Stop Just Managing Capacity by Moving to a Capacity-as-a-Service Strategy

Capacity planning is a skill that all infrastructure professionals need to develop.


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Your Challenge

  • There is a lack of understanding of the appropriate metrics to effectively manage capacity.
  • There is a lack of analytical tools to start managing and planning capacity.
  • Capacity management requires time and analytical skills.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • End users and stakeholders lack the ability to provide the correct information to identify current issues or future needs.
  • Organizational demands change so quickly that it’s difficult to forecast resource requirements accurately.
  • Start simple. Start with the monitoring data that is already gathered as part of normal routines.
  • Build intuitive metrics. When using Excel and simple monitoring data, stick with metrics such as percent utilization.
  • Know when to stop using Excel. If you need a Hadoop instance to handle the data, consider capacity management tools.

Impact and Result

  • Create a service-oriented capacity management and planning strategy that will meet changing business needs.
  • Adopt ITIL and COBIT frameworks to reduce the process and metric planning. Allow infrastructure managers to focus on developing the analytical skills and data gathering processes.
  • Align the capacity management with critical IT services; focus on those resources that enable key services.

Stop Just Managing Capacity by Moving to a Capacity-as-a-Service Strategy


Define and prioritize IT services

Prioritize capacity management based on the risks and value of each IT service.


Assess current capacity requirements

Map the dependencies between resources across the critical IT services.


Measure resource performance
Monitor key IT resources using the tools on hand.


Create a capacity plan to mitigate long-term issues

Expand the capacity plan to include more IT services.

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Module 1: Introduction to Capacity Planning Concepts

The Purpose

  • Provide a basic understanding of capacity planning as an IT skill.
  • Identification of the relevant sections of COBIT and ITIL.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understanding of the role capacity planning plays in infrastructure tasks.
  • Providing a scope for the capacity management and planning project.



Define the role of capacity management in infrastructure day-to-day activities.


Define the relevant COBIT and ITIL modules.

  • Understand the core concepts of ITIL and COBIT as they apply to capacity management.


Understand the difference and benefits of capacity management versus capacity planning.

  • Define the positive improvements possible by adopting capacity planning best practices.

Module 2: Determine the Services that IT Provides

The Purpose

  • Re-orientate infrastructure from a commodity view to a service view.
  • Identify IT resources that IT provides to the business.
  • Align the IT resources with IT services.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An understanding of resource usage based on business needs.
  • A starting point for rationalizing IT resources with capacity management needs.



Define critical IT services.

  • Prioritized list of IT services.


Define the critical resources for those services.

  • A list of resources associated with each IT service.


Relate services with business priorities.

Module 3: Relate Business Needs to Applications

The Purpose

  • Separate high priority capacity management issues from application or vendor management issues.
  • Prioritize those capacity issues that IT can manage and fix.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A starting point for capacity management.
  • An understanding of the relationship between application and infrastructure pieces.



Build a detailed description of each resource required for the top three IT services.

  • A map of resource dependencies based on the IT services.


Map dependencies for each IT service.

  • A set of KPIs based on measurements that IT is already using for day-to-day operations.


Define KPIs for capacity management.

  • A prioritized list of infrastructure resources for capacity management.

Module 4: Design Potential Pools of Resources to Manage Capacity

The Purpose

  • Build a plan for implementing the capacity management and planning plan.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Provide a starting point for measuring and understanding the organization’s capacity.
  • Aligning capacity planning with ongoing infrastructure projects.



Analyze historic utilization of resources to determine the peak and spare capacity.

  • A project plan for communicating with IT and external stakeholders.


Design a long-term plan to reduce service interruptions.

  • Identification of a shortlist of related projects that should be part of the capacity management plan.

Search Code: 76689
Published: January 8, 2015
Last Revised: January 8, 2015