MOM 2005 and ITIL – Part 3

Capacity Management 

The goal of Capacity Management is to understand the future business requirements and ensure that all current and future capacity and aspects of the infrastructure are provided cost effectively to support those objectives. 

Capacity Management tasks 

  • Monitoring the performance and the throughput of IT services and supporting IT components.

  • Tuning activities to make efficient use of resources.

  • Understanding the current demands for IT resources and deriving forecasts for future requirements.

  • Producing a Capacity Plan predicting the IT resources needed to achieve agreed service level agreements.

Out of the box most management packs will monitor a number of performance counters. The product groups creating the management packs have done the work to say which perfmon counters are useful to monitor. Within the console it is possible to view a graph of these performance counters to see that everything is running fine. More importantly MOM allows thresholds to be set when counters, average of counters over a number of samples or differences between samples are greater or less than a value so that operators can be alerted and do not have to monitor graphs. 

With MOM 2005 came the built in data warehouse that could be used with SQL Reporting Services. This was a big leap from MOM 2000 with an Access front end of reports which were hard to create and you had to create your own data warehouse. While it is recommended that you keep the MOM database at less than 30 GB for the data warehouse is supported to 1 TB and out of the box the settings will keep data for 13 months. The first step in the process is to decide how long it is useful to keep the data for. 

There are numerous reports from the management packs that can be run for reports on a number of performance counters. And there is also a generic performance counter report that will graph any performance counter that you have decided to collect. These reports enable the organisation to determine if there are servers that are under utilised and can be consolidated, removed or virtualised. They also allow the organisation to see which servers are nearing capacity and need upgrades. Also by looking at the graphs over time you can trend servers that will run out of capacity in future and so put in an order with the MOM report helping to create the business case. 

While MOM 2005 can not take the information in the data warehouse and predict the trend Microsoft are working at doing this for future specifically around using the data warehouse in SCOM with a future version System Center Capacity Planner. 

Availability Management 

Additionally Availability Management is also a contender for MOM. I have not added a section on this as the Availabilty Management pack seems to be off at the moment. This is a shame as any practically any organisation that you show the reports to like them. Although according to Clive Eastwood’s blog this should be back by the end of August.http://blogs.technet.com/cliveeastwood/archive/2006/07/21/442795.aspx 

Conclusion 

That does not cover all of ITIL but it shows how you can start an ITIL project with MOM 2005 as the focus which will help determine how you proceed with the ITIL project but also adds clarity about what you expect MOM to deliver to the organisation. 

One of the nice things that I like about ITIL is that it gives everyone a common language. So when someone talks about a problem in ITIL terms everyone knows what that means whereas in organisations that do not use ITIL some people will be talking about an incident, others about an ITIL problem and others about issues in general. 

One recommendation is to follow the Keep It Simple rule and not create vast swathes of documentation and processes that no one will read or follow. Remember it is People, Processes and Technology. The people come first. Make sure they are involved in the project and one thing I have learned from the many types of projects that I have done over the years – you can never over communicate! 

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