What Is Data Center Capacity Planning?

Plans are a regular aspect of life. Making judgments is a need in all aspects of life, not just those related to a particular business.

However, leaders are in a unique position to make decisions and empower their people to carry out those decisions.

This reality does not exclude data centers. Data center capacity planning is essential because plans and strategic direction may significantly impact the functionality, overall performance, and the end user.

Planning for the present and future hardware, software, and other data center infrastructure requirements are known as capacity planning within a predetermined period.

It is a form of IT capacity planning that examines and evaluates current data center consumption to plan ahead for data center capacity augmentation, decrement, or none. This blog will dive deeper into Data Center capacity planning and its best practices.

What is capacity planning for data centers?

A sort of planning called "data center capacity planning" evaluates the data center to ensure that the workload can be handled effectively.

Practically speaking, data center capacity planning is evaluating the data center, including its computing resources, cooling capacity, power load, and other factors, before creating and putting into action a strategy to guarantee that all workload expectations can be met and even exceeded.

Consequently, strategic planning may highlight opportunities for improvement and possible threats, enabling leadership to implement strategies for data centers to operate at their best.

The following list is not exhaustive but includes data center capacity planning:

  • Data center resources used at the moment, throughout peak and off-peak hours
  • Forecasting when the infrastructure in data centers will run out of resources and become obsolete
  • Assessing the data center resources that should be upgraded, upgraded, replaced, or lowered in the future
  • Making preparations for the design and execution of identified newer resources or capacity modifications

What makes capacity planning crucial?

Data centers have a certain amount of space, power, and cooling available. While fault-tolerant server clusters and redundant backup power might boost uptime, they can also decrease available ability.

Planning for less capacity with the workloads at hand wastes capital investments and may cause power to be utilized by new, idle servers.

Another significant issue is under-planning capacity, which can harm corporate operations. Outages are more frequent when there is insufficient power and cooling for the workload in the data center.

Apps hit bottlenecks and may cease running or launch new applications too slowly if there is an inadequate computer, network, and storage capacity.

Capacity planning assists data centers in determining trends, demands, and future requirements such as:

  • Increasing IT Budget
  • Integrating emerging technologies
  • Lowering the cost of operating IT
  • Enhancing server efficiency and decreasing downtime
  • Reducing or avoiding server over-provisioning

What Is the Need for Capacity Planning for Data Centers and How Can It Be Done?

Currently, modern technologies like internal and external cloud computing, virtualization, and various types of cloud-based solutions are offering IT infrastructure experts a range of platforms for operating a business, service, or application.

These technologies also offer cost alternatives and flexibility. This replaces the capacity planning framework as well as the aim of capacity planning.

It is now essential to detect and optimize the cost of operating corporate services by selecting a particular platform. It is no longer merely a tool for determining hardware needs.

Because of the solution's cost, businesses must have access to a quicker, more intelligent platform in order to operate in their data centers. These plans include the mission-critical software and information that end users require to fuel business innovation.

To swiftly meet the demand for both virtual and physical assets, data center managers must alter the way they manage resources. Prior to the development of current trends like SDDC (Software-Defined Data Centers) and DCIM (Data Center Infra Administration software), data center management was mostly done with Excel files.

These widely used technologies aid DC administrators in better planning for and preparing for incoming server, network, and storage velocity and volume. Additionally, it streamlines how the necessary physical infrastructure operates.

Planning for Data Center Capacity

According to a recent study, capacity planning is now the data center function that data center specialists consider to be most crucial.

Accurate capacity planning is a challenge for many data center professionals.

They have to do laborious computations and estimates, which can be based on false information or presumptions. Too much or too little capacity might occur, either of which could be fatal.

Data center capacity planning does not have to be complicated or based on guessing, though. Instead, it can be made simple by utilizing the correct data center management software and adhering to best practices.

When creating a data center capacity plan, there are a number of best practices you should adhere to. Additionally, there are techniques you can incorporate into your plan to streamline the procedure.

You can maintain an adaptable and responsive data center that can fulfill your demands by utilizing the best practices listed below.

  •     Keep up-to-date asset information.

Planning, reservations, modification requests, and other processes might be halted by inaccurate data. Your data centers assets and attributes, such as their dimensions, data, power ports, connector types, and precise cabinet locations, must be accurately and continuously recorded in a database.

  •     Make an Inventory

Without a complete list of your devices, gear, and software, it might be challenging to determine where your data center is missing. The dependencies and configurations that potentially affect how your data center operates should be included in your exhaustive inventory.

In terms of capacity planning, this may not seem significant, but a poorly optimized, disorganized data center is more likely to fill up than one that is well-functioning and optimized.

  •     Analyze what-if scenarios.

Before investing in new infrastructure projects, consider how changes to your capacity will be affected by moves, additions, and changes. What-if analysis will reveal whether you can make use of current capacity and postpone capital expenditures or whether you need to buy more capacity.

  •     Strong DCIM is required.

An operating system-less computer is analogous to a data center without data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software. Additionally, capacity planning is essentially impossible without DCIM.

The gathering and analysis of metrics throughout the whole data center, including environmental factors, power use, the quality of equipment in operation, and much more, is one of DCIM's main responsibilities.

Spotting waste or possible downtime reasons early on aids data center employees in maintaining operational efficiency on a daily basis. The capacity planning process may be made better by utilizing all of these insights.

  •     Consensus on Performance Metrics

Choosing what to monitor and what numbers are acceptable is a crucial next step.

You must ascertain the data center performance metric values your firm is comfortable with, including how long you should keep data and how quickly applications should respond to requests, as well as the uptime and other metrics that should be satisfied.

Additionally, you must agree on the ideal capacity. To ascertain what appropriate capacity and performance look like, you could utilize simulations, actual load testing, modeling, or trend analysis.

Bringing Everything Together

Environments in modern data centers are becoming increasingly distributed and complicated. Data center administrators must simultaneously accomplish more with fewer resources. Without effective data center capacity management, this may be time-consuming, incorrect, pricey, and dangerous.

Building the perfect data center is challenging. VTG is here to assist because of this. Our cup of tea is your problems. Connect with our team of data center professionals who have collective experience in resolving problems with data center infrastructure. In every situation, we provide honesty and value.