One of the trickier tasks is projecting infrastructure requirements in the face of constantly evolving business demands. Most people start with capacity planning tools, such as TeamQuest’s View and Modeling products. No tool alone, however, can accurately predict the nature of tomorrow’s workload.
A little sleuthing is needed. Put on that detective hat in a sandbox, staging, or fail-over environment and do some proof-of-concept work.
Create a virtualized, grid-type environment and replicate a representative sample of workload. From this exercise you’ll obtain and use numbers to extrapolate the overall change in infrastructure performance if the topology were to undergo a wholesale change. Execute baseline performance tests that detail today’s workload. Then execute load tests that mimic the addition of the expected number of transactions in six months or an increase in the number of users over time.
Even if testing resources are not as plentiful as those found in production, you can still run tests that mimic the type of infrastructure changes required to meet business demands and get reasonably good numbers. With this information you should be able to project when to add resources to keep performance on track.