Review the client’s Capacity Management processes against our Capacity Management Methodology, which is based upon industry best practice. A set of processes will then be designed to fit the client’s environment and requirements and will define where and what interfaces are required to other systems management processes.
Capacity Management Process Implementation
Assist the client to plan and implement the procedures necessary to run the required capacity management processes. These are agreed with the client and/or any related client resources, as appropriate. This type of work typically takes a number of months to complete and will include some or all of the following services that we offer.
This is a fundamental part of the capacity management process which will ensure that the client has sufficient computing capacity in order to satisfy the expected demand for their computing resource whilst providing the required level of responsiveness, often as measured against a service level agreement.
We have extensive experience of this function and are able to offer our clients a full range of capacity planning services including simple static modeling, queuing theory modeling and simulation modeling. Ultimately we can also provide Performance Testing services (see below) in order to benchmark the performance of a specific application or system.
This is the best way of ensuring that a new system will perform as required by the client. We are able to offer assistance with the full performance testing lifecycle including the definition of the test strategy, defining, managing and running the test plan, defining, writing and running test scripts, analysing the test results and making performance tuning recommendations.
Capacity and Performance Testing Tool/s Selection
Tools will be required to analyse, collect and predict the performance of the client’s computer systems. With our extensive experience in the Capacity Management field we are able to assist the client to choose tools that will meet their requirements both functionally and financially. It is extremely important to get this decision right as having access to good data for performance and capacity planning underpins all the Capacity Management processes and is critical to its success.
Capacity and Performance Testing Tool/s Implementation
Even if the best tool is chosen it is of little value if it is not installed correctly and exploited fully. Our Consultants have set up Capacity Management processes on many occasions and are thus highly experienced in getting the most from the tools available. As before this activity is critical if the processes are to be successfully implemented.
Once the performance data has been collected it is imperative that it is used wisely if maximum value is to be realised from the Capacity Management process. We have many years experience in this field and are able to define and write performance reports that address both the requirements of the IT and Business departments.
The reports can provide information on many facets of system utilisation including with business focus if required, together with a view of end-to-end business function responsiveness. It is typical to produce daily exception reports, weekly resource usage reports and monthly trend reports. Report distribution can be via paper or e-mail but is now more commonly achieved via the client’s intranet thus providing easier distribution of reports to a wider audience.
Performance is often a key element in any service level agreement (SLA). We have a great deal of experience in the defining, setting and monitoring of performance SLAs. We can assist clients in a number of ways ranging from advice on proposed SLAs to implementing and managing them. With an increased focus on customer satisfaction it is more important than ever to define measurable and achievable SLAs and then to manage them efficiently.
There are two aspects to performance management; alerting and tuning.
Performance Healthcheck / Audit / Benchmark
We are able to perform analysis of most types of computer system to highlight areas that do not perform as expected or as required. A set of remedial recommendations will then be produced which are designed to address the performance or capacity issues identified. If required, we can assist with the resolution.
Healthchecks can range from an overall audit of a large, multiple application computer image, to a problem investigation focussing on a specific part of a single application. Skills and guidance can be given during the acceptance phase of new Computer systems, towards the development of representative Benchmark tests.
Running Capacity Management Processes
Having designed and implemented a set of capacity management processes the client will then require staff to run these processes. The staff will need to be properly trained and will need some experience of the processes if they are to run them successfully. We are able to offer services to enable this ranging from training right through to taking on the regular responsibility for running the capacity management process.
It is important that the real time performance monitors are set up with realistic thresholds so that the client operations support teams are only notified when a real performance problem is imminent. We are able to advise sensible thresholds for systems and to define what actions should be taken when the threshold is breached. These actions can then be integrated into a systems automation package (if the client has one) to automatically try and resolve performance issues before they become a problem.
Once a performance issue has been identified it may be necessary to take action, such as tuning the computer system, to resolve it. We have many years of experience in this area and are able to make performance tuning and optimisation recommendations on most major computing platforms.
As a new application is developed it is imperative that it is tuned for best performance. This will minimise future problems and help maximise development investment. By designing the capacity management processes to be integrated with the application development lifecycle it is possible to ensure that new applications are developed to perform within their service level requirements.
Where this has not been done we can use our considerable experience to investigate the application and determine why it is not performing as required and make recommendations for tuning actions that will bring it back into its service level requirement.
The Performance of an application should be measured at all stages during development. Information can be fed back to application development and implementation teams, both at the functional, volume-test and commissioning phases of application rollout. Ongoing integration between the development and delivery teams is key to the implementation of a successful project.
Resource Accounting and IT Chargeback
Many companies wish to use the performance data collected as input to the accounting system used to charge their users for the use of the computer systems. We have been involved in the setting up of these systems and are able to help design implement and run chargeback systems for our clients.