Right-sizing IT capacity for the application economy
How organizations can ensure they have enough capacity for the future to provide the best user experience possible.
Everyone loves a bargain. In our house, we are always on the look out for discounts on the latest sports gear and tech gadgets.
But for some retailers, the consumer desire to get a good deal can turn sour – especially on peak shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As Best Buy recently discovered to its cost during Thanksgiving weekend, with website technical issues resulting in an extended outage.
Best Buy is not the first business to become a victim of its own success. Recently it was SimCity 5 gamers and healthcare.gov users that were blighted by online performance issues.
Although the name of the organization might have changed, the nature of the problem hasn’t. Matching infrastructure capacity to peaks in user demand remains a major challenge for every business and every sector. Over-sizing results in over-expenditures; under-sizing results in revenue and reputational damage.
With workloads becoming more dynamic and services becoming more digitized, organizations need to find an optimal balance and right-size their infrastructure. But before they can do that, they need to know how much capacity they have and how it is being used.
For many IT departments, achieving this level of visibility involves manually populating disparate spreadsheets. Not only is this time-consuming, but the data is often obsolete even before the process is completed due to the rapid pace of change in the data center.
For capacity planning to deliver business value it has to be in near real time and across all platforms – mainframe and distributed, physical and virtual, private and public cloud.
By deploying an enterprise-class centralized repository that collects and normalizes performance data across all these platforms, organizations will have greater insight into cost reduction initiatives, such as consolidation and virtualization. It will also provide accurate and reliable predictions of future capacity consumption and need using advanced and patented modeling functionality.
As well as tracking current usage, organizations need to assess if they have enough capacity for the future – especially for those spike in demands, whether it’s Cyber Monday for retailers or the last Friday of the month for financial services firms.
To overcome its capacity challenges, US bank Wells Fargo uses CA Capacity Management to create workload models that help it analyze and predict the impact of workload changes on their underlying infrastructure. As a result, it is able to plan how IT can support future business initiatives well in advance and rapidly update these models as requirements change.
For example, when the bank launched its mobile check deposit app, the expected demand for this new functionality was quite high. With CA Capacity Management, the team at Wells Fargo were able to quickly and accurately model this workload demand to predictively understand the appropriate and right-sized amount of infrastructure needed to ensure a successful application launch and end-user experience.
Wells Fargo Digital Channel has not had an infrastructure capacity related outage for more than seven years.
In the application economy, preventing outages is fundamental. If an app is down, users won’t wait for it come back online, they will just move to the next one – and there will be plenty of alternatives to choose from.
During the next five years more than half of organizations expect to increase their investment by 20 percent or more to take advantage of the application economy1.
Organizations will only be able to unlock these advantages if they can deliver a compelling, consistent and continuous user experience – regardless of demand.
Insufficient capacity can be a deal-breaker both for apps and online services.
Even if thousands of other people are hunting for the same bargain as me, I still expect a quick and easy shopping experience.