Data Center Capacity Planning: Definition, Benefits, and Solutions
Published on June 4, 2020,
What is Data Center Capacity Planning?
Plans are a part of daily life. Not limited to any specific industry, decisions have to be made as a natural part of existence. Leaders, however, are uniquely positioned to not just make decisions but to enable their teams to act according to strategic direction.
Data centers are no exception to this reality. Plans and strategic direction can make tangible differences in not only the data center’s functionality and overall performance but also to the end consumer.
This is why data center capacity planning is crucial.
What is data center capacity planning?
Data center capacity planning is a type of planning which assesses the data center to ensure that the center’s workload can be adequately met.
Practically, data center capacity planning involves a process of assessing the data center—from computing resources, cooling capacity, power load, and more—and then forming and enacting a plan to make sure that all workload demands can be met and even improved upon. As an end result, this planning can reveal areas of improvement and potential dangers which allow leadership to enact plans for data centers to function most optimally.
Why is data center capacity planning important?
Planning can generally serve to enhance operations of any data center, but its importance is being underscored in light of the shifting demands on both physical and virtual assets. With environmental concerns as well as financial needs, more attention is turning to planning to prepare for the future while deferring the consequences of a lack of planning and ill-used or under-utilized assets and financial resources.
Not only does this shifting landscape reveal the need for data center capacity planning, but also such critical analysis of server hardware resources and more has multifaceted benefits to businesses and consumers.
It can give insight into power and cooling to enable optimal function for the given workload as well as attending to network and storage capacity. Careful planning can make sure that mistakes within performance are acknowledged and avoided while ensuring that mission-critical functions are not only safeguarded but also enhanced.
Further, data center capacity planning can eliminate waste and idle assets while decreasing the likelihood of debilitating outages that interrupt business operations.
How can data centers improve their capacity planning?
Basic tools such as spreadsheets traditionally were the most essential assets for planning, but now options such as 3D renderings, virtualization, cloud computing, and even outsourcing has been proffered.
One tool stands out as exponentially beneficial. Many have explored the myriad of benefits from DCIM software to give unique insight and solutions into their capacity planning.
Such tools aren’t the only resource available to help with capacity planning; often the communication between facilities, IT, and additional business decision-makers and leaders must be strengthened in order to continually trouble-shoot, forecast, and adapt.
All in all, selecting tools, enhancing communication, and engaging with data center capacity planning can greatly benefit the data center’s footprint, power consumption, cooling capacity, performance times, load calculations and more.