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Capacity planning

Capacity planning is the process of determining the production capacity needed by an organization to meet changing demands for its products.[1] In the context of capacity planning, "capacity" is the maximum amount of work that an organization is capable of completing in a given period of time. The phrase is also used in business computing as a synonym for Capacity Management A discrepancy between the capacity of an organization and the demands of its customers results in inefficiency, either in under-utilized resources or unfulfilled customers. The goal of capacity planning is to minimize this discrepancy. Demand for an organization's capacity varies based on changes in production output, such as increasing or decreasing the production quantity of an existing product, or producing new products. Better utilization of existing capacity can be accomplished through improvements in overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Capacity can be increased through introducing new techniques, equipment and materials, increasing the number of workers or machines, increasing the number of shifts, or acquiring additional production facilities. Capacity is calculated: (number of machines or workers) (number of shifts) (utilization) (efficiency). The broad classes of capacity planning are lead strategy, lag strategy, and match strategy.

Lead strategy is adding capacity in anticipation of an increase in demand. Lead strategy is an aggressive strategy with the goal of luring customers away from the company's competitors. The possible disadvantage to this strategy is that it often results in excess inventory, which is costly and often wasteful.

Lag strategy refers to adding capacity only after the organization is running at full capacity or beyond due to increase in demand (North Carolina State University, 2006). This is a more conservative strategy. It decreases the risk of waste, but it may result in the loss of possible customers.

Match strategy is adding capacity in small amounts in response to changing demand in the market. This is a more moderate strategy.

In the context of systems engineering, capacity planning is used during system design and system performance monitoring.

Capacity planning is long-term decision that establishes a firms' overall level of resources. It extends over time horizon long enough to obtain resources. Capacity decisions affect the production lead time, customer responsiveness, operating cost and company ability to compete. Inadequate capacity planning can lead to the loss of the customer and business. Excess capacity can drain the company's resources and prevent investments into more

lucrative ventures. The question of when capacity should be increased and by how much is the critical decisions. Capacity Available or Required ? From a scheduling perspective it is very easy to determine how much capacity (or time) will be required to manufacture a quantity of parts. Simply multiply the Standard Cycle Time by the Number of Parts and divide by the part or process OEE %. If production is scheduled to produce 500 pieces of product A on a machine having a cycle time of 30 seconds and the OEE for the process is 85%, then the time to produce the parts would be calculated as follows: (500 Parts X 30 Seconds) / 85% = 17647.1 seconds The OEE index makes it easy to determine whether we have ample capacity to run the required production. In this example 4.2 hours at standard versus 4.9 hours based on the OEE index. Repeating this process for all the parts that run through a given machine, it is possible to determine the total capacity required to run production. Capacity Available If you are considering new work for a piece of equipment or machinery, knowing how much capacity is available to run the work will eventually become part of the overall process. Typically, an annual forecast is used to determine how many hours per year are required. It is also possible that seasonal influences exist within your machine requirements, so perhaps a quarterly or even monthly capacity report is required. To calculate the total capacity available, we can use the formula from our earlier example and simply adjust or change the volume accordingly based on the period being considered. The available capacity is difference between the required capacity and planned operating capacity.

Capacity Management Functions

Capacity Management involves a number of functions including system tuning, server consolidation and capacity planning. Data requirements for capacity management differ from those necessary for performance management. When a specific performance problem arises, a critical time epoch is examined to determine the cause of the performance degradation. The time epoch is identified using a performance indicator, such as when a measured response time exceeds some threshold. Performance data is typically maintained at fine granularity for a short period of time.

System Tuning
System tuning is a platform-dependent activity that uses measured workload and configuration information to identify current bottlenecks. The information is used to change the workload or configuration and to try to improve performance prior to consolidating servers or building baseline models for capacity planning. System tuning requires an intimate knowledge of the operating system, environmental software, applications and the parameters and system settings that are used to control them. It often requires the careful adjustment of several such parameters--things like process priorities, placement of disk files and memory management parameters.

Server Consolidation
Server consolidation analysis requires the ability to view server utilization metrics over time to identify trends in resource consumption and identify interdependencies in data. Long-term utilization reports can help system managers identify candidates for workload consolidation and identify peak processing requirements.

Capacity Planning
Capacity planning does not require an intimate knowledge of the system and the effects of various parameters. Instead, it treats various components of the computer system as "components" and measures their responses to stimuli such

as changes in workload or changes to physical characteristics of the components. Normally, a capacity planning study is only appropriate after the system is well tuned and the users are getting reasonable performance from the system. An IT Manager must decide how much computing resources an org needs when they are needed Answer why the How Much always changes Depends on the Service Levels. Difficulties: Predicting the future is hard Users cant predict future Distributed client/server environments are more complex than Mainframe data centers The rate of change in new technologies continues to accelerate Organizations are complex Capacity demands upon an org change based on demands for that org resources. Like, as an org grows and new users are added on an existing email system, the capacity of the computer hardware and network resources must increase to meet or exceed demand. Capacity planning determines what capacity is needed to meet current and future demands as well as planning for any extenuating circumstances that may cause a temporarily impact exponentially greater than that normal operations. Capacity planning requires on-going monitoring of existing systems, predicting future needs and impacts, and making intelligent and well-timed decisions to adjust system capabilities to meet user demands. When done correctly the process is seamless to users and business processes are minimally impacted by system adjustments.

Ability of a system to handle growing amounts of work in a graceful manner. A system whose performance improves after adding hardware proportionally to the capacity added is said to be a scalable system.

SAS (Statistical Analysis System)

SAS programs are a sequence of operations to be performed on data stored as tables.

Its a SAS-based software package that processes SMF data records created by OS. It reads raw data records into an organized collection of self-documented labeled formatted and decoded SAS data sets known as Performance Data Base. Advantage: it converts raw performance data from IBM and third party computer vendors into SAS readable format for processing by SAS jobs.

Counters Used in Capacity Planning

Processor: % Processor Time (Processor Bottleneck) Should average below 75% (Preferably below 50%) System: Processor Queue Length Should average below 2 per processor Memory Pages/Sec (Memory Bottleneck) Should average below 20 Memory Available Bytes Should remain above 50 MB Physical Disk - % Disk Time (Disk Bottleneck) Should average below 50% Physical Disk-Avg. Disk Queue Length Should average below 2 per disk Physical Disk-Avg. Disk Reads and Writes /sec Should be below 85% of the capacity of the drive SQL Server: Buffer Manager Buffer Cache Hit Ratio Should exceed 90% SQL Server: Buffer Manager - Page Life Expectancy Should remain above 300