What is ‘CI’?

There are many definitions of Configuration Item CI, to keep things simple, we can consider that CI is the smallest meaningful item/part in any IT environment. The understanding of CI is vary from company to another, depends on the natural of company and how CI term is Interpreting inside this IT business unit. Some company consider the server as CI whereas others maybe consider servers RAM or servers hard desk as a separated CI, third company may count each drive inside this servers hard desk as CI.

Why companies have to consolidate CIs?

Assume that IT unit in the ABC company contains 300 servers connect through 500 network elements located physically in two data centers, ABC company provides many services to its customers including critical services (e.g. billing), of course each services build to use one or more server(s), network device(s), storage element(s)m database instance(s), application, middleware … etc.

Working in such environment, may cause a lot of headache specially when each team works in a silo, when the problem happened, each team firstly try to defend its area and finger out to others teams which ended up to increase time to repair service outages and negatively impact the overall company services and customers satisfactions.

The business administrator usually aims to increase profits and the market share to unlimited, they dream to achieve ultimate results, I doubt there is who didn’t hear ‘the sky is the limit’ at least once in staff meeting. Agree or not, the limit is liking  directly with current resources and capabilities. On the other side, we find the IT departments’ administrators who focus on keeping everything up and running. Theoretically and inside healthy environments, the IT units doesn’t work a way from other company’s departments, the IT/Operations objectives usually play a crucial role of overall company’s strategic objectives, So, the need of process which play the ‘balancer’ role between business and IT operations is highly needed to grant the business success alongside with excellence of services.

This balancer role can easily done by Capacity Management, the process which emerged to understand the business requirements/needs/demands and compare it with the current operations and IT Infrastructure, in addition, to ensure that an existing operations will fulfill the businesses requirements in adequate level of quality, maturity and cost-effectively

Consolidate all IT CIs in one repository provides a helicopter view for entire IT, supporting this with service modelling approach which build the relationship between these CIs to provide services not just elements will effectively help company to be changed into service oriented company that grant superior advantages over its competitors. A single view for all CIs helps capacity managers to understand each CI capacity and do ‘what-if’ scenarios beside trend and forecasting reports that usually required in such cases. Capacity management in general not a complicated process but need comprehensive understanding to both current capabilities and future needs.

Where and how Capacity Management meets this?

However consolidate all CIs in a single view can help IT administrators in many domains such as monitoring, performances, service configuration, availability, and service level management, still the need for this single view is ultimately needed when IT administrators try to understand the IT environment’s faults, addressing the most important Item to change/replaced, the most site(s) that impact the critical services, the affect for each CIs inside overall company’s services, the current capacity for each CI and for each service and the maximum as well. This not only helps in managing the services availability and level of quality but also helps in manage the business needs and expected demands

Is all companies need for Capacity Management or only large one?

The answers of this question simply back to the golden capacity management laws, rules

Moore’s Law, Gordon Moore noticed that each new memory chip produced with around twice processing capabilities when it compared with its predecessor and that new memory chip were released every 18-24 months.

Parkinson’s Law of Data, Data expands to fill the space available for storage.

From both laws, it’s not a matter of company size or IT management direction, it matter of equipment and the world-wide directions, ten years back , the OS need around 300 MB to be installed, today we need more that tens of this amount. Each company shall to consider somewhat capacity management process, the details maybe vary but at the end it must to be on place, otherwise, it will run out of date.

Mohamed Zohair is IT Services Management ITSM consultant, specialized in infrastructure management technologies and solutions. Zohair received his bachelor's degree in Computers and Systems in 2004 with excellent with honor degree, Network Management Diploma degree in Information Technology Institute in 2007; right now he is working on his MBA degree at University of Leicester, UK. Zohair holds several professional certificates such as PMP, ITIL, CCNA and HP sales certificates, his name listed as a one of 2013 Top Ten service management experts and get the “2014 ServiceManagers.org Award for Impact”. Zohair worked for many organizations such as TheWayOut Internet Solutions, Fingerprint Consultancy and Saudi Telecom Company STC. During 10+ years, Zohair met a lot of business areas and worked extensively on ITSM consultancy and Network monitoring and Asset management solutions.