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3 Types of Capacity

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Capacity is the maximum amount of output or input that can be handled by infrastructure, organizations, teams, processes, services, tools, machines or components. It is common to model capacity at several different levels:

Design Capacity

Design capacity is the achievable capacity of a design if it is allocated sufficient resources. For example, a data center may be designed with enough space for 12,500 computing units.

Effective Capacity

Effective capacity is the capacity that is achievable given your current design and resources. For example, a data center that is designed for 12,500 computing units that only has enough power from the grid and solar for 9,100 computing units.

Capacity Utilization

The percentage of effective capacity that you're actually using. For example, a data center with effective capacity of 9,100 computing units that currently has 3,400 units in service has a capacity utilization of 37.4%.
Overview: Capacity
The maximum amount of output or input that an entity can handle.
Related Concepts

Capacity Planning

This is the complete list of articles we have written about capacity planning.
Capacity Analysis
Capacity Constraint
Capacity Management
Capacity Risk
Capacity Utilization
Design Capacity
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Capacity Planning

A guide to capacity planning.

Capacity Management

An overview of capacity management.

Production Capacity

A definition of production capacity with examples.

Capacity Utilization

A definition of capacity utilization with example calculations.

Capacity Analysis

A definition of capacity analysis with examples.


An overview of different types of plans with full examples.

Planning Examples

An overview of planning with examples.


A guide to management techniques.

Strategic Planning

A list of techniques for developing and implementing a strategy.


The basics of productivity.

Project Management

A guide to project management.

Internal Benchmarking

The common types of internal benchmarking.

Internal Customer

A definition of internal customer with examples.

Business Optimization

A definition of business optimization with examples.

Team Objectives

The common types of team objective.

Internal Stakeholders

A definition of internal stakeholder with examples.

Management Planning

An overview of the different types of management planning.

Management Examples

A definition of management with examples.
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