IDG 2011. IDG Communications Ltd, 101 Euston Road, London NW1 2RA
changes to the application, without any need to purchase extra hardware. Another
customer found it was able to address its capacity problems by rearranging disks instead
of buying a new server.
Like many financial services organisations, one customer, a major European financial
services provider, experiences heavy additional demand on its systems during public
holidays. Historically, it coped with this by carrying out upgrades before holidays to
make sure it had the capacity to cope with extra demand. This short-term approach was
inefficient and stressful.
The firm decided to move from a reactive approach to a proactive one. It created
a capacity planning team that was able to measure the capacity used by different
applications and to assess the impact of future demands on their systems. Using
TeamQuest Model, the team is able to pre-test applications, hardware configurations and
varying workload demands. The TeamQuest software enables the company to model live
data from its own AIX and Sun systems, instead of relying on theoretical models. The
models it has developed using the software are 98 per cent accurate.
The capacity planning team is now able to assess the impact of additional services very
quickly. Instead of having to spend a week crunching numbers in Excel, the team can run
a simulation in a couple of minutes and provide a near-instant answer, which gives the
business much more confidence in making decisions about investing in new applications.
The use of capacity management tools also gave the company the information it needed
to carry out a server consolidation project in 2008, reducing 64 standalone servers to four
consolidated frames, knowing that it could so without creating extra risk. It saved not
just on the hardware and running costs, but also on the costs of application licences. It no
longer worries about performance issues, because it knows that it has the capacity to cope
with peaks in demand: on Christmas Eve, 2008, the company processed more than 730
transactions per second without a disruption.
The firm has found this ability to model the impact of new applications or an increase
in the number of transactions particularly beneficial in times of mergers or acquisitions.
As Madden says: If you re merging systems or departments, you don t need as much
capacity any more. Instead of having these huge provisioned systems where only 20 per
cent or 30 per cent are utilised, you can assign capacity based on end user need.
The introduction of capacity management results in a long-term beneficial change in
the way the business and IT relate to each other, because capacity management requires
the business to be clear about its requirements. The result is that business decisions are
much better-informed than previously, says Way: Some customers have found that they
start to get much more credible and easy-to-generate reports about where they are with
performance. That then puts the pressure back on the business to tell IT what they need to
do so that IT can plan for it.
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