Virtualization: Capacity Planning
Updated: May 22, 2019
By Ric Cahak
In this series, we have discussed the advantages of Virtualization including flexibility and scalability. Although there are numerous advantages to creating a highly flexible on-premise virtualized environment, the consequences of inadequate planning for the complexity of the new system can be detrimental and costly.
In this blog we examine capacity planning for virtualizing to obtain the maximum benefit from your system. There are several key issues that need to be addressed in the capacity planning process.
Shared Versus Dedicated Resources Within a Virtualized Environment
A virtual environment can be designed to achieve high levels of efficiency and flexibility by allowing virtual machines (VMs) to share resources like processors, RAM, disk space and network capacity. Applications that don’t make constant use of resources may perform very well in this type of environment, especially if they can delay some operations without affecting their output or the user experience. However, many applications - notably most telecommunications applications including recording - need to respond to events immediately and require constant access to resources.
Advance capacity planning ensures that high and constant-use applications will function uninterrupted and delays will be prevented. Such applications can be set up for optimal performance in a virtual environment by:
Allocating dedicated resources
Allocating more resources to their VM
Placing them on VMs with other low-use applications
Requirements of the Application/ Service
Assessing the requirements of applications or services going into the virtualized environment is important in determining how much capacity will be needed, and whether shared or dedicated resources are required. A careful examination of the following items provides insight to strategizing for the needs of your application or service:
Number of users for the application or service
The most used functions within the application or service
Level of processing within the application requirements
Real time or background processing functions
Timing of processing functions
Long-term Planning for Stability
Capacity planning your virtualization should also include planning for the future. Consideration of long-term growth and usage will help to minimize downtime, outages, and workflow interruptions caused by changes in hardware, VM configuration, application upgrades, and other alterations. Future sizing for capacity needs affords greater stability over time than does sizing just for today.
In a hosted environment, long-term needs are met by the ability to scale up or scale down as needed at any time within the hosted service. Using a hosted service alleviates some of the capacity planning requirements that exist in on-premise environments, but the costs associated with making changes in each hosted environment must be considered.
Whether employing a virtualized environment on your premise or taking advantage of a hosted service, regular monitoring of processor and memory usage provides up-to-date information about how resources are being used. This allows administrators to optimize costs and performance by scaling down resources that are being underutilized or scaling up in advance to prevent negative events if resources are taxed.
Capacity planning is a very detailed process, and if you are planning to migrate your call/interaction recording and /or other software to a virtualized or hosted environment, contact HigherGround’s Client Support for help. We will be happy to assist you.
What are your thoughts on capacity planning for virtualization? We would love to hear your ideas.
About the Author - Ric Cahak leads HigherGround's service and support operations and oversees the development of new products and technological advancements. He previously worked with AT&T as both Manager of Operator Services and Sales Manager, and with the William Morris Agency as Telecommunications Director. Click here for more information on Tom and the rest of the HigherGround team!
HigherGround, Inc. provides best-in-class, reliable data capture and interaction storage solutions that enable clients to easily retrieve critical information. Our interaction recording and incident reconstruction solutions transform data into actionable intelligence, allowing optimization of operations, enhanced performance, and cost reduction.