Capacity Management

As with Configuration Management, there is no single prebuilt process provided with Service Desk that directly delivers Capacity Management. However, Service Desk does support you in performing the various Capacity Management activities driven through your ITSM processes.

For example, key to Capacity Management is setting target capacity and utilization levels for IT Services, and the on-going review of the actual capacity and utilization of those live services against those targets. Using the Service Portfolio process (see Service Portfolio Management), you are guided to identify the capacity utilization values required for each Service during the Design stages – effectively sizing the service or application for the maximum number of anticipated users. These are recorded in the Capacity Target fields on the Service CI. These always need to match or exceed the Service Level capacity targets if any are identified in the Service Level agreements recorded on the Service.

Tests and Risks

The portfolio process provides you with a collection to track Capacity Tests and their Results, or identified Risks and their Countermeasures.

Planning

Producing a Capacity Plan is enabled through the Service Lifecycle, where the Capacity Manager is prompted to create and then link the requirements, scope and forecast for the service together in a Capacity Plan document. You can access this from the attachments on the Service Lifecycle. The activities in creating this plan are largely manual, but access in Service Desk to all the service target – and captured – values on the Service and Lifecycle process helps the Capacity Manager with this. Also refer to the information produced from Reports to input into future planning.

Service Desk can access the data in many external applications, silos and systems, including capacity management / monitoring Information systems. This means that, using Service Desk's ability to connect to external sources (using the Data Connector and Import components), you can view or import actual measured capacity values for CIs or Services from external capacity monitoring tools into the latest-value attributes on the Service CI. As with Availability Management, this is not limited to capacity values alone, but can include performance, usage and financial data.

For more information about connecting data sources, see Data connections.

Reporting on Capacity is a key part of this activity. The collection of Capacity Data on the Service CI gives access to capacity values from queries. You can, for example, add Trend charts of CPU utilization over time to Dashboards to show trends in these captured values.

Using Crystal Reports (or other reporting tools) can help greatly with the production of management reports from historical capacity data in Service Desk. Sample Crystal Reports are provided to show the tracking of capacity performance against targets over time. Exceptions and forecast values are presented as calculations based on the Target and Actual values stored in Service Desk. These can be seen tracking sample metrics for Service Performance numerically and graphically. You can also use these views of captured performance to help predict and forecast future directions of Capacity attribute values.

The captured capacity data is presented at all times as a list, either as the Capacity Data tab on the Service or as separate Service Capacity queries. This provides access to an even more advanced analysis, since you can export the query results to Excel, from where more detailed analysis tools are available.

Design Idea: Consider using Ivanti MI to re-capture and present these values as Trend gadgets against defined thresholds.

Another key capacity metric is the number of users subscribed or linked to the Service, which again can be monitored over time.

Design Idea: Although you can manually update subscribed users, following Change or Request processes could also update the Service automatically.

Customer Utilization data is a capacity metric that is also typically provided from external sources. A daily import of maximum concurrent users, or current user count for an application provides comparison and trend abilities against targets for application sizing. You can show trends in these captured values by adding charts of, for example, human usage over time on Dashboards to help with forecasting capacity requirements.

Simulation, Modeling and Forecasting

Use any of the above Trend examples to monitor the growth of utilization and reduction in capacity. Any of these Trend charts also allows extrapolation to forecast where and when limits may be breached in time, and to consider potential future points where demand may exceed the maximum target set.

You can address sizing and modeling in Service Desk by working with the CI Structure diagrams that define the service relationships. Create a new Model Services folder in the CI Structures section and build your example model services there. You can reuse the key concept of a Services relationship to build 'model' examples. You may also choose to create an alternative relationship (Service Model). Your Capacity reports should then pick the Model structures and provide modified roll-up capacity information and forecasts based on these example structures.

You can simulate adding, for example, a different server to a Model service and compare in the Capacity Summary Report the differences between the Live and the Model services. These changes can be seen in forecast reports and enable you to simulate changes and variations in existing services before the changes take place.


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