Capacity Planning in Four Parts: Telling the Future without a Crystal Ball

Friday, 31 August, 2018 - 09:5510:30

Evan Smith, SRE at Hosted Graphite


Capacity Planning is a pretty difficult topic to wrap your head around and can seem almost impossible to start with. In this talk, I present the four basic steps to go from monitoring what you have to planning for the future. If you've found yourself woken up at 4 AM to expand nodes to meet demand, it's time to pull away from reactive actions and start proactive capacity planning.

The goal of the session is to:

  • Provide an approachable method for capacity planning right now.
  • Highlight concerns and considerations before starting your plan.
  • Explain how to enforce your plan after you've made it.
  • Explain when to re-evaluate your plans and reduce toil.
  • Recommend some methods for avoiding common pitfalls engineers/business folk fall into.

Evan Smith, SRE at Hosted Graphite

Evan Smith is a Service Reliability Engineer with Hosted Graphite in Dublin, Ireland. He's responsible for architecting capacity plans and the company ChatOps bot while helping manage an ingestion pipeline of over 100 billion data points a day. A lover of systems, security, and making spreadsheets, Evan's new to being an SRE, but six years of experience as a Web Dev/Ops Engineer has made the transition just a little easier.

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@inproceedings {218963,
author = {Evan Smith},
title = {Capacity Planning in Four Parts: Telling the Future without a Crystal Ball},
booktitle = {SREcon18 Europe/Middle East/Africa (SREcon18 Europe)},
year = {2018},
address = {Dusseldorf},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug,

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