In other words, the secret to a successful cloud strategy is having just enough physical resources to meet anticipated demand for virtualized IT resources. Failing to do so results in lost efficiency and unhappy end-users.
A good place to start? Analyze historic usage patterns and trends in your IT environment. This will allow you to estimate when resources should be added, and how many resources will be needed. These patterns can be affected by many things—holiday shopping spikes for online stores, tax season for tax preparers, large rendering jobs for video production companies, etc. By tracking usage patterns over time, you can better understand traffic growth.
For accurate forecasting, administrators will need to monitor the following.
- Total cloud capacity
- Total amount of resources allocated (CPU, memory, disk, etc.)
- Total amount of consumption of allocated resources
- Number of user requests
- Number of virtual machines requested
New tools and processes are being developed to better manage cloud computing environments. A complete review of the principles of effective cloud capacity planning can be found in an IBM white paper being published at the end of July 2010, titled Capacity Planning for Cloud Computing: Maximizing cloud value. The paper will be posted on this blog it becomes available.