Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit

Posted in: Microsoft SQL Server, Technical Track

This post is to discuss the Microsoft Planning and Assessment (MAP) toolkit, which is a nice little tool with a few extremely useful features.

Recently, I had a project that required to plan the consolidation of a large number of SQL Server instances. This required me to know, among other things:

  • What did each server’s hardware and OS look like?
  • What version and service pack were all of the instances running on?
  • How busy is each instance? Were the servers able to handle the load being put on them already?

Using the MAP toolkit, I was able to find the answers to the first two questions within 5 minutes, and after running the monitoring portion for a week, I was able to get the answer to the third.

After the initial run, I wanted to know what my options were for consolidation. Were the servers I had going to be up to the job, or did I need to add some more hardware? What would that hardware look like? Again, using the MAP toolkit, I was able to define an infrastructure of 11 servers running in a VM farm and found out that I wasn’t quite there. So, I upped the hypothetical RAM and worked my hardware until it passed the test. No guessing, no going to my boss with fuzzy numbers. It will, in fact, generate a very nice report that can be shown all the way up to Senior Management, and you’ll have the numbers to back it up.

Now, obviously, no one is going to blindly follow these recommendations. Currently, I am using the reports to find the busiest instances, run some more in depth perfmon counters, and come up with a plan. The point is that this tool took out 90% of the drudgery involved in planning a migration, and I think it’s definitely worth checking out.

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About the Author

I am a SQL Server DBA who has worked on SQL Server 2000 to 2012. I have experience in a wide range of industries, including healthcare, energy, and casinos. I am a member of the team writing MCTS exam questions for SQL Server 2008 R2 and 2012.

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