Plan your success with ArcGIS
Planning, for anything, always seem like a good idea, but often we don’t get around to it – just ask the NSW Rural Fire Service, whose Planning to Plan is not a Plan campaign is trying to get that message across to all rural homeowners (myself included).
With this considered, I was excited to be teaching part of the ArcGIS Enterprise Systems: Performance and Scalability workshop. Information Technology like fire prevention demands a level of planning for growth and sustainability.
Sometimes it is a new project, a hardware/software refresh, or an upgrade to new OS and software version, and the ability to generate information from the Capacity Planning tool provides key guidance and parameters for the analysts, architects and engineers planning the ArcGIS platform deployment. Server benchmarks, TPS calcs and capacity estimation provide the planning process with a direction that can be used across the project lifecycle.
Other times, your capacity to plan and make change is just not going to fly – resources, scope and time constraints often mean, as GIS managers and admins, you just have to deal with the servers, network and storage that you have. What can you do? Let’s consider the basic quality engineering principles of plan-do-check-act (if you haven’t heard of Edward Deming, look here).
You can still plan using the Capacity planning tools and get an understanding of the capacity of today’s environment – that’s “plan”. In an existing solution the “do” has been done and we need to evaluate what is done. “Check” – the process of using tools to capture performance metrics to give the manager and administrator a way to optimise services and MXD, look at server performance bottlenecks and review heavily used services. From the performance metrics it’s time to “act” and then look at the “plan”. With an approach like this you can use the Enterprise monitoring tools to optimise the existing infrastructure and build a solid business case for future changes.
What about cloud? With the growing use of cloud hosted server and hardware scalability planning is even more crucial. The ROI predicted will only be realised if the servers run to spec and the CPU and memory resources are not beyond the planned level. Auto scaling is great, but it does cost – all the more reason to plan. What about Software as a Service, ArcGIS Online? You need to monitor usage, performance and credits. The ArcGIS Activity Dashboard provides statistics you can use to monitor your organisation’s ArcGIS Online account.
While preparing for the workshop, I got the chance to work with Christopher Brown from the Perth office – CDB knows his stuff and now knows more about MongoBD from his work on the System Monitor deployment. It’s always good to work with Christopher.
Remember, as the RFS says, “Planning to Plan is not a Plan”!
For the full details on the System Design Process, head to http://wiki.gis.com/wiki/index.php/System_Design_Process