To supplement 10 health monitoring tools Sky was using from "loads of random providers", Collier implemented BMC's Capacity Optimization (BCO) software. One of the reasons Collier was attracted to the solution was that it does not require agents to be installed throughout the IT estate. With 9,000 virtual machines and rising (Sky consumes VMs "like candy", said Collier), 12,000 servers and 600GB of stored data per month, an agent-based solution would have been "an absolute nightmare" to roll out, Collier said.
"The BCO tool allows us to pull all the information from the back of the health monitoring tools. Initially you've got about 10 different health tools feeding into the BCO tool, and it puts all that in a database and then we can analyse that with a view to looking at long-term trends."
Collier believes the BCO software will help his team to impress on BSkyB's business managers the importance of far-reaching capacity planning.
"That's the icing on the cake, if you can start having that conversation with the business, in terms they can understand. So in our case rather than talking in terms of megabytes or gigabytes we talk in terms of number of customers, or number of TV channels with active users – that's a much more mature conversation you can have with a business ,and that's our ultimate goal really."
Collier said that, ultimately, companies need to start realising that "if they don't get their capacity management right, the cost implications are huge, and the reputational damage from having your services go down, having to buy everything late and in a panic gives a bad impression of the IT department generally".