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Much of the allure of cloud computing stems from the idea that you’re using—and paying for—only as much capacity as your organization actually needs. In the abstract, there’s something perfect about that notion. Unfortunately, IT operates in a reality that’s never so clean and neat.
The trouble with right-sizing, of course, is knowing which size is right. That’s where capacity planning, as troublesome as it can be, pays off. You’ll want to fully understand your organization’s environment, where it is now, where it is heading, and how business needs affect—and will continue to affect—IT realities.
Cloud Capacity Planning Takes Shape Slowly but Capacity Missteps Can Be Costly
Capacity planning has long been a discipline that earns lip service in IT departments, but not much more than that. It’s likely, though, that IT professionals might soon devote more attention to capacity planning—at least once they realize they are overspending on cloud services.
As technology has evolved, capacity planning has only become more complicated. The emergence of virtualization, for instance, means IT staffs no longer examine one large system. Instead, they need to track the workings of virtualized servers running tens or even hundreds of applications.
In addition, some corporations consider capacity planning not worth the investment.As a way around these costs and complications, a business might simply acquire more cloud-processing power when needed. While allocating resources is easier in today’s virtualized data center, businesses find that determining the right amount of cloud service remains a challenge.
Vendors do make it easier for IT staff to add cloud resources quickly, but, like most things, convenience comes at a price. In order to be able to deliver computing resources quickly, IT departments and cloud providers overprovision resources. Of course, someone has to pay for that surplus infrastructure.
While allocating resources is easier in today’s virtualized data center, businesses find that determining the right amount of cloud service remains a challenge. In a private cloud environment, a corporation will overbuild its IT infrastructure. A public cloud vendor, meanwhile, will have pricing models that reward customers for being steady users of a service. A customer will pay a premium when requesting a big, unexpected boost in resources.
Cloud computing has changed the cost and budget equation for many businesses, and IT managers can get a better understanding of where the money goes—and get more for their cloud money—if they keep a watchful eye on the numbers.
The cloud offers easy resource provisioning and flexible pricing. Before deploying workloads there, you’ll want to consider several cloud computing costs beyond the instance price lists. Cloud computing pricing usually includes storage, networking, load balancing, security, redundancy, backup, application services and operating system licenses. Certain cloud computing costs, such as resource contention, bandwidth and redundancy, can come as a surprise.
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If you’d like to discuss any of the above best practices or lessons learned with us or to learn more about how we are partnering with companies just like yours to ensure the availability of mission-critical applications, please contact us at (855) US STELLAR.