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 an adequate picture your DC. Use your essential metric areas to focus your assessment of current workload capacity. This could generally include space, power, and networking. More specifically, 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 key areas for current 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 improvements can be enacted. Tools can help you map the path forward. DCIM software can greatly increase your effectiveness of decisions and implementation as it offers analysis of various metrics in the data center—such as power consumption, equipment status, and more—that catalyzes 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 continually audit your data centers. 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, data center management—including Hybrid Digital Infrastructure Management (HDIM), continue exploring

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