The Virtual Capacity Planning Challenge

Michael Vizard

Capacity planning use to be one of those mundane IT activities that most organizations worried about once or twice a year. But with virtualization, the ability to easily provision virtual machines on physical servers is turning capacity planning into a major challenge.

To address this issue, CA Technologies today acquired Hyperformix, a provider of capacity management tools that work across both virtual and physical servers.

According to Subo Guha, vice president of virtualization product management for CA Technologies, virtualization management has become a major issue across the enterprise, which in turn is starting to stall adoption of virtualization. The issue, says Guha, is that customers are beginning to discover that the operational expenses incurred by having to throw more IT people at manually managing virtual servers is exceeding the capital savings derived from consolidating servers.

Guha says CA Technologies sees the capacity planning tools as a critical element of a general push to automate virtualization management across heterogeneous deployments of virtual machines from different vendors.

With the rise of virtualization and cloud computing, Guha says we can expect to see a resurgence in capacity planning brought on by the fact that IT organizations need to better understand what resources they have in place before they can automate the overall process.

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Sep 30, 2010 11:09 AM Aditya Thatte Aditya Thatte  says:
Pretty interesting news. Actually a lot of work and research is done in this space. I am myself working in the area of capacity planning for virtual infrastructures. Capacity planning for VMs poses additional challenges as opposed to the previous methods of doing Cap planning. Reply
Sep 30, 2010 10:09 PM sbarie sbarie  says:

The benefits of virtualization could evaporate quickly if monitoring systems aren't able to keep up with the constant change that happens in a virtual infrastructure. Relying on systems that are dependent on someone manually updating monitoring system after every instance of change is not only time-consuming, but it's asking for trouble. There will be an instance where the sysadmin just doesn't have time to update the system, which means systems are now unmonitored, exposing the enterprise to greater risk of unplanned downtime. Here's a short Youtube video on how to deal with virtualization monitoring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk3jzRlsZDc

Oct 6, 2010 3:10 AM David M Lynch David M Lynch  says:
This is a good move by CA. While absolutely essential to internal cloud management and optimization, capacity management in a dynamic environment is not as easy as it seems, and nor is it a standalone capability. In order to truly optimize a virtual environment, capacity management has to include real time monitoring, automatic waste identification as well as decommissioning and reclamation. Find out more about this in my recent blog: http://www.embotics.com/virtualizationblog/?p=132 - David M Lynch VP Marketing Embotics Reply
Oct 11, 2010 7:10 AM Michael Helms Michael Helms  says:
As the article mentioned capacity planning is a major concern when dealing in a virtualized world. The other major unintended consequence associated with virtualization is server sprawl. The impact of poor capacity planning/monitoring in a virtual world can have a severe impact to the IT environment. Tracking is one thing, but the impact to the powering and cooling dynamics as well as other parts of the infrastructure in a worst case scenario could bring a Data Center to a halt. Virtualization is a major component to capacity planning but to do it right, one should take a holistic approach and include the entire IT infrastructure. Link to Data Center Planning tool http://www.avocent.com/Solutions/Business_Need/Data_Center_Planning.aspx Reply

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