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Scale IT !

The practice of shaping demand to fit the available resources can be found for example in transportation businesses, where airlines charges more for their service when demand is high and charge less to encourage more demand. In the real-time and interactive on-line world,  the challenge is to ensure that capacity meets demand.

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Cloud Capacity Part 2: Plan Your Consumption

In the first part we presented some basic concepts and an overview of cloud capacity management. cloud capacity discussion has two main aspects:

1 - Infrastructure capacity management by the IaaS vendor to plan capacity of the cloud data-center to optimize utilization and decrease operations costs.

2 - Cloud resources consumption by the cloud consumers  (any IT organization such as a SaaS vendor) including planning capacity demand in order to achieve efficient consumption of the purchased cloud resources. In this part we will discuss this aspect.

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Cloud Capacity Part 1: Basics

Capacity planning is described by Wikipedia as the “process of determining the production capacity needed by an organization to meet changing demands for its products.” It is also given by the following formula:

(number of machines or workers) × (number of shifts) × (utilization) × (efficiency)

The IT capacity plan is derived from the current and future resources utilization for holding, storing and accommodating the software services. It is a given fact that servers’ average utilization in the traditional data center is between 5% and 20%. By contract, when planning capacity in the cloud, the basic working assumption is that, utilization should match the demand at all times and support temporary demand peaks and future trends.

In his CIO’s article about cloud computing capacity, Bernard Golden wrote,

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