Benjamin Grubin

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The Improbability of Resource Planning

The ability to plan for your resource fluctuations is one of the many advantages of cloud computing

Imagine you run an eCommerce web site, and you know that on "Black Friday," that magical day after Thanksgiving when retailers drop prices and rev up sales, you would require substantially more servers to accommodate the anticipated spike in online traffic.

If you were operating in a private cloud, you could go to IT and request a dozen more servers for the day, and IT could have them ready to roll on Black Friday. What's more, IT could arrange for the machines to be shut down on Saturday, so it wouldn't cost you a penny more than you need to spend.

If you were in a traditional IT shop, you would be out of luck. Back in the day, if you knew you had a big resource push like a Black Friday traffic spike coming, there really wasn't much you could do about it. It's not as though you could ask IT to temporarily buy two dozen servers to accommodate your one-day rush. Today, with virtualization and cloud computing, you can actually do that and IT can set it up and have it ready exactly when you need it (within the limits of your physical resources, of course).

This ability to plan for your resource fluctuations is one of the many advantages of cloud computing. IT has the ability to scale up and down at will, and, as a business unit manager, you have the added advantage of paying only for what you use. From a business perspective, business units are much more likely to give back those resources when they're finished because they are paying for every extra day they are up.

This resource elasticity is what we see as one of the key strengths of running a private cloud.

What's more, this ability to plan changes the dynamic of the relationship between the business units and IT. The two can work together as partners to determine needs and allocate resources based on actual future plans, rather than based on simply reacting to traffic or other resource requirement spikes as they occur.

Capacity can only be expanded within the limits of your hardware. You can't make something out of nothing, but you can use what you have more efficiently.

This planning ability was simply unthinkable in the old resource model, but with cloud computing it's not only possible, it's one of the key strengths of this approach. As for that Black Friday traffic? Bring it on.

Look for an upcoming post on how to plan your hardware needs to meet capacity planning requirements.

More Stories By Benjamin Grubin

Benjamin Grubin is a 15-year veteran of the technology industry with experience in security, software engineering, marketing, consulting and management. He is the Director of Product Management & Marketing for Cloud Technology Partners, overseeing products that accelerate cloud development and migration. Mr. Grubin has worked with Fortune 100 companies to modernize their infrastructure and support next-generation management and security technologies. He is also a frequent presenter at conferences, seminars and panels on topics including cloud computing, IT service management, virtualization, and IT security.

Mr. Grubin holds an MBA from Harvard Business School as well as both a Master of Science in Computer Science and Bachelor of Science in Economics and Computer Science from Tufts University. Follow Ben on Twitter at @bgrubin.

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