Feb 20

Capacity ?… I Think I’ve Heard Of That… part 2

In the previous article (Capacity ?… I Think I’ve Heard Of That… part 1) we discussed the difference between capacity and performance, and where the two overlap – which is quite a lot !


In this article when companies should start to implement Capacity Management.


Firstly, let us look at the classic business cycle and discuss at what points a company should look to implement performance and capacity.

Capacity Management in the Business Cycle

* The brackets denote ‘thinking about it’, bold is ‘actively doing’


1)  Start-Up

All companies have difficult starts; how to run a business is new, your products and services no-one wants.  Those that do want to do business you’re having a hard enough time to keep happy.  Times are tough, and thinking about capacity is the last thing on your mind.  True, however, while you may be busy, now is the time to at least understand the concepts – for future reference.


2) Grow – part 1

So, you’ve got some customers.  You’re getting popular; your first computer is getting a bit ‘slow’, your spreadsheet billing system is starting to get unwieldy and don’t even talk about the broadband…  Now you remember, performance, that’s what I need !  At this stage ‘performance’ usually equates to more powerful computers, bigger disks, faster broadband.  Later this will also include application optimising.

While ‘throwing tin’ at the problem breaks all the rules of good capacity management, as it is rarely the solution, at this stage keeping the momentum in your growth is more important than ‘server sprawl’.

However, as with the ‘Start-Up‘ phase it is important to begin to understand and think about the next part of capacity management – capacity planning.


3)  Grow – part 2



4)  Saturate

You’ve been popular


So, there you have it…


The Reality

Clearly the above is an ideal.  The reality is much more difficult.  Capacity, performance and capacity management can be implemented in your company at any point.  However, the longer you leave it, the harder it will be to retro-fit into your IT function.






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