FAQ

All about Sumerian Capacity Planner

FAQ 2017-03-23T15:01:53+00:00
What does Sumerian do? 2017-03-23T15:03:09+00:00

Put simply, at Sumerian we help companies to de-risk their future IT plans and control costs by doing Forward Thinking predictive analytics. There are quite a few companies out there doing all sorts of analytics and producing all sorts of software to help companies improve the management of their IT services, but what we’re really good at is applying analytics to help de-risk decisions about future IT. Helping IT teams to accurately plan future capacity, identify cost savings and understand the impact of change (e.g. moving a datacenter or virtualizing an IT estate). We’re really good at it because we’ve spent over 10 years building up a unique capability to apply statistical modeling to extrapolate and project future IT outcomes. Over that time we’ve saved our customers many millions of pounds – helping them to identify tangible cost savings and target future investment for maximum return.

Can I get an overview of my entire physical and virtual estate? 2017-06-12T10:59:33+00:00

Yes. The Sunburst visualization allows you to instantly see available headroom across both your physical and virtual estate. This hierarchical view lets you quickly determine how well you are placed to respond to the demands of your business and when combined with application information can create Business Service Views. Click here to see the ‘Sunburst’ visualization in action.

What is the ‘Sunburst’? 2017-06-12T11:00:00+00:00

The Sunburst visualization allows you to quickly evaluate how CPU, memory, IO and storage constraints impact your infrastructure, identifying which resource or resources are limiting your ability to change. You can also analyze the configuration and usage profiles of all your physical and virtual servers, and identify those servers that are under-provisioned, and so need additional resources, or are over-provisioned, and so could be rightsized to provide resources elsewhere. Click here to see the ‘Sunburst’ visualization in action.

What’s a Baseline? 2017-03-23T15:05:49+00:00

The first step in being able to decide where you want to go next is getting a clear understanding of where you are today. This is what a Sumerian Baseline provides. It will give you the full picture of things like what server inventory exists (and where), how resources are being used and what headroom is currently available. Giving you the perfect platform to start modeling future options, so you can decide what happens next.

What are Workload Templates, and when are they used? 2017-03-23T15:06:21+00:00

Workload Templates are based on the real resource utilization of existing Virtual Machines in your environment, calculated from statistical analysis of their actual behavior. With a single click, you can then predict the number of those workloads you can accommodate on each host, cluster and datacenter, and then use those same templates to accurately model various growth scenarios based on the type of projects you have planned for the future.

What are Host Templates? 2017-03-23T15:06:47+00:00

When planning to add or replace hardware within your estate, it is important to evaluate the numerous vendor options available. With Host Templates, based on each of the vendor’s hardware specifications and benchmark scores, you can rapidly evaluate and model each option using Sumerian Capacity Planner, and understand its impact on your environment.

What do you mean by benchmark scores in Host Templates? 2017-03-23T15:07:04+00:00

Benchmark scores are a point of reference to compare the performance of various hardware choices within your environment. With a single click, you can then predict the number of those workloads you can accommodate on each host, cluster and datacenter, and then use those same templates to accurately model various growth scenarios based on the type of projects you have planned for the future.

Is it possible to create multiple Baselines? 2017-03-23T15:07:20+00:00

If you have an expansive and complex IT estate, it is possible to create multiple Baselines, based on geography, business department or any other dimension of your choice.

Is it possible to send Baseline Views to other stakeholders? 2017-03-23T15:07:34+00:00

Yes. Using Sumerian Capacity Planner’s Baseline reporting capability you can generate a report from any Baseline views which can then be shared with the business. Furthermore, this Baseline report can be used to help fulfil your compliance and governance requirements.

Can I see Sumerian Capacity Planner in action? 2017-03-23T15:08:25+00:00

Yes. You can view our exclusive webcasts on demand, or sign up for a demo. Click here for access to our Webcasts. Click here to book a demo.

How can Sumerian Capacity Planner pre-empt capacity events? 2017-06-12T11:03:03+00:00

Sumerian Capacity Planner firstly builds a statistical model of your environment, then by using sophisticated machine learning and pattern matching techniques, it can determine future events that can impact your line of business applications. Using over 30 parameters to create a predictive model for each metric, patterns of behavior across different hours and days, and underlying growth trends, can be identified. Click here to see this solution in action.

Is it possible to get a deeper understanding of the information presented by the visualization? 2017-03-23T15:09:11+00:00

Yes. Sumerian Capacity Planner has full drill-through capability allowing you to see more indepth data behind the Sunburst visualization – including usage profiles and the associated metric data used for the statistical calculations.

How does Sumerian Capacity Planner deliver better visibility of potential capacity issues? 2017-06-12T11:04:15+00:00

By using advanced machine learning and pattern matching techniques, Sumerian Capacity Planner models utilization data from across your infrastructure and forecasts when server and storage capacity issues will occur. Time series charts provide a detailed view of both the relevant historic data, and the forecast utilization profile and deliver a confidence level in that forecast. By having significant advanced warning of potential problems – days, weeks or even months ahead – you can take mitigating actions rather than rely on urgent, and often disruptive, incident response. Click here to see this solution in action.

Why should I choose Sumerian? 2017-03-23T15:41:41+00:00

Sumerian has spent over 10 years working with leading global companies, applying Forward Thinking predictive analytics to their operational IT. Our results speak for themselves – millions saved and significant performance improvements achieved. Read some of our latest customer success stories.

How can Forward Thinking scenario modeling be so accurate? 2017-03-23T15:41:55+00:00

Sumerian Capacity Planner’s advanced scenario modeling is grounded in the low level, granular data captured from your existing hardware estate. You can click right through to all the underlying data at any time for full transparency and auditability. It knows how to deal with the complexities of volatile capacity metrics such as Memory and CPU, and apply hardware and hypervisor recommendations in terms of capacity constraints. It applies tried and tested, proven statistical techniques to deal with different workloads peaking at different times. It applies Spec benchmarks to model different CPU architectures. This means statistically accurate insight that you can rely on to inform your plans and decisions about your future IT.

How can Sumerian Capacity Planner support Disaster Recovery Planning? 2017-03-23T15:42:18+00:00

You can construct an infrastructure walkthrough of a particular DR event. For example, you can demonstrate the potential impact of failure in your hardware or datacenter, plot what can be recovered and then export the findings in a report, ideal for your next Business Continuity audit. Click here to view our Webcasts.

What IT challenges can Sumerian Capacity Planner address? 2017-03-23T15:42:29+00:00

Are you trying to work out what to do next with your IT environment? If so, then Sumerian’s Forward Thinking predictive analytics can help. Whether you’re trying to consolidate multiple datacenters or rationalize your server estate,understand if your systems can cope with an increase in business demand, or plan a technology upgrade, P2V migration, or even a V2V migration. With Sumerian Capacity Planner you can ‘what if’ scenario model your change options and plans, get an accurate view of the outcome – and act with confidence.

What sort of data do I need to use Sumerian Capacity Planner? 2017-03-23T15:42:45+00:00

It’s easy to get started because Sumerian Capacity Planner uses the machine data already being generated by your IT environment – management tooling and server log files.

How does Sumerian Capacity Planner actually work? 2017-03-23T15:43:03+00:00

Sumerian Capacity Planner gives you everything you need to do predictive capacity planning on your IT infrastructure. First load up your data – don’t worry, our Data Collector utility makes it easy, and we’re always available if you need any help. Simply give the Data Collector details of the data you want to upload and follow the automated collection steps. Then drag and drop your data into the upload box and click ‘generate Baseline’. Sumerian Capacity Planner will keep you posted on how the processing is going while you carry on working, and flag up any files that can’t be processed for any reason. Once your data is processed, you will be able to see a fully interactive Baseline of your current infrastructure, covering both physical and virtual, in a high impact ‘Sunburst’ visualization. It will show your datacenters, platforms, hosts and VMs in a single view, so you can quickly see how they are being used and how they are performing. If you want to see more detail on any aspect of your infrastructure, you can easily drill through to the supporting data. You can also fine tune your data at any time. So, for example, clearing out any duplication or creating groups of different server types. Now you have a clear view of where you are today, the next step is the fun bit. Using your Baseline as a starting point, you can use Sumerian’s advanced Forward Thinking predictive modeling to try out as many potential change options as you like and understand the impact they will have on things like system performance, capacity or costs. Then you can compare the outcomes and save them to build up your plan for the future – based on quantified facts you can justify.

What if I don’t want to do the analytics myself? 2017-03-23T15:43:59+00:00

That’s the beauty of CPaaS. CPaaS is highly flexible, and as well as providing access to our advanced analytics app – Sumerian Capacity Planner – we can also offer as much or little help as you want from our team of expert data scientists and consultants. So if you don’t have a large capacity management team in-house we can provide regular reporting with our expert analysis and recommendations. The reporting can be tailored to match your internal processes and set to whatever frequency you like – weekly, monthly, quarterly.

What results can I expect to achieve? 2017-03-23T15:44:32+00:00

Our customers have saved millions of pounds and avoided hundreds of critical outages on their key business services. To find out more read some of our latest customer stories.

Which browsers can I use? 2017-03-23T15:44:48+00:00

Sumerian’s Capacity Planner CPaaS uses the most modern and secure JavaScript enabled Web browsers available. Minimum supported browsers are: Google Chrome 30, Mozilla Firefox 20, Microsoft Internet Explorer 11.

Once I have my Baseline, what can I do with it? 2017-03-23T15:44:59+00:00

The Baseline presents your IT estate in a way you’ll never have seen it before, with a single, high-impact visualization that shows you everything you need to know. And with Sumerian’s Forward Thinking ‘what if ‘scenario modeling you can then start trying out all your future plans – modelling all your planned changes, adjusting them, planning them out on a Timeline and assessing the impact. The result is optimized change plans you can have confidence in.

What are Sumerian’s security credentials? 2017-03-23T15:45:32+00:00

Sumerian is ISO 27001 accredited. We are externally audited every six months to verify we do what we say with respect to our Information Security processes and procedures. Read more about our data security measures here.

How much data do I need to upload? 2017-03-23T15:45:44+00:00

At the very minimum, you need to provide what we call a ‘server list’ – this gives Sumerian Capacity Planner an indication of the servers you have in your estate and their configurations. You don’t need to provide all the information at the same time as you can add new servers, change configuration or add more detail with repeated uploads. Often, for example in HyperV and VCenter, you can export the server list from the command line and Sumerian Capacity Planner provides you with instructions on how to do this. Once you have supplied server details, you can then provide performance monitoring data from one of a number of supported tools. This gives Sumerian Capacity Planner details on how loaded those servers are and what use they are making of the available resources. Using this information, we can begin to accurately present your Baseline and allow you to develop Forward Thinking scenarios.

Do I need to install anything to use Sumerian Capacity Planner? 2017-03-23T15:56:25+00:00

No, you don’t have to install anything. Because our product is available as Capacity Planning as a Service (CPaaS), all you need is a modern web browser, and a connection to the internet a system that meets the minimum specifications.You can find details of these in our Service Policies.

Does Sumerian Capacity Planner cover physical and virtual estates? 2017-03-23T15:56:49+00:00

Sumerian Capacity Planner can show both the physical and virtual elements of your estate in one easy to understand view.

What is a Forward Thinking scenario model? 2017-03-23T15:57:01+00:00

Using the data model created of your existing IT environment as a starting point, Sumerian’s powerful ‘what if’ scenario modelling lets you try out and assess the impact of any changes you’re thinking of making. Whether that’s some sort of infrastructure rationalization or technology change, or a change in the level of users/demand you need to support. And because it’s based on a very accurate data model of your current environment, and driven by proven statistical techniques, you can rely on the results, moving forward with confidence.

I’m using Sumerian Capacity Planner, but I need some help – what should I do? 2017-03-23T15:57:29+00:00

Follow this link to visit the Sumerian Capacity Planner Online Help. Alternatively you can contact our support team by emailing support@sumerian.com or calling 0131 226 9304.

When I create a Scenario model, what type of reporting can I generate? 2017-03-23T15:57:43+00:00

Sumerian Capacity Planner reporting let’s you capture and publish a detailed description of the changes that need to be made to meet your scenario goals, and includes before and after visualizations of your estate. It can be published in Microsoft Word document format for ease of use and so you can send it on to all relevant stakeholders.

I have a question, but can’t find the answer here – how can I contact you? 2017-03-23T15:58:17+00:00

See our contact page for ways to get in touch.

What are the system requirements for Sumerian Capacity Planner? 2017-03-23T15:58:31+00:00

To use Sumerian Capacity Planner, all you require is a modern web browser, a connection to the Internet and a system that meets the minimum specifications. For optimal software performance, we advise meeting the recommended specifications. You can find details of these in our Service Policies. Please also note that Sumerian Capacity Planner does not support touch screen devices.