In the introduction to this series, we identified that there are multiple parts of the cloud migration journey; namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Operate.
We will cover various tools that either falls into one of or span multiple phases in the migration journey.
As a quick-link reference, here is the list of tools this series will cover:
- Part 1: Introduction
- Part 14: Manage and Optimize
- Part 15: Third-Party Tools
- Part 16: Summary
We are now going to focus on the tool(s) that fall within the first phase: Discovery.
The first tool that we categorize under Discovery, is the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit.
A few years ago, I wrote a series about the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit, which you can find here. But that series was written more as a step-by-step approach.
This time around, instead of re-hashing that original series, I wanted to focus more on some of the uses of the tool, pros vs cons, and some other useful details about it. After all, in this series, we are trying to explore each of the tools and help clarify their use.
What Is It Used For?
The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) is not just an Azure discovery and assessment tool. If you look at the Solution Accelerator’s description it says:
The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit is an agentless inventory, assessment, and reporting tool that can securely assess IT environments for various platform migrations—including Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Office 2013, Office 2016, Office 365, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, SQL Server 2017, Hyper-V, Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track, and Windows Azure.
Notice a few things from this official description:
- Firstly, it provides inventory and assessment for many different platforms, including Windows Client OS, Microsoft Office, SQL Server, Windows Server, and Azure. This tool will also discover your VMware environment to give the full hybrid cloud visibility across the technology landscape.
- Second, although the tool has been “updated” to include Windows 10, the official documentation (found here and another copy found here), was last updated on August 15, 2016. That should give you an idea of what level of attention Microsoft is giving to this tool.
- Third, notice that the reference to Azure is labelled as “Windows Azure”, which is the old/legacy reference to the platform. This further shows what level of attention (or lack thereof) that Microsoft is giving to this tool, especially since the official name change from “Windows Azure” to “Microsoft Azure” was announced on March 14, 2014, and came into effect on April 3, 2014.
UPDATE: As of February 22, 2018, Microsoft has provided an “update” to this tool. The description now reads:
The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) is an agentless, automated, multi-product planning and assessment tool for quicker and easier desktop, server and cloud migrations. MAP provides detailed readiness assessment reports and executive proposals with extensive hardware and software information, and actionable recommendations to help organizations accelerate their IT infrastructure planning process, and gather more detail on assets that reside within their current environment. MAP also provides server utilization data for Hyper-V server virtualization planning; identifying server placements, and performing virtualization candidate assessments.
The now current version (version 9.8) has the following additions:
- SharePoint Server 2016 Assessment
- MAP 9.8 is updated to assess readiness for SharePoint Server 2016.
- SharePoint Server 2016 Discovery and Reporting
- MAP 9.8 is updated to discover, inventory and report SharePoint Server 2016.
- Exchange Server 2016 Assessment
- MAP 9.8 is updated to assess readiness for Exchange Server 2016.
- Exchange Server 2016 Discovery and Reporting
- MAP 9.8 is updated to discover, inventory and report Exchange Server 2016.
- IAAS Azure SKUs
- MAP 9.8 is updated to adding Azure readiness and capacity assessment for available IaaS SKUs
And they have updated the Azure labels from “Windows Azure” to “Microsoft Azure”.
Pro’s vs Con’s
Here is a quick list of what we deem as Pro’s/Con’s of this tool.
- Agentless (no need to deploy/configure Agents within your target environment)
- Supports discovering and assessing different platforms (i.e. not just “cloud”)
- Supports multiple methods of discovery including Active Directory, Network, System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), and manual entry
- Quick to setup/install (approx. 15 minutes)
- Local Database (no separate Database Server or SQL installation required)
- Microsoft does not appear to be maintaining or updating this tool
- UPDATE: As of February, of this year, Microsoft has released an “update” to this tool
- Due to the lack of updating, the output/results of sizing recommendations, and cost estimations could be drastically inaccurate
You will notice that this tool also performs assessments, not just discovery. We included it in the “Discovery” phase of this series, because, as we noted, it’s not being maintained/updated with the latest details about Azure; and therefore, even though you could use it to asses your environment, it would not be recommended.
The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) tool, although it provides both a VM Readiness and VM Capacity report, it does not provide an actual cost estimation like the Microsoft Azure Cost Estimator Tool (ACE) does.
It does work well to provide a quick inventory though. It even supports collecting inventory data from VMware environments, Oracle systems, and even supports Linux. You can get the tool here on the download site: MAP Toolkit
Top troubleshooting items for the installation are below and more detail can be found here:
- MAP: Troubleshoot WMI Failures
- Troubleshooting “The RPC server is unavailable”
- Troubleshooting reboots during an inventory