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Wednesday, March 20, 2002


Capacity Management. I've just posted a review on Amazon of Resource Management. The review is:
Approach and concepts that apply to all environments

This book provides in-depth coverage of resource management that can be applied to not only Solaris (or other UNIX systems), but to any system. It accomplishes this by tying resource management to service level management, and does so with one of the best discussions of service level management in print.

Service level management, covered in chapter 2, clearly shows the service delivery cycle by exposing interactions among and between vendors, system managers and the systems being managed, and business users. I especially like the resource management control loop discussion, which places the rest of the book into the context of support and service. Another innovation that is introduced in this book is the concept of viewpoints as they relate to performance and capacity: These viewpoints can be system-, cluster-, network-, application- storage- or database-centric. The viewpoints are not mutually exclusive. The authors show how to integrate any and all of them into a coherent and consolidated approach.

The approach is based on policies and controls,and workload management and measurement. The discussion remains focused on service level management throughout the book. The examples for achieving the approach's objectives are, of course, based on Solaris for the most part. If you're using a different variant of UNIX you should be able to easily re-map the facilities and utilities cited in the book to those that are available in your own environment. This also applies to non-UNIX environments. The concepts and approach apply to NT/W2K/XP, IBM midrange systems and mainframes. I was surprised to find that IBM's Workload Manager for OS/390 was included in the book. I came from this environment, so the discussion provided me with familiar territory that caused me to clearly see just how applicable this book is to any environment.

If you work with Solaris this book is essential. If you work with other operating systems still buy this outstanding book for the concepts and approach.

One of the foundations of service level management (which I discussed in my entry in Notes from the Field earlier today) is resource management. This activity not only affects how well service level objectives for transaction times are met, but also has much to do with availability. Poorly planned and managed resources (capacity and performance) can affect maintenance window length and/or frequency. Maintenance windows should be minimized as much as possible. Every maintenance action that requires a system to be off-line reduces overall availability of the tools that the business uses to meet business imperatives.

I want to share related documents about capacity and performance management that will get you thinking about these two primary elements of resource management:

Since this material is directly related to what I posted today in Notes from the Field, I'm going to end this entry with two additional documents that tie together both entries:
  1. Application Service Provider Models
  2. Balanced Scorecards and IT Management
I hope these will also help Mike when he begins his discussion of the Tarrani-Zarate Model for Information Technology Management, which is due to commence any day now.

Best regards from Azusa, California.