IT Best Practices: Improving Business Continuity with Data Center Capacity Planning
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IT Best Practices: To meet Intel’s business computing needs more effectively and ensure continuity of service, Intel IT has developed a predictive data center capacity planning process. Our approach helps us to accurately forecast demand on our data center facilities and proactively identify capacity shortfalls years in advance. We use the predictive planning approach during our long-range planning (LRP) process, which happens twice a year. We conduct the analysis over a 3-year planning horizon to understand business growth trends and the need for future data center capacity. Our LRP process involves three key stages:
• Gather data from our business segments. Each business segment reviews their business plans and provides demand forecasts based on historical trends and growth estimates. The goal is to generate a 3-year capacity demand forecast on the compute capacity requirements for all business segments.
• Analyze the data. We map the forecasted data against baseline data—the currently available space, cooling, and power—in each data center. Our primary goal is to identify constrained data centers, those that will have more demand than available capacity at some point over the planning horizon.
• Report the results. We report our findings to senior management. Our LRP reports are designed to bring visibility into upcoming data center capacity issues and spur discussion of remedial plans to address these issues. We propose solutions to optimize the performance and utilization of each data center. A shortfall in data center capacity can impact business goals and budgets as well as overall growth and innovation. By getting visibility into data center capacity issues over a 3-year planning horizon, we can strategically plan ahead to accommodate evolving business needs and market changes.