Data Center Capacity Planning: Creating an Effective Strategy

Organizations are continually developing. As the needs and desires of the end consumer shift, the workload functions that must be sustained can rapidly expand.

As this happens, some companies are not able to have the functional capacity to handle such an increase. The data centers and systems can be overwhelmed and lose productivity; customers can become unhappy, and revenue can ultimately be lost.

If this need for expanding capacity is not recognized ahead of time, then, in the long run, more finances can be spent on hardware, software, and network unnecessarily.

How can this problem be sufficiently addressed? Managers and leaders must take a broad view of the industries they serve and project what’s ahead to inform their practical decisions—involving but not limited to infrastructure, business services, and application.

How can companies create such a plan? How do they craft an effective strategy for their data center capacity planning?

Simple steps can help companies strategize to form an effective capacity plan.

Step 1: Assess what essential metrics you will focus on in your capacity plan. Deciding on the service performance metrics—such as response time, uptime, time for data storage, and more—will focus your strategic efforts.

Step 2: Determine the current capacity of your data center to gain a good picture of your Data Center. Use your essential metric areas to focus your assessment of current workload capacity. This could generally include space, power, and networking. It might involve server configuration, consumed resources, memory, rack power and space, cooling, data port connectivity, and other factors.

Step 3: Compare your chosen metrics and goals with the current capacity revealed in step two. This assessment will highlight the critical areas for capacity improvement and reveal ongoing opportunities as new needs arise or as the landscape develops.

Step 4: Once you know your chief areas for improvement, form a plan for how to execute them. Tools can help you map the path forward. Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software can significantly increase your effectiveness of decisions and implementation as it analyzes various metrics in the data center—such as power consumption, equipment status, and more—that catalyze the efficacy of your changes.

Step 5: Having an implementation plan, now you must begin the work of actually enacting the changes across your data center, attending to improvements and consolidations that impact both the short-term and long-term.

Step 6: Even after the first strategic actions of data center capacity planning have been taken, ongoing futuristic planning is essential. Develop a consistent plan to audit your data centers continually. This will keep your DCs ahead of changes happening in the industries you serve and exponentially benefit both your business and the consumer.

For more resources on capacity planning and data center management—including Hybrid Digital Infrastructure Management (HDIM), continue exploring

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