Total-IT business simulation games: IT capacity planning in focus
Overview of DEPLOY! - the game of IT capacity planning and optimisation
DEPLOY! is a strategic business game designed to support a game-based learning session focusing on minimising the operational cost of IT infrastructure though capacity planning and optimisation. The simulation introduces a number of ITIL practices including a heavy focus on deployment management, infrastructure and platform management, and capacity and performance management.
Each team is managing a satellite server-room and must build up and optimise the IT capacity and technical capability to support the deployment of several projects.
You can decide whether to use your own server-room capacity or utilise a public cloud. Whatever your choice, money is tight, and you will need to keep a very close check on your costs with careful life-cycle planning and smart software license management. You can develop your team's skills and the technology to which they have access in order that you can maximise the business value generated on your site.
DEPLOY! provides a challenging experience of balancing and optimising resources leaving the player with an insight into IT capacity planning, the cost drivers and how to manage them in this important sphere of IT.
...bringing you the IT Infrastructure layer focusing on capacity management
Focus on ITIL
This section provides an overview of the coverage of the practices included in ITIL 4, within the business strategy game.
Service management practices: Capacity and performance management (high focus)
This business simulation relies on effective capacity management of your infrastructure platforms with careful planning of life-cycling activities and balancing of existing and future workloads to maximise utilization and minimize operational costs.
Featured in ITIL 4 foundation examination
Over the course of the simulation you will ensure that you are able to efficiently deploy the projects needed by the company. This is a central theme to the simulation and it is through managing and automating the deployments that you are able to create income and business value.
Technical management practices: Deployment management (high focus)
Whilst it is possible to deploy most projects to a public cloud, you still need to maintain sufficient resources in your server room to provide a cost effective alternative. Your server room can support three platforms across its pools and your ability to provide capacity in the platforms directly translates to the your ability to support workloads that need those platforms.
Technical management practices: Infrastructure and platform management (medium focus)
Featured in ITIL 4 foundation examination
The team you manage can be increased, developed and augmented with technical solutions. Careful development of your team, both in size and capability, is crucial to your success.
General management practices: Workforce and talent (medium focus)
Placing IT capacity management in context
The company for which you work has started on an ambitious modernization and expansion programme, focusing heavily on replacing their outdated IT systems.
A large number of projects have been created by the powers that be. Some of them could help to fund your department, others will add real business value to the company but may not help so much in your running costs. But, at the end of the day, it’s all about the business value.
You are tasked to provide and manage the infrastructure needed to host a number of projects, which may generate income and business value for hosting their workloads. You are managing a small data centre and have access to a limited team of people. The end goal is to be the team that delivers the most business value.
With the workforce at your disposal, you decide which projects to deploy and host. You must constantly strive to reduce the operating cost per unit of workload through careful management of the hardware, available resources and workload placement. You also have the option of deploying to the public cloud.
All teams start with a basic workforce but can increase their team by transferring people from other activities. This impacts your ability in these other activities but extends your scope for hosting projects.
Your team can also develop its capabilities through technology, automation and training to help make your chosen strategy more effective.
DEPLOY! and IT capacity planning in the context of Total-IT
DEPLOY! represent the bottom, infrastructure, layer of the Total-IT simulation stack. Even though the capacity management business strategy game is intended for independent use, it is woven into the complete Total-IT simulation space with definable dependencies to/from the other layers.
This adds a richness to the experience and to the associated training delivered through the game.
You receive money from head office according to income value of your deployed projects
The licenses used by your server-room are bought centrally but charged back to you so you must cover the cost of your installations
Technology companies provide automation to improve the capabilities of the infrastructure layer
Hardware suppliers bring next generation equipment to the infrastructure layer, boosting its capacity
Cloud providers deliver an alternative capacity source.
Training companies provide courses to improve the skills at the infrastructure layer
Life-cycling generates a new version of a solution which a product team submits as a project for deployment
DEPLOY! - Under the hood
In DEPLOY!, players enter into projects and deploy the needed IT components onto their servers to gain money and business value.
Each player’s board represents a server-room with three capacity pools (A, B and C) supporting a different mix of workloads. The main board is used to track the progress of the game as well as each player’s worker usage, income and business value points. It also holds the available capacity cards (pool ‘A’ and pool ‘B’) and the available projects.
The game runs over five rounds, after which, the winning player is the one that has the most business value; earned from deployed projects, running an optimised server-room and supporting cloud deployments.
A separate version of DEPLOY! is also available for personal use. This includes additional components for great replayability. The videos below show a brief introduction and how to play.