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Five steps to capacity planning, step 5

Step 5: Determine whether the existng infrastructure can support anticipated growth

The fifth issue you need to address during capacity planning is whether or not your existing infrastructure will support the anticipated growth. For example, suppose that you learn in a meeting with the executive management staff that the company is about to hire 100 additional employees. With this knowledge, it would be relatively easy to look at your existing file servers, Exchange Servers and other application servers to make sure that they have enough memory and disk space to accommodate the new employees.

What isn't quite so cut and dried is whether or not the network infrastructure can support the new employees comfortably. For example, are your DNS servers being overworked, or can they comfortably handle the extra workload that 100 extra users will place on them? What about network bandwidth? Will that existing 100 Mbps connection between the users in the servers be sufficient, or are you going to need to upgrade to a gigabit connection? These are just some of the issues that you must consider in regard to your network infrastructure.


As you can see, capacity planning is not a simple matter. Although it is impossible for me to give a thorough explanation of capacity planning within the limits of this tip, I sincerely hope that this checklist will help you to think about the steps you need to take in order to plan effectively for your network's future growth.

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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