IT Infrastructure Insights

The Storage Capacity Design Dilemma

Aug 25, 2021

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Designing effective and efficient storage environments may feel akin to a balancing act. On the one hand, inadequate planning can lead to unplanned downtime and bottlenecks, while on the other, over-provisioning can result in overspending and unnecessary costs. This can result in IT leaders finding themselves trying to juggle capacity management, performance, and operating within their budget.

Trying to keep all of those balls moving without dropping one, is precisely why IT leaders need access to reliable, data-driven insights into performance, capacity, utilization, and governance challenges. Visual One can help IT leaders find their balance, accounting for capacity and performance across their entire infrastructures all at once.

Balancing Capacity Planning

Storage capacity planning is a multi-dimensional challenge with significant financial implications, making it a key concern for IT leaders. But far too often, companies do capacity planning in silos. They will look at different kinds of data, from different parts of their infrastructure, all on different spreadsheets or panes of glass, never seeing the full picture. 

One of the reasons capacity planning is done this way is simple: Putting all that data together is time-consuming. Yet, in order to see the critical, top-level details that show growth trends, it’s essential for companies to stop doing capacity planning in silos. How can someone do this without exhausting valuable work hours? A comprehensive service like Visual One Intelligence (Visual One) can help IT leaders see their entire storage environment on a single pane of glass

To forecast more precise outcomes, Visual One helps IT leaders through multi-level capacity management, forecasting models, and what-if scenarios that cover the entire storage environment.

Multi-level capacity management: The only way to accurately track your growth trends and forecast precise outcomes is to collect data at all levels of the organization. Visual One helps enterprises track storage capacity at four levels of capacity management, including device, group, location, and pool.

Forecasting models: Modeling capabilities from Visual One help IT leaders plan in advance, evaluate solutions, negotiate purchases, and reduce budget costs. There are three different forecasting models that can be used, including weighted average, simple linear, and customer selected.

What-if scenarios: While forecasting for your current environment is important, IT leaders also need help with what-if data. Visual One allows IT leaders to model applications or predictions for new or hypothetical scenarios, allowing leaders to better understand the long-term effects of adding data or making other changes. 

By combining these three capacity management strategies, IT leaders are better able to maximize the efficiency of their current data storage resources and negotiate new storage purchases when the time is right.

Balancing Performance

In addition to ensuring that the organization has enough infrastructure capacity to handle their needs, IT leaders also need to balance performance demands. Typically, storage design is only done from a capacity standpoint and ignores performance. This oversight can quickly lead to over-utilizing resources, since the threshold for performance will often be reached quicker than the threshold for storage consumption.

One of the main reasons some organizations may ignore doing storage capacity design from a performance standpoint is not only that it’s harder, but many IT leaders don’t have the right tools to assist them. Similar to performing capacity management in multiple levels, Visual One also helps IT leaders track performance data at all levels of infrastructure, as well as set specific performance thresholds. 

Too many businesses rely on late indicators to tell them they are in trouble when it comes to performance. Visual One uses early indicators, which allow IT leaders to know what you need and when you need it. Another aspect of monitoring performance is knowing where to place workloads within the current infrastructure to maximize its use. Visual One can help IT leaders with each facet of performance planning. 

Putting Capacity & Performance Together

Designing storage environments will always be a balancing act, trying to ensure that there is enough capacity for workloads to run with the desired performance. To achieve the best possible outcomes, IT leaders need to see the trends across the whole environment, including both capacity and performance, as limitations in either can hinder an organization’s ability to get business done.

When making plans for storage capacity, it’s also important for IT leaders to have solutions that will last. If you’re using spreadsheets to do capacity planning, what will you do when the IT professional who built those spreadsheets leaves? Or what happens if you switch to a new storage vendor and your previous capacity planning tool is no longer compatible? Visual One is vendor-neutral and compatible with over 80 different offerings from more than 12 distinct vendors.

Visual One is here to help IT leaders get the most out of their storage environments through smart infrastructure planning. While vendor-specific reporting tools are designed for the life of the product, Visual One is focused on creating longevity and providing a data management solution that is designed for the life of the business. 

By providing IT leaders with a unified, visual analysis across their multi-vendor storage environment, Visual One helps companies track growth trends, forecast precise outcomes, and make more informed strategic decisions. Visual One provides IT leaders with tools that enable both transparency and data confidence, allowing them to provide the IT excellence they were hired to deliver. 

Key Takeaways

  • IT leaders must juggle capacity management, performance, and operating within their budget.
  • Organizations need to ensure that they have enough capacity to run their business while avoiding both over and under-provisioning their storage environment.
  • Often storage design is only done from a capacity standpoint and ignores performance, which can lead to over-utilizing resources.
  • The threshold for performance will often be reached quicker than the threshold for storage consumption.
  • IT leaders need to see the trends across the whole environment, including both capacity and performance.
  • Visual One helps put all of your environments into one place.