The result from good SAP Capacity Management is driving down hardware costs whilst maintaining good performance. As I argue strongly, if you can directly correlate cost and capacity (as I have proved on www.limsol.com/osprey) then capacity management = cost management (as discovered by Bruce Robertson of Gartner at http://blogs.gartner.com/bruce-robertson/2009/07/03/capacity-planning-equals-budget-planning/). Therefore selecting the optimium capacity is about balancing cost and performance (or more accurately service levels). Taken into the cloud model, these variations in the marketplace offer as distinct a choice as Bentley and Trabant offer in the automotive marketplace.
Tip 1: SAP Sizing
With SAP, the opportunity is clear. The current sizing process based on SAPS is certainly not fit for purpose, and is far too vendor reliant to detect variations in value proposition between different hardware manufacturers. Adding greater scientific rigour to the sizing process can right-size, right-cost and environment with controlled aggression in risk management. Knowing your options can be valuable. In this sense, Hyperformix (now CA Capacity Management) claim $5M in SAP savings at a high-profile petrochemical company.
Tip 2: cost control & billing
Let's be clear. A fundamental aspect of cloud computing is the transparency of cost. As I've argued, ifcapacity correlates directly to cost, therefore we can say a fundamental aspect of cloud computing is the transparency of capacity. Regressive engineering leads to sizing and billing based on transaction volumes & user load. By mining the SAP and java stack, a full transaction profile can be married with a cost profile for cost control and billing. By siezing control of this information, competitive SAP service providers will undercut market rates and provide flexible billing and deployment models.
Tip 3: be selective with publishing information
One man's meat is another man's poison. Therefore selective propogation of capacity/cost/performance information is necessary. For business/development/operations to work in harmony, then synergetic relationships must be found and nurtured. Maintaining a conversation about overall cost/benefit to couple with new releases, workload and operational environment changes can only improve the planning and delivery processes.