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What is your capacity planning strategy?

Having a good capacity plan and strategy in place should be standard practice. For many businesses, it isn't.
What is your capacity planning strategy?
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What is your capacity planning strategy?

29 votes tallied
We have a fully managed strategy in place
3 votes
We have a plan that no one looks at
One vote
We discuss capacity needs at budget time
3 votes
We manage capacity on an "as needed" basis
11 votes
We are steady state and have no need for a plan
One vote
We only use hosted services and capacity requirements are "elastic"
5 votes
We have no plan but need one
5 votes

Capacity planning is one of those topics that's treated like backups: No one discusses it until there's a problem. Capacity planning isn't thought of as a critical service by some businesses. However, a well-informed architect or sysadmin will quickly inform you that capacity planning is as much a part of a business continuity strategy as disaster recovery is and no less important.

What exactly is capacity planning? It answers the question of, "How much infrastructure will you require to handle growth, failure, and technology refresh over the next year, two years, or longer?" Some capacity planning strategies also take personnel requirements into account but that's certainly not consistently the case. For the purpose of this poll, the focus is only on infrastructure: Power, cooling, server hardware, network, storage, rack space, and software licensing.

Some businesses run "lean and mean" which translates to that they have no capacity planning strategy and "we'll add servers when we need them." Believe it or not, I've seen at least one large enterprise run with that mentality. And when disaster struck, the finger-pointing and excuses games began. I've also been part of an organization that had an entire team dedicated to the cause of capacity and performance.

You should have a capacity plan in place. You need to have a strategy and regularly check system and general infrastructure performance, load, and consumption rates to predict future needs. If you don't have a plan, start one. Perform regular monitoring of the four critical horsemen of the capacity apocalypse: CPU, memory, storage, and network. 

This poll is designed to find out where you and others stand on capacity planning strategies by answering the question, "What is your capacity planning strategy?"


Topics:   Linux   Linux administration   Infrastructure  
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Ken Hess

Ken has used Red Hat Linux since 1996 and has written ebooks, whitepapers, actual books, thousands of exam review questions, and hundreds of articles on open source and other topics. Ken also has 20+ years of experience as an enterprise sysadmin with Unix, Linux, Windows, and Virtualization. More about me

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