Virtual Capacity Planning

What Does Virtual Capacity Planning Mean?

Virtual capacity planning is the process of determining the required capacities that a system and its processes and workflows will require when moved to a virtual environment.


This involves how many virtual machines and how powerful each should be based on its perceived workload, planning network capacity as well as I/O and storage estimates. All resources must be taken into account and then contrasted to overall resource requirements to see if there is enough capacity to handle all related workloads.

Techopedia Explains Virtual Capacity Planning

Virtual capacity planning is required in order to design a virtualized system which is satisfactorily capable of sustaining its assigned workloads despite fluctuations in traffic and demand, indefinitely if possible.

In order to do this, all of the variables such as the types and severity of the workloads themselves as well as the other objectives of the system must be known. When all of these variables have been uncovered, it is then possible to determine the exact capacity and extent of the virtual environment and infrastructure we must setup in order to support those workloads.

According the capacity planning experts, by answering the following questions it is possible to accomplish capacity planning and management in its most basic form:

  • What is the ideal allocation for current workload resources?
  • What will be the additional resource demands for an expanded workload?
  • Do I have the capacity to meet Quality of Service (QoS) requirements and how much additional capacity do I need if I do not?
  • Based on historical and current trends, what are the expected resource demands in the future?

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.