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Business Demand

Dramatic attention usually results if IT capacity, whether computing or storage, is over-subscribed. Tightened budgets force IT managers to run their systems to maximum limits, risking an inability to meet required response times or service levels. This is not merely a technical IT problem; it affects business directly. The opportunity cost of being unable to meet service levels or short-term demand can be dramatically high, correlating with the application and dependency of your business on IT. Large volume web sites or e-tailers can't afford downtimes of even a few minutes. Any shortfall in system availability can cost millions of dollars. And consumers can turn immediately to competitors with the press of a button. To avoid such situations, the system configuration is typically large enough to cover maximum expected peaks. Utility computing solutions can help to solve this problem.

The opposite problem is too much IT capacity—a symptom that's usually ignored. Sizing factors usually consider short-term peak usage or growth projections for a specific time. The scalability/modularity of solutions drive the cost for the growth path. Nonlinear scalable solutions create generally progressive upgrade costs. This means that the more granular or linear the scalable solution, the better it can adapt to growing business requirements. But when the provided capacity is inactive, the invested capital doesn't yield returns or is deemed to be the cost for "readiness." Instead of "just in time," the system is prepared for "just in case."

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