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Five steps to capacity planning, step 1

Step 1: Meet with executive management

Perhaps the most important step in capacity planning is to have occasional meetings with your customer's executive staff. The reason this is so important is that growth is not usually linear. Over the years, I've seen countless situations in which administrators assume that because the company grew by 10% last year, it's going to grow by 10% next year, and they use that projection for capacity planning. In the real world, though, things are rarely this simple.

Anyone who watches the stock market knows the economy tends to fluctuate. It's these very fluctuations that often dictate whether -- or how much -- a company is going to grow over a given period of time. That's why it's so important to discuss the company's outlook with the executive management staff. It's their job to understand what the market is doing and how that is going to affect the company's growth. In most cases, the executive management staff should be able to give you a more accurate growth projection than you could make on your own.

Capacity planning step-by-step guide

  Step 1: Meet with executive management
  Step 2: Determine how well existing hardware is meeting the company's needs
  Step 3: Determine the company's future needs
  Step 4: Identify opportunities to consolidate
  Step 5: Determine whether the existng infrastructure can support anticipated growth

Brien Posey
About the author
Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Windows 2000 Server and IIS. Brien has served as the CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once in charge of IT security for Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer he has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal Web site at .

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