Defining Capacity Analysis

The majority of capacity analysis is working to minimize unknown or immeasurable variables, such as the number of gigabytes or terabytes of storage the system will need in the next few months or years, to adequately size a system. The high number of unknown variables is largely because network environments, business policy, and people are constantly changing. As a result, capacity analysis is an art as much as it involves experience and insight.

If you’ve ever found yourself having to specify configuration requirements for a new server or having to estimate whether your configuration will have enough power to sustain various workloads now and in the foreseeable future, proper capacity analysis can help in the design and configuration. These capacity-analysis processes help weed out the unknowns and assist you while making decisions as accurately as possible. They do so by giving you a greater understanding of your Windows Server 2008 R2 environment. This knowledge and understanding can then be used to reduce time and costs associated with supporting and designing an infrastructure. The result is that you gain more control over the environment, reduce maintenance and support costs, minimize firefighting, and make more efficient use of your time.

Business depends on network systems for a variety of different operations, such as performing transactions or providing security, so that the business functions as efficiently as possible. Systems that are underutilized are probably wasting money and are of little value. On the other hand, systems that are overworked or can’t handle workloads prevent the business from completing tasks or transactions in a timely manner, might cause a loss of opportunity, or keep the users from being productive. Either way, these systems are typically not much benefit to operating a business. To keep network systems well tuned for the given workloads, capacity analysis seeks a balance between the resources available and the workload required of the resources. The balance provides just the right amount of computing power for given and anticipated workloads.

This concept of balancing resources extends beyond the technical details of server configuration to include issues such as gauging the number of administrators that might be needed to maintain various systems in your environment. Many of these questions relate to capacity analysis, and the answers aren’t readily known because they can’t be predicted with complete accuracy.

To lessen the burden and dispel some of the mysteries of estimating resource requirements, capacity analysis provides the processes to guide you. These processes include vendor guidelines, industry benchmarks, analysis of present system resource utilization, and more. Through these processes, you’ll gain as much understanding as possible of the network environment and step away from the compartmentalized or limited understanding of the systems. In turn, you’ll also gain more control over the systems and increase your chances of successfully maintaining the reliability, serviceability, and availability of your system.

There is no set or formal way to start your capacity-analysis processes. However, a proven and effective means to begin to proactively manage your system is to first establish system wide policies and procedures. Policies and procedures, discussed shortly, help shape service levels and users’ expectations. After these policies and procedures are classified and defined, you can more easily start characterizing system workloads, which will help gauge acceptable baseline performance values.

Source of Information : Sams - Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed

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