If your organization is considering an upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2 on existing hardware, now is a good time to see if your server resources will fit on the new server operating system. Microsoft's solution in this space is the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit. This free tool is used for a number of Microsoft solutions, including Hyper-V virtualization, Windows Vista readiness, and Microsoft Office applications. MAP will assess a server inventory of existing systems for their readiness for new roles on Windows Server 2008 R2. (You can keep up with the MAP team on Facebook and Twitter.)Installing MAP is straightforward except that the pre-requisite inventory may need installation. This inventory includes the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, Microsoft Office, and a modern Windows Installer version. These requirements are not needed for Windows Server 2008 R2 tasks, but the requirements are needed for the MAP tool to install. Installing MAP also includes a local SQL Server database installation. The database installation and the prerequisites are likely the largest drawbacks of MAP. Figure A shows the MAP installation. Figure A
Once MAP is installed, the first step is to run the Inventory And Assessment wizard; this will discover computers by scanning an IP address range, searching an Active Directory domain, or importing a list of server names from a text file. Figure B shows the first screen of the Inventory and Assessment Wizard. Figure B
When the Inventory And Assessment wizard is completed, it will launch and search for what you want to perform a MAP assessment against. Depending on the size of networks or Active Directory domains, the scan can take some time. Figure C shows the result of the scan. Figure C
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At this point, you can perform various consolidation and analysis functions, including Windows Server 2008 R2 readiness. Hyper-V consolidation recommendations can also be made with an additional performance metrics data collection event.
For most situations, MAP is worth a try. This can be to catch the obvious omissions that may be overlooked as part of an upgrade project.
Have you used MAP for Windows Server upgrade planning? If so, share your comments.
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Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.