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Process activities, methods and techniques. Some activities in the Capacity Management process are reactive, while others are proactive

Some activities in the Capacity Management process are reactive, while others are proactive. The proactive activities of Capacity Management should include:

  • Pre-empting performance issues by taking the necessary actions before they occur
  • Producing trends of the current component utilization and estimating the future requirements, using trends and thresholds for planning upgrades and enhancements
  • Modelling and trending the predicted changes in IT services, and identifying the changes that need to be made to services and components of the IT infrastructure and applications to ensure that appropriate resource is available
  • Ensuring that upgrades are budgeted, planned and implemented before SLAs and service targets are breached or performance issues occur
  • Actively seeking to improve service performance wherever it is cost-justifiable
  • Tuning and optimizing the performance of services and components.

The reactive activities of Capacity Management should include:

  • Monitoring, measuring, reporting and reviewing the current performance of both services and components
  • Responding to all capacity-related ‘threshold’ events and instigating corrective action
  • Reacting to and assisting with specific performance issues. For example, the Service Desk may refer incidents of poor performance to Technology Management, which will employ Capacity Management techniques to resolve them.

The more successful the proactive and predictive activities of Capacity Management, the less need there will be for the reactive activities of Capacity Management. Business Capacity Management

The main objective of the Business Capacity Management sub-process is to ensure that the future business requirements (customer outcomes) for IT services are considered and understood, and that sufficient IT capacity to support any new or changed services is planned and implemented within an appropriate timescale. Figure 4.10 illustrates that BCM is influenced by the business patterns of activity and how services are used.

Figure 4.10 Capacity must support business requirements

The Capacity Management process must be responsive to changing requirements for capacity demand. New services or changed services will be required to underpin the changing business. Existing services will require modification to provide extra functionality. Old services will become obsolete, freeing up spare capacity. As a result, the ability to satisfy the customers’ SLRs and SLAs will be affected. It is the responsibility of Capacity Management to predict the demand for capacity for such changes and manage the demand.

These new requirements may come to the attention of Capacity Management from many different sources and for many different reasons, but the principal sources of supply should be the Pattern of Business Activity from Demand Management and the Service Level Packages produced for the Service Portfolio. These indicate a window of future predictors for capacity. Such examples could be a recommendation to upgrade to take advantage of new technology, or the implementation of a tuning activity to resolve a performance problem. Figure 4.11 shows the cycle of Demand Management.

Figure 4.11 Capacity Management takes particular note of demand pattern

Capacity Management needs to be included in all strategic, planning and design activities, being involved as early as possible within each process, such as:

  • Assisting and supporting the development of Service Strategy
  • Involvement in the review and improvement of IT strategies and policies
  • Involvement in the review and improvement of technology architectures.

Capacity Management should not be a last-minute ‘tick in the box’ just prior to customer acceptance and operational acceptance.

If early involvement can be achieved from Capacity Management within these processes, then the planning and design of IT capacity can be closely aligned with business requirements and can ensure that service targets can be achieved and maintained.

Assist with agreeing Service Level Requirements

Capacity Management should assist SLM in understanding the customers’ capacity and performance requirements, in terms of required service/system response times, expected throughput, patterns of usage and volume of users. Capacity Management should help in the negotiation process by providing possible solutions to a number of scenarios. For example, if the volume of users is less than 2,000, then response times can be guaranteed to be less than two seconds. If more than 2,000 users connect concurrently, then extra network bandwidth is needed to guarantee the required response time, or a slower response time will have to be accepted. Modelling, trending or application sizing techniques are often employed here to ensure that predictions accurately reflect the real situation.

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