Glossary

Under Provisioned


What is under provisioned

A host or computing node that has allocated computing resources such as CPU, memory, I/O, disk, or network that are saturated at peak times.  In the real IT world, especially for on-prem instances, it’s actually fairly rare to find an under-provisioned system.  IT managers are so sensitive to this problem, that they routinely vastly over-provision most resources.  This results in waste and over-spending, and is a far more common case than under-provisioning.  On the web, under provisioning can result in a public bashing over the inability to access an important application.  On-prem, it can cause workers to stop their work.  An over provisioned application merely results in over-spending.

In cloud computing, customers seek “elasticity” in their systems, so that they may dynamically adapt to workload changes by provisioning and de-provisioning resources in an autonomic manner, such that at each point in time the available resources match the current demand as closely as possible.  Elasticity aims at matching the amount of resource allocated to a service with the amount of resource it actually requires, avoiding over- or under-provisioning. Under-provisioning, i.e., allocating fewer resources than required, must be avoided, otherwise the service cannot serve its users with a good service.  Under-provisioning the website may make it seem slow or unreachable. Web users eventually give up on accessing it, thus, the service provider loses customers. On the long term, the provider’s income will decrease, which also reduces their profitability.

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