Use Case Scenarios

Understand current utilisation

Description

Across increasingly complex and heterogeneous IT environments it is difficult to obtain a single picture of the server and storage utilisation. Capacity Planner displays a single visualisation, showing the utilisation from multiple hardware platforms running multiple virtualisation technologies.

Solution

You can quickly identify the primary constraints across your IT environment, where resources are such that capacity is limited or identify those components that are underutilised. You can also identify those VMs in the environment that generate the most significant CPU, memory, IO, or storage demand.

To understand the current utilisation of your IT infrastructure you need to perform the following actions in Capacity Planner:

  1. Inspect the Baseline View — open the Baseline View and inspect the data. You can also edit and save a new Baseline View to suit the uploaded data, if required.
    For more information, see Interact with the Sunburst.
  2. Review the host colours — each host on the sunburst is colour-coded to indicate how close it is to a capacity constraint. A host with little or no headroom available appears red. A host with lots of headroom appears blue. By looking at the colours, you can better understand the current capacity of your workloads.
    For more information, see Sunburst Colours.
  3. View the host details — right-click a host and select Headroom. The panel shows more detailed information about the host and its current capacity, as well as the statistical measures for each metric used in headroom calculations. It also presents the available space for additional VMs using the currently selected reference workload.
    For more information, see Headroom.
  4. View raw time series or box plot representations of statistical summaries — open the Headroom window with options of each metric that allow you to see the time series or check the box plot charts that show statistical summaries details of memory, CPU, and Disk IO usage of both the host and its VMs. You can also view daily summary box plots and from each daily summary, you can click through to the raw time series for that day.
    For more information, see Headroom.

Modelling a physical to virtual migration

Description

Your organisation has over 300 physical servers running Windows and Linux, and a strategy for migrating these onto their growing VMWare estate. You would like to know how much additional capacity (new hardware) you need to achieve this, and how each VM should be sized to accommodate each physical server's equivalent workload.

Solution

You can create a scenario to model the transfer of the physical servers onto the VMware estate as equivalent workloads. You can then adjust the details, including the sizing of the VMs, and generate a scenario report to summarise these for use in developing the organisation's strategy.

To simulate migrating physical servers or workloads to virtual servers you need to perform the following actions in Capacity Planner:

  1. Create a new Forward Thinking scenario from a selected Baseline View.
    For more information, see Scenarios.
  2. Locate the physical servers or workloads — these are shown as white segments in the sunburst with one or more workloads. For example, a physical server running two applications may have separate workload modelled for each application.
  3. Transfer the physical server or workload to the target host, cluster, or data centre — do this by dragging the workloads across the sunburst. You are then prompted if physical servers should be converted to virtual machines. Once you confirm the conversion, new virtual machines are shown in the target area representing the physical servers.
  4. Observe the resulting operations — inspect the operations list or timeline to see the result of the workload migrations performed. If any operations have resulted in overcommit, inspect the overcommitted hosts for more details.
    For more information, see Overcommitment.
  5. View the details of the migration — look at the details of the physical server migrations of the VMs and files in either the operations list or timeline. This contains details of the recommended core count for the physical machines when they are virtualised.
    For more information, see Operations.
  6. Generate a scenario report — create a new report from the scenario to export the operations in a PDF format.
    For more information, see Scenario Reports.

Hardware refresh

Description

Your organisation has some ageing Wintel servers that are now over 4 years old, deprecated, and running out of support. You would like to run a decommissioning programme to replace this hardware but you do not know what and how much hardware to invest in.

Solution

Capacity Planner allows you to upload host templates for any new hardware into a scenario. You can then model the migration of the existing VMs onto the new hosts created from these templates, and the decommissioning of the deprecated servers. You can then observe the effect of the migrations on the scenario, including any potential overcommitment where insufficient resources are available to support the workloads.

To simulate refreshing your hardware infrastructure you need to perform the following actions in Capacity Planner:

  1. Inspect the Baseline View — open the Baseline View and inspect the data. You can also edit and save a new Baseline View to suit the uploaded data, if required.
    For more information, see Interact with the Sunburst.
  2. Create new host templates — using the Templates panel, add new host templates for the new hardware that you wish to add.
    For more information, see Templates.
  3. Check the host templates — check that the new host templates are as you expect by viewing the details from the Templates panel.
    For more information, see Templates.
  4. Add new hosts using the host templates — drag the host template onto the sunburst from the templates panel.
    For more information, see Templates.
  5. Move workloads to the new hosts — move the workloads currently running on the deprecated servers to the new hosts by dragging them on the sunburst.
  6. Observe the resulting operations — inspect the operations list or timeline to see the result of the workload migrations performed. If any operations have resulted in overcommit, inspect the overcommitted hosts for more details.
    For more information, see Overcommitment.
  7. Remove the old hosts — after you have completed the workload migrations and are satisfied with the result, remove the old or deprecated hosts by removing them from the sunburst.

Data centre migration/consolidation

Description

Your organisation wants to reduce its number of data centres. You would like to know what additional capacity (new hardware) you need to invest in to accommodate the workloads from the data centres your organization is planning to close. Having all this information will help you decide the amount of investment required.

Solution

You can use Capacity Planner to model the workload migration required to implement the data centre closures. You can then produce reports detailing the operations to perform and any additional hardware required.

To model data centre migration, you need to perform the following actions in Capacity Planner:

  1. Create a new Forward Thinking scenario from a selected Baseline View.
    For more information, see Scenarios.
  2. Identify the data centre to be migrated — on the sunburst identify the data centre that you wish to migrate. The data centres are usually shown near the middle of the sunburst.
  3. Move data centres — move the data centre to a target cluster or to another data centre by dragging it on the sunburst. New data centres can be created by dragging hardware into the centre zone of the sunburst and entering data centre name and cluster when prompted. In a virtualised environment, we recommended that you migrate one cluster at a time.
  4. Observe the resulting operations — inspect the operations list or timeline to see the result of the workload migrations performed. If any operations have resulted in overcommit, inspect the overcommitted hosts for more details.
    For more information, see Overcommitment.
  5. Add new hosts using the host templates — drag the host template onto the sunburst from the templates panel.
    For more information, see Templates.
  6. Move workloads to the new hosts — move the workloads currently running on the deprecated servers to the new hosts by dragging them on the sunburst.
  7. Add a data store — if required, add or upgrade your hardware to accommodate any requirements for additional headroom.
  8. Observe the resulting operations again — inspect the operations list or timeline to see the result of the workload migrations performed. If any operations have resulted in overcommit, inspect the watch list for more details. By positioning the operations to introduce new hardware or storage, before a migration operation, you can add further hardware until the overcommit is reduced to zero and all VMs can be accommodated.
    For more information, see Timeline.
  9. Generate a scenario report — create a new report from the scenario to export the operations in a PDF format.
    For more information, see Scenario Reports.

Server consolidation

Description

Following a number of business programs, your organisation finds itself having to look after a large number of different technologies, with each of these technologies requiring specialist support. You now want to simplify your organisation's IT infrastructure by consolidating hardware to one or two core platforms.

Solution

You can use Capacity Planner to model the proposed consolidation options. You can then produce reports detailing the operations required for the proposed consolidations.

To model server consolidation, you need to perform the following actions in Capacity Planner:

  1. Create a new Forward Thinking scenario from a selected Baseline View.
    For more information, see Scenarios.
  2. Identify the data centre and hosts to be consolidated.
  3. Identify and locate hosts that need to be removed.
  4. Add new hosts using the host templates — drag the host template onto the sunburst from the templates panel.
    For more information, see Templates.
  5. Move workloads to the new hosts — move the workloads currently running on the deprecated servers to the new hosts by dragging them on the sunburst.
  6. Observe the resulting operations — inspect the operations list or timeline to see the result of the workload migrations performed. If any operations have resulted in overcommit, inspect the overcommitted hosts for more details.
    For more information, see Overcommitment.
  7. Remove the old hosts — after you have completed the workload migrations and are satisfied with the result, remove the old or deprecated hosts by removing them from the sunburst.
  8. Generate a scenario report — create a new report from the scenario to export the operations in a PDF format.
    For more information, see Scenario Reports.

Hardware comparison

Description

You need to add additional hardware to your organisation's current infrastructure. You have a number of options to choose from and need to evaluate which option is best.

Solution

You can use Capacity Planner to model the impact on the infrastructure of each new hardware option. Each option can be added to a scenario to identify the changes required. Each scenario can then be compared using the scenario reports to inform the hardware selection process.

To model the impact of changes on your infrastructure you need to perform the following actions in Capacity Planner:

  1. Create a new Forward Thinking scenario from a selected Baseline View.
    For more information, see Scenarios.
  2. Create new host templates — using the Templates panel, add new host templates for the new hardware that you wish to add.
    For more information, see Templates.
  3. Move workloads to the new hosts — move the workloads currently running on the deprecated servers to the new hosts by dragging them on the sunburst.
  4. Observe the resulting operations — inspect the operations list or timeline to see the result of the workload migrations performed. If any operations have resulted in overcommit, inspect the overcommitted hosts for more details.
    For more information, see Overcommitment.
  5. Generate a scenario report — create a new report from the scenario to export the operations in a PDF format.
    For more information, see Scenario Reports.
  6. Create a scenario for each hardware option to allow comparison.

Onboarding new customers

Description

Your service provider company is looking to attract a new customer into its premises. You need to demonstrate the hardware running costs to the new potential customer so that the customer has confidence in the solution and the costs.

Solution

You can use Capacity Planner to model the customers data with the proposed managed service. You can then produce reports detailing the operations to provide the target platform and with an appropriate amount of headroom.

To model the data you need to perform the following actions in Capacity Planner.

  1. Create a new Forward Thinking scenario from a selected Baseline View.
    For more information, see Scenarios.
  2. Identify the target platform — on the sunburst, identify the target platform that is to be used for the new customer data.
  3. Create workload templates that represent typical demand profile of the customer — we recommended that you create a small, medium, and large VM configuration. To do this, download an empty workload template configuration file, edit it appropriately, and then upload the workload templates.
    For more information, see Templates.
  4. Duplicate the newly uploaded templates and set appropriate levels of demand — select duplicate from the workload template menu, make sure that Include demand is selected, and then set starting values for each metric. It is recommended that you have low, medium, and high levels of utilisation to show typical variation.
    For more information, see Templates.
  5. Add the new templates to the target cluster — open the Templates panel and drag the new templates onto the sunburst. Add a representative amount to reflect the potential customer environment.
  6. Observe the resulting operations — inspect the operations list or timeline to see the result of the workload migrations performed. If any operations have resulted in overcommit, inspect the overcommitted hosts for more details.
    For more information, see Overcommitment.
  7. Generate a scenario report — create a new report from the scenario to export the operations in a PDF format.
    For more information, see Scenario Reports.

Predict potential future capacity events

Description

By understanding the patterns and trends within collected data, your organisation wants to have the ability to determine if these growth patterns will affect capacity at some point in the future. You want to see the data used to come to these conclusions and understand the servers, data stores, and drives that are affected by growth.

Solution

You can use Capacity Planner to review current and predicted capacity workloads. You can then adjust and plan the requirements for changes to your IT infrastructure.

To help predict future capacity events you need to perform the following actions in Capacity Planner:

  1. Inspect the Baseline View — open the Baseline View and inspect the data. You can also edit and save a new Baseline View to suit the uploaded data, if required.
    For more information, see Interact with the Sunburst.
  2. Review operational events — operational events identify when resource utilisation is predicted to breach a threshold based on trends. The currently predicted operational events are shown with priority indicators and information about the event.
  3. View the event details — the event time series chart shows details of the predicted event, as well as a chart of the utilisation trends leading to and following the event. The highlighted region is the training period for the prediction algorithm. The grey zone around the predicted time series is known as the 95th percent confidence interval indicating that we are 95% confident that the metric will fall within that range. The r-squared value is an indication of how strong the correlation is. It is an indicator between 0 and 1, with a value of 1 meaning a perfect fit for all data points onto the model.
  4. View the event source detail — use the details option shown for this event's source to view additional information about the source of the event (for example, server details).

Understand headroom for growth

Description

Your organisation understands its existing constraints but it is undergoing significant and continual growth. You want to understand the capacity for resources, across the whole estate, to accommodate growth based on the demand profile expected to be generated.

Solution

You can use Capacity Planner to model workloads and growth options. You can then produce reports detailing the operations required to support changes to the IT infrastructure.

To understand the headroom available for growing your IT infrastructure you need to perform the following actions in Capacity Planner:

  1. Inspect the Baseline View — open the Baseline View and inspect the data. You can also edit and save a new Baseline View to suit the uploaded data, if required.
    For more information, see Interact with the Sunburst.
  2. Create a new Forward Thinking scenario from a selected Baseline View.
    For more information, see Scenarios.
  3. Identify the VM to use as a growth template — choose a VM that best suits your headroom growth plans, or if appropriate, use a calculated average workload or upload a new VM template.
    For more information, see Templates.
  4. Create a workload template — create a new workload template using the identified VM.
  5. Add new Workloads using the Workload Templates — drag the workload template onto the sunburst from the templates panel.
  6. Observe the resulting operations — inspect the operations list or timeline to see the result of the workload migrations performed. If any operations have resulted in overcommit, inspect the overcommitted hosts for more details.
    For more information, see Overcommitment.
  7. Take corrective actions — if required, add or upgrade your hardware to accommodate any requirements for additional headroom.
  8. Observe the resulting operations again — inspect the operations list or timeline to see the result of the workload migrations performed. If any operations have resulted in overcommit, inspect the watch list for more details. By positioning the operations to introduce new hardware or storage, before a migration operation, you can add further hardware until the overcommit is reduced to zero and all VMs can be accommodated.
    For more information, see Timeline.
  9. Generate a scenario report — create a new report from the scenario to export the operations in a PDF format.
    For more information, see Scenario Reports.

Application demand modelling

Description

Your organisation has a web application in its estate that is implemented in a 3-tier architecture:

  • Web servers
  • Application servers
  • DB servers

Knowing that some types of users make heavier use of the application, they wish to model the effect of onboarding new users with different roles. Your organisation has estimated the demand a user of each type places on each tier of the application.

Solution

With Capacity Planner you can model the effect on the organisation's server estate of rolling out the application to new users categorised by role. You can create a demand template and apply the template specifying the number of users in each role that you wish to add.

The template can specify that each user adds demand to the web tier. This is repeated for all the metrics and templates within the demand template. If any demand that is added causes hosts or VMs in the estate to become overcommitted, this is shown in the sunburst.

Capacity Planner then provides several options for Forward Thinking operations to resolve this overcommitment, for example by redistributing the demand to spread the total demand in a grouping evenly across the available workloads. This allows you to model the effect of adding extra capacity in the load-balanced applications.

To simulate adding application demand and resolving any overcommitment, you need to perform the following actions in Capacity Planner:

  1. Create a new Forward Thinking scenario from a selected Baseline View.
    For more information, see Scenarios.
  2. Add demand using the demand template — as part of an Application Demand Modelling engagement, you have access to one or more Demand Templates. These are used to model various relationships between volume, application, and resource utilisation metrics. Drag the demand template onto the sunburst from the Templates panel.
    For more information, see Templates.
  3. Observe the effect on the scenario — inspect the scenario to see the result of the demand addition operations performed. If any operations have resulted in overcommit, these appear in the watch list panel. The sunburst also gives an indication of any overcommitment in the scenario.
    For more information, see Watch List.
  4. Add operations to resolve any overcommitment — if the scenario now contains hosts or workloads which are overcommitted, add additional operations to resolve the overcommitment.
    For more information, see Operations.

Disaster recovery assessment

Description

Your organisation has a disaster recovery strategy which involves ensuring that headroom is available across the environment if there is a failure of technology or communication links in the primary data centre. You want to understand whether there is sufficient capacity to handle this fail over scenario, and if not, what do you need to do to ensure continued operation in the event of a significant failure scenario.

Solution

You can use Capacity Planner to model the proposed consolidation options. You can then produce reports detailing the operations required for the proposed consolidations.

To model the consolidation options, you need to perform the following actions in Capacity Planner:

  1. Create a new Forward Thinking scenario from a selected Baseline View.
    For more information, see Scenarios.
  2. Identify the hosts/cluster to be used for disaster recovery — review the hosts and clusters that you wish to use for disaster recovery. Ensure that there is enough spare capacity to accommodate demand from the fail over system.
  3. Move workloads to the new hosts — move the workloads currently running on the deprecated servers to the new hosts by dragging them on the sunburst.
  4. Observe the resulting operations — inspect the operations list or timeline to see the result of the workload migrations performed. If any operations have resulted in overcommit, inspect the overcommitted hosts for more details.
    For more information, see Overcommitment.
  5. Take corrective actions — if required, add or upgrade your hardware to accommodate any requirements for additional headroom.
  6. Observe the resulting operations again — inspect the operations list or timeline to see the result of the workload migrations performed. If any operations have resulted in overcommit, inspect the watch list for more details. By positioning the operations to introduce new hardware or storage, before a migration operation, you can add further hardware until the overcommit is reduced to zero and all VMs can be accommodated.
    For more information, see Timeline.
  7. Generate a scenario report — create a new report from the scenario to export the operations in a PDF format.
    For more information, see Scenario Reports.

Discard data prior to an infrastructure change

Description

Your organisation has made significant infrastructure changes to its IT environment, it introduced new hardware and new VMs, and has changed the virtual server configurations of existing VMs. You now want to create a new picture of capacity and demand that disregards all data in a project prior to the change.

Solution

You can use Capacity Planner to create a Baseline View with appropriate date boundaries to provide a rolling window that shows new data added to the project, while excluding all data prior to the specified date. You can then use this Baseline View to model new scenarios as required.

To do this, save the existing Baseline View as a new view. Adjust the starting day to the day you want the model to be generated from. This is most likely the day after the change occurred. For more information, see Create a Baseline View

Depending on the size of your model, it may take some time to generate this new view.

Fixing a model for scenario modelling

Description

As part of growth planning for future investment requirements, your organisation wants to use the Forward Thinking capabilities of Capacity Planner to model a growth projection. To ensure there is capacity to support the organisation's busiest trading period, you want to develop this scenario based on a fixed date range such as the month of December.

Solution

You can use Capacity Planner to create a Baseline View with appropriate date boundaries to only show data from within the busy trading period. You can then use this Baseline View to model new scenarios as required.

To do this, save the existing Baseline View as a new view. When given an option to adjust the date range, select the start and end dates for your new model. For more information, see Create a Baseline View

Depending on the size of your model, it may take some time to generate this new view.

Monthly/regular capacity reporting

Description

As part of internal ITIL compliant operational procedures, your organisation is required to present infrastructure capacity reports on a monthly basis. These reports are expected to highlight any business growth constraints, or opportunities for resource consolidation or right-sizing in order to save costs.

Solution

You can use Capacity Planner to create a Baseline View with appropriate date boundaries to only show data from the chosen month. You can then use this view for reporting when prompted for a timescale, or alternatively export the data for manual processing. This process can then be repeated each month, or as required for the organisation's ITIL compliance.

To do this, save the existing Baseline View as a new view. When given an option to adjust the date range, select the start and end dates for your new model. For more information, see Create a Baseline View

Depending on the size of your model, it may take some time to generate this new view.