Capacity Planning – this one mistake is burning your budget

Image of circles with shaded areas denoting different storage strategies

Posted on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Death and taxes were once thought to be the only certainty in life. They have however been joined by a third – unstoppable data growth. And with big data and IoT initiatives underway, the rate of growth is only going to increase.

Capacity planning is a key skill for the CTO then as they try to balance resource demands with physical capacity and budgetary constraints. But it also involves much more than simply buying more raw disks to hold new data.

What have you got?

Perhaps even more important than raw capacity is an understanding of the data your business actually holds. What is its purpose? How often is it accessed? How much of that information is truly active? In many organisations active data makes up just 20% of their total storage requirements for instance.

Understanding how capacity is used avoids the error of throwing additional capacity at the issue, or resorting to using cloud services as a way of delaying a proper strategic decision. Instead the CTO may find that by better managing their data and available resources, far less capacity is required – even re-commissioning post warranty hardware for less well-used data, rather than buying new arrays.

Understanding from auditing

This auditing process will also help better plan for the future management of inactive data. The CTO and CIO will be able to formulate a number of policies and procedures for dealing with data as it becomes inactive, giving them greater clarity for future capacity planning.

The identification and classification of data also provides the necessary context for other strategic decisions. Does inactive data really require a 4-hour support service? Is there a more efficient backup method to reduce further wasted capacity? How can you free up high performance arrays/disks/ports for use with active data.

This kind of information is invaluable for making better use of existing resources and building the datacenter your organisation actually needs. You will also find that better management of the data you hold frees up time and resources for other strategic investments and reduces your support and administration overheads.

Learn more about how to put your post-warranty systems back into service as part of a proper capacity planning strategy by calling CDS today.