Four Levels of Storage Capacity Management
Effective storage capacity management helps IT leaders ensure that there are enough resources for both short-term and long-term goals. By looking at historical storage utilization trends, IT leaders can predict and plan for storage capacity in the future. In order to accurately forecast future storage capacity needs, it’s important that IT leaders are able to collect and track storage data at all levels of the organization.
Unfortunately, most organizations don’t analyze storage at each of these levels. Why? Because analyzing storage at each of these levels is difficult and time-consuming, it takes time away from other critical responsibilities, and sometimes the level of detail is simply unavailable.
At VSI, we believe IT leaders should be armed with efficient tools that enable data storage transparency. While everybody can do capacity management at some level, VSI offers IT leaders an automated data collection process and consistent reporting at four levels of capacity management.
Four Levels of Storage Capacity Management:
Why Four Levels?
The only way to accurately track your growth trends, forecast precise outcomes, and improve budgeting accuracy is to collect data at all levels of the organization. Without the full picture, IT leaders may be at risk for unnecessary, reactive purchases.
Organizations may choose to start at either the top, the device level, or the bottom, the pool level, when it comes to capacity management planning. For companies starting at the top, the first question they might ask is, do I have enough capacity for all backups? They might have three devices for backup, and they notice that one device is out, so they start looking to upgrade that device. While that device may need to be upgraded, could data at another level provide additional information?
Another company might start their capacity management planning at the array level where they have an array with 200 terabytes. The array might look great, but poor performance could be hiding just below the surface. Imagine that 150 terabytes are in a big pool that is only 25% full, while 50 terabytes are in a small pool that is 90% full. That big pool might have tons of capacity; however, it’s slow. The small pool may be fast, but it is full. The big pool can’t help the small pool, and it could be overshadowing the problem in the small pool.
Without diving deeper and looking at the pool level, the company would think that the array looked fine, and they wouldn’t know that performance could be better. No one is tracking at the pool level manually, but without monitoring at this level, IT leaders are leaving themselves open to problems. That’s why VSI helps IT leaders with a tool to do this for you.
The details that appear as a result of doing multi-dimensional capacity planning can offer further insight to IT leaders, helping them avoid surprise purchases, plan accordingly, and get the right storage in the right place at the right time for the right price.
Three Forecasting Models
Paired with the four levels of capacity management are the forecasting models that can be used to clarify capacity and growth assumptions. There are three primary forecasting models:
- Last 6 months, using weighted averages and weighing last month more than other months
- Linear growth model
- Customer-selected growth model
By applying a forecasting model to one of the four levels of capacity management businesses can model and plan for various storage needs, including new workloads coming in or leaving, new applications, and performance requirements. IT leaders can model everything online, ensuring that they get what they need and that it lasts.
Better reporting tools make it easy to perform storage capacity management, enabling IT leaders to be proactive about storage requirements, make smarter, more strategic decisions, and spend limited budget dollars more wisely. VSI helps IT leaders drill down capacity planning and provides flexibility based on your heterogeneous environment. Schedule a demo to talk to a VSI data expert.
- Analyzing storage capacity across your enterprise can be a daunting task, but it is also a necessary one.
- Effective data storage capacity management requires a proactive approach in order to control costs and increase efficiencies.
- When companies only do capacity management at one level, they risk missing key information that can result in reactive and wasteful decision-making.
- VSI helps IT leaders drill down capacity planning and provides flexibility based on your heterogeneous environment.