While it’s important to understand the technical, siloed aspect of managing capacity and performance, this approach alone isn’t sufficient for properly managing the business of IT. Taking a holistic perspective—based on an enterprisewide view of capacity, with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and business drivers (e.g., orders/minute)—gives IT a much better understanding of the capacity needs of the business and the impact of their decisions on revenue.
A unified, enterprisewide view of performance and capacity is critical because organizations have business transactions that span the entire infrastructure. All too often, the mainframe and distributed support teams work in silos. Transaction data that the distributed team is viewing and analyzing doesn’t include the components processed on the mainframe and vice versa. Both teams need to leverage technology that brings the two silos together to provide a complete view.
Speak the same language. IT can also gain greater credibility with the business by translating “IT-speak” into the language of the business. IT can say, “Our systems can support x number of business transactions that we’re going to do this holiday season.” Or, they can say, “No, we can’t support the 500,000 transactions we expect every week. We’re going to have to make changes to the infrastructure to support that transaction volume.”
How do you bring in the business KPIs and speak to the business in a common language? Your capacity optimization solution should provide the insight needed to make those important conversations work. Having a business-service perspective of capacity management enables IT organizations to show how they impact business value.
Together is better. Look at processes in terms of business services, rather than individual servers, from the frontend to the backend. The majority of business services today are based on transactions that start on distributed system platforms. Ultimately, they frequently end up in a mainframe-based backend.
Consider all components, no matter where they’re located in the infrastructure. They all must be viewed and managed together to help ensure service levels are being met and that the components are supporting the customer effectively.
End-to-end capacity visibility and transaction volume awareness create a unique opportunity to identify cost optimization areas. Capacity planners could, for example, identify services that are overutilizing mainframe resources due to poor implementations on the distributed layer and provide suggestions for how to reduce the load without disrupting services. The benefit of this approach goes far beyond pure cost optimization; it provides an overall better quality of experience by reducing the latency associated with each transaction. The dialog is also facilitated by the availability of quantitative data.
Technology can help. Capacity management technology provides a view of the technical resources of the infrastructure and business services. Business volumes and actions drive capacity needs, such as when bank customers withdraw money from ATM machines. Enterprisewide business services require communication between the distributed systems and the mainframe support teams. Leveraging capacity optimization technology that spans multiple platforms, including the mainframe, opens up a dialogue between the two teams and enables IT to leverage technical capacity planning skills that exist in the separate groups.
The end-to-end perspective that readily incorporates business drivers and correlates that information with performance data and managing capacity is important. From an application perspective, it’s critical to incorporate business KPIs, provide an end-to-end view and fully incorporate the mainframe effectively, intelligently and completely.
Capacity optimization solutions can help businesses deal with fluctuating capacity demands. Organizations with both distributed and mainframe platforms and applications that power an online sales portal must be able to predict peak demand times and ensure sufficient capacity is always available. They need a unified view to track those business transactions, see how they impact mainframe and distributed systems utilization and identify the related services. They also must identify the number of business transactions, as in orders per second or orders per minute, and correlate that number with the necessary infrastructure support.
By focusing on enterprisewide capacity optimization, IT can meet fluctuating business demands with the required IT capacity across all platforms, break down silos between distributed and mainframe and provide a higher level of collaboration by communicating in a language the business understands.