house.
  • Big data approach
    • Capacity Planner deals with large scale data volume and variety.
    • Capacity Planner uses data from existing tools.
  • Powerful predictive analytics engine
    • Recommends optimisations.
    • Provides warnings of future problems.
    • Identifies risk to business services.
  • Forward Thinking scenario modelling capability
    • Minimises risks associated with change.
    • Minimises costs to accomplish transformations.

Operational phases

Capacity Planner addresses a wide number of use cases across various operational and transformational phases of IT infrastructure management. Below is a general list of these phases with an overview of how Capacity Planner can help address them.

  • Planning phase — when your business is planning for change, Capacity Planner helps you ensure that enough physical and virtual server and storage capacity is available to meet the new demands of the IT infrastructure.
  • Running phase — as part of your day-to-day operations, Capacity Planner can extrapolate growth and behavioural trends in your existing data and predict potential capacity issues in advance, so that you can take action.
  • Optimisation phaseCapacity Planner can help you to continually improve and optimise your infrastructure, whether you’re looking to reduce your server estate, make best use of the infrastructure you have available, or evaluate outsourcing options for infrastructure on demand through cloud services.

For more information on specific use cases and how they can be addressed, see Use Case Scenarios.

Getting started

Whatever the use case you are addressing, Capacity Planner follows a simple four-step workflow:

  1. Data collection and input — to help Capacity Planner create an accurate model, you must provide the following information:
    1. Physical server inventory and configuration.
    2. Virtual server inventory and configuration.
    3. Data on the utilisation of each server and virtual machine.
  2. Generate a Baseline View — a statistical demand view of your infrastructure extrapolating growth trends and allowing you to see your headroom for growth. Visualize your data in the form of a sunburst chart, with each element representing a part of your current infrastructure. If required, reports can be generated to reflect your infrastructure and resource utilisation.
    For more information, see Create a Baseline View.
  3. Create a Forward Thinking scenario — simulate changes to your Baseline View data and instantly see the outcomes. Schedule and plan different stages of a scenario so that you can see the impact of changes over an extended period of time.
    For more information, see Forward Thinking Overview.
  4. Plan for action — export your scenario in an easy-to-share report format that you can use to support investment decisions and communication with other stakeholders across the business.
    For more information, see Scenario Reports.

For more information on how to start working with Capacity Planner, see Quickstart Guide.