Capacity Reservations System Improves Service Agility & Removes Over-Provisioning in Private Cloud Environment

Cirba delivers demand management, capacity reservations and forecasting for large x86 environment

The Situation: Spreadsheet Approach to Capacity Management Introduced Cost and Risk

Business application owners at a Fortune 500 insurer were frustrated by slow responses to capacity and workload placements requests and threatened to take their workloads to external service providers. The infrastructure team was struggling to improve with a time-consuming manual process and service request portal that was not connected to capacity inventory or capacity assessment tools. With a 6-month purchase cycle for hardware and a lack of visibility into actual requirements, the insurer was forced to wildly over-provisioned capacity to offset any future demand, eroding the potential savings and efficiency associated with operating a cloud infrastructure in the first place.

The Solution: A Capacity Reservations System to Improve Responsiveness and Forecasting Accuracy

After spending considerable time evaluating forecast requirements, the organized determined that they needed a capacity planning solution that accommodated both trends (natural shifts in user activity, organic growth, and business activities such as a marketing campaign) and changing demands (capacity entering or leaving via new application deployment and other project-based activity).

Cirba's Bookings Management System provided the capabilities they needed to leverage the information gathered with their self-service portal by providing the ability to model future capacity bookings, virtual and cloud on-boarding, decommissioning and supply-side changes and compare that against existing infrastructure and capacity to determine shortfalls and requirements.

Cirba's Control Console and its Bookings Management System enabled the infrastructure team to:

  • Qualify and profile requests to more accurately determine requirements
  • Quickly respond to requests by determining whether capacity was available to fulfill a request
  • Know exactly where to place workloads and how much resource they required
  • Lock-in the capacity for approved requests so that it wasn't allocated to another system
  • Indentify guests and hosts that were improperly provisioned
  • Track overall infrastructure efficiency using the Cirba Efficiency Index
  • Accurately determine future-state capacity requirements leveraging historical trends, growth projections and planned changes

The Results: Clear Visibility into Infrastructure Health and Performance

By implementing Cirba's Bookings Management System, the insurance company was able to set up models that automatically analyzed future demand against supply, with a clear view into anticipated utilization levels, and resource allocation requirements. Cirba provides specific recommendations on the configuration to accommodate demand, whether adding additional memory, processing power or a completely new physical server.

The ability to accurately forecast demand while accounting for business and technical demands in a heavily regulated environment gave the insurance company with a clear view of capacity needs, removing unnecessary investment in hardware and enabling increased responsive to the business and higher service levels than an external cloud provider.