Glossary

Over Provisioned


What is over provisioned

Can have many contexts.  It could be a host or computing node that has allocated computing resources such as CPU, memory, I/O, disk, or network that are unused at peak times.

In the context of cloud computing, Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers bill every month, but your costs can vary wildly.  If you can scale back number of processor cores, RAM, storage capacity or performance, how long the cloud server is actually turned on, availability of features (such as load balancing and auto-scaling), you can save a lot of money. 

Cloud computing is one of the important ways to mitigate over-provisioning.  In the context of migrations and cloud migrations, there are tools available that can help to right-size your infrastructure.  They can offer guidance on which workloads to migrate or not, what are the optimal cloud configurations and vendors, an estimated cloud cost, and how your apps will perform as expected in the cloud.  

In the context of storage, overprovisioning of storage derives can be mitigated through the ability to use thin provisioning for virtual disks. Thin provisioning means that when you add a virtual disk to a VM, you can designate it as “Allocate on demand.” If you setup a 100 GB disk for a VM, it might only use 10GB initially for applications and other files but as data grows the disk can grow dynamically to a maximum of 100GB.  The downside is that if you’ve setup several VMs with thin provisioned disks and they all grow over time, and they will, then at some point, you’re going to run out of space.  Expensive SAN is often wasted on “thick” provisioned disks. It is a tradeoff and you have to measure the risk in your environment and maintain a level of vigilance through disk space and performance monitoring.

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