What Does Flexible Capacity Really Mean for IT Leaders?

The business needs to move fast, and flexible IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) can make that happen. But IT leaders must understand the factors behind the model first.

Reviewing servers
iStock

Capacity planning for on-premises data centers and private clouds isn’t easy. IT departments often find themselves scrambling to secure capacity for an expanded project’s demands — or figuring out how to best use overprovisioned resources.

That’s why flexible IT consumption models for on-prem and private clouds have gained attention.

However, it’s important to use a pay-per-use model that can quickly deliver the extra capacity that your business needs.

Consumption Factors to Consider

The public cloud laid bare certain critical benefits including scalability and agility — with associated cost efficiencies — that couldn’t be achieved with on-prem infrastructure. In turn, these IT benefits suited the business’s need for faster time-to-market, among other benefits.

Now, organizations can achieve these benefits with flexible IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) models. But there are key differences among these solutions that IT decision makers must keep in mind.

  • Pay-as-you-go vs. leasing approach. Capacity is the key driver, and how you pay for that capacity matters. Some vendors offer what they refer to as IT-as-a-Service consumption, and yet still require the purchase or leasing of infrastructure. The downsides: You still have to estimate how much capacity you’ll need; you may wind up overpaying in a leasing model if extra capacity isn’t built in to the contract; and it will take time to deploy extra capacity.

With a pay-as-you-go model, however, companies don’t purchase or lease any gear. The model starts with estimating what infrastructure is necessary, building in extra capacity, or a buffer, for future needs—yet you still only pay for what is used. However, if two months or two years down the road the organization needs additional capacity, it is quickly made available.

  • Tools to measure capacity use. When shopping for ITaaS, it’s essential to track down exactly how the vendor measures capacity utilization. Is it based on monthly estimates or on actual use? Either way, how are figures and calculations created?

Having to estimate capacity requirements can lead to the same problem many organizations already have: over- or under-provisioning. Metering, on the other hand, offers visibility into exact usage.

In addition to metering, look for monitoring functionality and consumption analytics. By having regular insights into capacity use, companies can identify trends and spikes—meaning IT budgets and capacity needs will be even easier to forecast.

Capacity On-demand

Having capacity at-the-ready enables companies to move faster on new opportunities, according to HPE. Organizations can move away from long procurement cycles, maintaining infrastructure, and conducting time-consuming tasks like capacity planning. This all helps organizations get to market faster, among other things.

HPE GreenLake provides an IT consumption model where companies:

  • Only pay for the resources they actually use;
  • Scale up and down in a flexible manner based on business demand;
  • Provision on-the-fly to reduce time to market for the business.

Learn more at https://www.hpe.com/us/en/greenlake.html

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.