If you have an existing SharePoint server farm – or any other kind of server farm on a Windows platform – one of the challenges you might face is identifying which servers could be suitable candidates for consolidating into virtual servers.
Luckily, there’s an app for that! Check out the new Microsoft Solution Accelerator: Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) for server consolidation.
You can install it on a Windows 2008R2 server, such as your Hyper-V server, but you should note that it requires the ASP.NET 3.5 server role and and a suitable SQL edition installed (e.g. SQL Express 2005 SP3 or greater should do the trick).
The MAP tool creates an Inventory Database of suitable servers that it discovers on your estate. It collects all this information, but does this without needing to install additional agent software on your servers.
This seems pretty clever, and is achieved using a combination of Windows Remote Management and the Remote Registry service. The only requirements are that you’re local administrator on the servers you want to inventory, and you have WMI and file/print exceptions in your Windows Firewall rules.
The result of the process is a report that shows all physical machines and how suitable they are for virtualisation. It even checks hardware attached to the machines, whether they can support 64 bit OSes, and with Virtual Machine Discovery it also tells you what other virtual machines exist within your estate.
The tool will even export the report as an Excel spreadsheet for you to take away and analyse.
Gordon Ryan from those TechNet chaps has put together another video walking you through the process.