Capacity Planning In information technology, capacity planning is the science and art of estimating the space, hardware, software and connection infrastructure resources that will be needed over some future period of time. A typical capacity concern of many enterprises is whether resources will be in place to handle an increasing number of requests as the number of users or interactions increase. The aim of the capacity planner is to plan so well that new capacity is added just in time to meet the anticipated need but not so early that resources go unused for a long period. The successful capacity planner is one that makes the trade-offs between the present and the future that overall prove to be the most cost-efficient. The capacity planner, using business plans and forecasts, tries to imagine what the future needs will be. Analytical modeling tools can help the planner get answers to "What if" scenarios so that a range of possibilities can be explored. The capacity planner is especially receptive to products that are seen to be scalable and also stable and predictable in terms of support and upgrades over the life of the product. As new technologies emerge and business strategies and forecasts change, capacity planners must revisit their plans. Three Steps for Capacity Planning 1. Determine Service Level Requirements The first step in the capacity planning process is to categorize the work done by systems and to quantify users’ expectations for how that work gets done. 2. Analyze Current Capacity Next, the current capacity of the system must be analyzed to determine how it is meeting the needs of the users. 3. Planning for the future Finally, using forecasts of future business activity, future system requirements are determined. Implementing the required changes in system configuration will ensure that sufficient capacity will be available to maintain service levels, even as circumstances change in the future.
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a) Short-Term Planning
For short-term forecasting the following process is adopted. Within a few minutes a good representation of the capacity constraints and abilities can be ascertained:
download ‘live’ network data from NMS; add additional ‘in progress’/short-term equipment build if desired — this could be any new hardware additions that will be installed in the network during the length of the forecast routing period;
route customer circuits in order-book/short-term forecasts — this can be achieved in two ways: o the first facility is designed to quickly route a handful of circuits only, with the user identifying the end-points of a forecasted circuit and the tool selecting the best route between them (this route can be overridden manually by the user if desired); o if there are a large number of circuits forecast, the user can use the second option which is to create a traffic matrix (in a simple text file) specifying various circuit details that can be routed in bulk across the network; highlight any additional card build to satisfy short-term forecast, as in many cases the forecast traffic would exceed the capabilities of the current network, hence necessitating new network build — Utilisator can be instructed to either add the new equipment required to support the demand or simply note that a particular demand cannot be routed.
At the end of this process, the planning team is able to decide on the most cost-efficient network build programme based on its experience of forecast demands and from priorities and objectives. It will be able to report to the investment/financial departments either the cost associated with meeting expected demands or the potential revenue lost should such investment not be forthcoming.
b) Medium-Term Planning
Short-term planning addresses the immediate and pressing customer orders and highlights areas where new cards would be required in existing...
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