Capacity Planning & Capacity Management


Capacity Management, according to ITIL, belongs to the Service Design phase of a service lifecycle.


But, when should you start considering capacity? It’s hard to say, but certainly – as soon as possible. Don’t leave it as a last “tick in the box,” because that is much too late. And it could be expensive.


Capacity Management is the discipline that ensures IT infrastructure is provided at the right time in the right volume at the right price, and ensuring that IT is used in the most efficient manner.

This involves input from many areas of the business to identify what services are (or will be) required, what IT infrastructure is required to support these services, what level of Contingency will be needed, and what the cost of this infrastructure will be.


Capacity management is made up of three subprocesses:

  • Business capacity management (BCM)
  • Service capacity management (SCM)
  • Resource capacity management (RCM)



These subprocesses all share a common set of activities that are applied from different perspectives. They include the following:

  • Modeling
  • Service monitoring
  • Performance management
  • Demand management
  • Workload management
  • Analysis
  • Change initiation
  • Optimization
  • Trend analysis


These are inputs into the following Capacity Management processes:

  • Performance monitoring
  • Workload monitoring
  • Application sizing
  • Resource forecasting
  • Demand forecasting
  • Modelling


From these processes come the results of capacity management, these being the capacity plan itself, forecasts, tuning data and Service Level Management guidelines.



Gartner Point of view


Capacity Planning and Capacity Management positioning on the Hype Cycle and adoption speed

Gartner positions Capacity Planning and Management technologies in the “Peak of Inflated Expectations”: this means that, after an initial stage where only highly innovation driven players took advantage of these technologies, more and more companies share the same desire and the hope that, in leveraging these technologies and processes, the goal of running IT operations like a business can be achieved.


Gartner advice their clients to invest in Capacity Management and Capacity Planning tools for:

  • Lower the IT Infrastructure costs
  • Mitigate Risk linked to poor performance and lack of capacity
  • Make fact based decisions and plan for future scenarios