Capacity management

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Capacity management is a process used to manage information technology (IT). Its primary goal is to ensure that IT capacity meets current and future business requirements in a cost-effective manner. One common interpretation of capacity management is described in the ITIL framework. ITIL version 3 views capacity management as comprising three sub-processes: business capacity management, service capacity management, and component capacity management (known as resource capacity management in ITIL version 2).

As the usage of IT services change and functionality evolves, the amount of processing power, memory etc. also changes. If it is possible to understand the demands being made currently, and how they will change over time, this approach proposes that planning for IT service growth becomes easier and less reactive. If there are spikes in, for example, processing power at a particular time of the day, it proposes analyzing what is happening at that time and make changes to maximize the existing infrastructure, for example, tune the application, or move a batch cycle to a quieter period.

These activities are intended to optimize performance and efficiency, and to plan for and justify financial investments. Capacity management is concerned with:

Capacity management interacts with the discipline of Performance Engineering, both during the requirements and design activities of building a system, and when using performance monitoring as an input for managing capacity of deployed systems.

Factors affecting network performance[edit]

Not all networks are the same. As data is broken into component parts (often known frames, packets, or segments) for transmission, several factors can affect their delivery.

These factors, and others (such as the performance of the network signaling on the end nodes, compression, encryption, concurrency, and so on) all affect the effective performance of a network. In some cases, the network may not work at all; in others, it may be slow or unusable. And because applications run over these networks, application performance suffers. Various intelligent solutions are available to ensure that traffic over the network is effectively managed to optimize performance for all users. See Traffic Shaping

The performance management discipline[edit]

Network performance management consists of measuring, modeling, planning, and optimizing networks to ensure that they carry traffic with the speed, reliability, and capacity that is appropriate for the nature of the application and the cost constraints of the organization. Different applications warrant different blends of capacity, latency, and reliability. For example:

Network performance management tasks and classes of tools[edit]

Network Performance management is a core component of the FCAPS ISO telecommunications framework (the 'P' stands for Performance in this acronym). It enables the network engineers to proactively prepare for degradations in their IT infrastructure and ultimately help the end-user experience.

Network managers perform many tasks; these include performance measurement, forensic analysis, capacity planning, and load-testing or load generation. They also work closely with application developers and IT departments who rely on them to deliver underlying network services.

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