Posted by: Jeff Timmins | January 31, 2014

Add Capacity Planning to the list

Release Manager needs to add Capacity/Load Planning to their list

Every good Release Manager has a list of things they feel that they should care about. Typical items are code quality, completeness, communication, etc. and I’m starting to think that Capacity (sometimes considered as Load) Planning should be added to the list.

Most SaaS companies talk about Capacity or Load Planning and a good number of them have employees that actually run capacity testing but how many really deliver? Not that it is the Release Manager’s responsibility to run Capacity testing but they should make sure it is considered, planned for and completed per the plan. They should also know that one part of Capacity Planning is knowing how many Servers you need for normal capacity and that another part of is understanding your peak usage periods and what capacity is needed to satisfy that peak usage.

Some web sites have balanced usage year-round so don’t have to worry much about peaks. Others like Tax solutions, sites dedicated to International Sporting events, companies with special sales on Black Friday and maybe a College Financial Aid like https://fafsa.ed.gov might want to pay extra attention to peak load times. Not to say I experienced any personal trauma trying to use the FAFSA site on the first elligable date (like 01/01/2014) for my daughter that is a Senior in high school … No, it is not personal at all … okay a little bit. But really, if you know your site will be used by a ton of people on a particular day wouldn’t you think renting a few computers from Amazon Cloud or Azure or the new Verizon Cloud offering might be a good idea? </rant>

To conclude – I’m just asking the Release Managers of those peak load time solutions to think about Capacity Planning.

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