MSP Today Expert Feature
August 14, 2013

CA Boosts Capacity Management for Service Providers, Enterprise

Capacity management software may cost a few bucks, but it can also save a lot of bucks if service providers and enterprises only build out the capacity they truly need. That is the goal of CA Technologies’ (News - Alert) recently revamped CA Capacity Management tool.

The tool covers the whole enterprise gamut, from giant mainframes and distributed computing infrastructures to virtual systems and hybrid clouds. The tool can analyze public cloud vendors, such as Amazon, Microsoft (News - Alert), Rackspace, Savvis and Verizon Terremark; can plan for VMware workloads; and supports Linux, Windows and IBM z/OS-based mainframes.

Research house Enterprise Management Associates (EMA (News - Alert)) knows what it wants to see in a capacity management tool: “Real-time configuration, performance, and utilization data constitutes the baseline for any accurate capacity calculation…When analyzing [this] data, it is essential to not only take a look at peak and average activity, but also include mid and long-term resource usage patterns,” the company wrote in IT Optimization through Predictive Capacity Management, a white paper commissioned by CA. “This information helps the IT department understand how workloads are currently growing and how they might contend for resources in the future. To ensure accuracy, capacity management software must include algorithms to validate the quality and completeness of the imported data.”

The capacity tool, CA said, is able to:

  • Model mainframe capacity and perform what-if analyses for complete, end-to-end capacity modeling;
  • Preview how applications will perform and how much they will cost when considering hybrid cloud migration initiatives;
  • Efficiently reserve capacity for upcoming projects, application roll-outs, and users or companies being added to the environment; and
  • Achieve greater data center efficiency, higher resource utilization rates, and even more accurate predictions on application performance with expanded support for CA Infrastructure Management and Microsoft SCOM environments.

EMA sees a clear cloud focus with the new tool: “Cost analysis is very important to customers in their cloud migration initiatives and it is very cool to be able to see utilization and cost levels when comparing cloud vendor platforms for migration efforts in the new release of CA Capacity Management,” said Torsten Volk, research director, Systems Management (News - Alert), Enterprise Management Associates.

The capacity management field has broad solutions like CA Capacity Management, and point solutions for VMware and other discrete bits of technology, such as Vkernel Capacity Analyzer, now owned by Dell (News - Alert).

Much of what CA is trying to accomplish involves predictions: “Based on predictive analytics, CA Capacity Management conducts scenario analyses, identifying suitable hardware options to accommodate the outcome of each business case. These options can consist of shifting loads between existing data center hardware elements and recommendations for acquiring additional hardware. CA Capacity Management offers a regularly updated catalog of server, network, and storage hardware by almost any vendor, so that the customer can leverage existing hardware vendor relationships,” the EMA report said. “CA Capacity Management offers easy-to-read reports for different audiences, such as business stakeholder, IT executives, IT managers, etc. These reports provide evaluations of the current infrastructure efficiency and compare the outcomes – response time, monthly cost, batch windows – of various consolidation scenarios, such as the virtualization of multiple physical hosts using different hypervisor versions. CA Capacity Management can provide these predictions for all of the individual stages of this migration scenario, so that business users can be made aware of an anticipated temporary degradation of service.”

Edited by Blaise McNamee