What Does It Mean to Be Over-Provisioned?

Over-provisioning refers to the practice of allocating more computing resources than necessary to an application or system. In capex-based on-premises environments, some level of over-provisioning may be desirable if you anticipate that demands will increase within a certain time frame. That extra capacity costs the same whether or not it’s used. But in cloud computing, which is usage-based, you want to avoid paying for resources that you don’t need. 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.

In the context of storage, over-provisioning can be mitigated via 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 set up a 100 GB disk for a VM, it might only use 10 GB initially for applications and other files, but as data grows the disk can grow dynamically to a maximum of 100 GB. The downside is that if you’ve set up 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 trade-off and you have to measure the risk in your environment and maintain a level of vigilance through disk space and performance monitoring.

How Virtana Helps You Prevent Over-Provisioning

Virtana’s capacity planning and infrastructure performance management solutions can help you strike the right balance between allocating too few and too many resources. By monitoring your infrastructure and analyzing resource usage patterns, Virtana provides actionable insights to optimize your environment, ensuring you have the necessary resources to deliver peak performance and maintain high availability.

By identifying and addressing over-provisioning issues, you can enhance your infrastructure’s efficiency, improve user experience, and reduce the risk of unexpected failures, all while managing costs effectively.

Suggested Reading and Related Topics

    • Capacity Planning: Learn about the process of determining the resources required to meet future demands.
    • Under-Provisioned: Understand the consequences of allocating insufficient resources to your applications.
    • Horizontal Scaling and Vertical Scaling: Discover the two main approaches to increasing capacity in your infrastructure.
    • Autoscaling: Read about the benefits of automatically adjusting the number of compute resources that are allocated to your application.
    • Infrastructure Monitoring Metrics: Explore the key metrics you should monitor to optimize your infrastructure’s performance.
    • Cloud Optimization Guide: Uncover best practices for optimizing your cloud infrastructure and reducing costs.