Data Center Capacity Planning
Data Center Capacity Planning is a part of the service that Data Center Reality (DCR) provides for its customers.
Are you planning to build or expand a data center?
DCR takes its data center capacity planning philosophy from The Practice of Cloud System Administration: Designing and Operating Large Distributed Systems Vol 2. Data center capacity planning revolves around two essential questions. What are the data center requirements for the foreseeable future, and, how quickly do those requirements need to be met. In order to effectively derive a solution to your Data Center planning quandaries, DCR has a couple of factors to consider.
The first design consideration that goes into Data center capacity planning is current usage. DCR can’t make an effective estimation of future capacity needs if it doesn’t have a good understanding of your current capacity. The first step of this process is to understand what is presently accessible. An up-to-date inventory of the equipment is the best way to keep track of this. The next step is to consider how much of the total capacity is being used. This will show DCR how much free space is currently available.
Once DCR has a basic understanding of what is on hand, an accurate prediction about how much more space is required in the future can be made. The first aspect of growth that needs consideration is Normal Growth. This is the growth expected based on historical growth. Calculating this is a relatively simple matter of extrapolation once access to your historical usage records has been granted.
On top of the Normal Growth, DCR also has to consider growth that is expected based on new project launches or rollouts. Accurately predicting this number can be difficult based on the certainty of success. Keep in mind that there are negative financial ramifications for both underestimating and overestimating projected capacity.
The last capacity related consideration DCR has to make is the safety factor, otherwise known as headroom. Thought has to be given to unexpected usage spikes. The historical data that was collected when considering current usage should be able to point to the frequency and magnitude of usage spikes. In order to avoid overflow outages, the safety factor should be able to accommodate all usage spikes.
Scheduled maintenance is another aspect of the safety factor that must be taken into account when performing data center capacity planning calculations. Data centers are machines that require regular service in order to avoid unplanned shut downs that might lead to overflow outages. Often large companies with multiple data centers will make design plans that allow for two data centers to be shut down, one for schedule maintenance and the other in case of unplanned failure. DCR is committed to ensuring that you have the appropriate back-up measures to expected and unforeseen developments.
After the expected capacity for the future has been effectively planned out, the last aspect that needs consideration is time. Organizing a timetable that is both realistic and financially viable is important. Data centers are large purchases that take time to order, build, and install. Working backwards from the expected need for an expansion of resources will give DCR a timetable that specifies when to order and install the resources required. Planning like this avoids the unappealing scenario of pushing back expansion plans because data center construction is behind schedule.
Data center capacity planning is a service that DCR provides for its customers. It is important to DCR that the right products are delivered in time for expected usage increases. With this in mind, DCR will continue working to meet your Data Center Design needs.