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Capacity management's goal is to ensure that information technology resources are sufficient to meet upcoming business requirements cost-effectively. One common interpretation of capacity management is described in the ITIL framework. ITIL version 3 views capacity management as comprising three sub-processes: business capacity management, service capacity management, and component capacity management.

As the usage of IT services change and functionality evolves, the amount of central processing units (CPUs), memory and storage to a physical or virtual server etc. also changes. If there are spikes in, for example, processing power at a particular time of the day, it proposes analyzing what is happening at that time and making changes to maximize the existing IT infrastructure; for example, tuning the application, or moving a batch cycle to a quieter period. This capacity planning identifies any potential capacity related issues likely to arise, and justifies any necessary investment decisions - for example, the server requirements to accommodate future IT resource demand, or a data center consolidation.[1]

These activities are intended to optimize performance and efficiency, and to plan for and justify financial investments. Capacity management is concerned with:

Capacity management interacts with the discipline of Performance Engineering, both during the requirements and design activities of building a system, and when using performance monitoring.

Factors affecting network performance

Not all networks are the same. As data is broken into component parts (often known frames, packets, or segments) for transmission, several factors can affect their delivery.

These factors, and others (such as the performance of the network signaling on the end nodes, compression, encryption, concurrency, and so on) all affect the effective performance of a network. In some cases, the network may not work at all; in others, it may be slow or unusable. And because applications run over these networks, application performance suffers. Various intelligent solutions are available to ensure that traffic over the network is effectively managed to optimize performance for all users. See Traffic Shaping

The performance management discipline

Network performance management (NPM) consists of measuring, modeling, planning, and optimizing networks to ensure that they carry traffic with the speed, reliability, and capacity that is appropriate for the nature of the application and the cost constraints of the organization. Different applications warrant different blends of capacity, latency, and reliability. For example:

Network performance management tasks and classes of tools

Network Performance management is a core component of the FCAPS ISO telecommunications framework (the 'P' stands for Performance in this acronym). It enables the network engineers to proactively prepare for degradations in their IT infrastructure and ultimately help the end-user experience.

Network managers perform many tasks; these include performance measurement, forensic analysis, capacity planning, and load-testing or load generation. They also work closely with application developers and IT departments who rely on them to deliver underlying network services. [3]

Next generation NPM tools

Next-generation NPM tools are those that improve network management by automating the collection of network data, including capacity issues, and automatically interpreting it. Terry Slattery, editor at, compares three such tools, VMWare's vRealize Network Insight, PathSolutions TotalView, and Kemp Flowmon, in the article The Future of Network Performance Management,[5] June 10, 2021.

The future of NPM

The future of network management is a radically expanding area of development, according to Terry Slattery on June 10, 2021: "We're starting to see more analytics of network data at levels that weren’t possible 10-15 years ago, due to limitations that no longer exist in computing, memory, storage, and algorithms. New approaches to network management promise to help us detect and resolve network problems... It’s certainly an interesting and evolving field."[5]

See also


  1. ^ Klosterboer, Larry (2011). ITIL capacity management. Boston: Pearson Education. ISBN 0-13-706592-2.
  2. ^ Rouse, Margaret (April 2006), Building with modern data center design in mind, archived from the original on 3 March 2018, retrieved 23 September 2015
  3. ^ Jordan, Dorris, M. "Product life cycle". Retrieved 17 November 2021.((cite news)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b Head, Ian (Jan 30, 2015), Market Guide for Capacity Management Tools, Gartner[dead link]
  5. ^ a b Slattery, Terry (June 10, 2021). "The Future of Network Management: A recap of three network management products".