SQL Server 2012 Readiness Test Offered in New MAP Toolkit

This week Microsoft released a free network administrator toolkit for Windows environments that assesses server and operating system migration readiness.  The solution can also spot licensing and compliance issues.

Version 6.5.4228.0 of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit, available for download at no cost here, is an update to the November release of version 6.5. The version number may signal that Microsoft views this as simply a minor toolkit upgrade, but the new version contains several noteworthy features.  For example, organizations planning a move to SQL Server 2012 (release is expected on April 1) will receive licensing information in addition to discovery capabilities from using the tool. A "SQL Server proposal" is generated from the tool that shows licensed editions in the user's computing environment. In addition, it "will identify the new SQL Server Enterprise Core-based edition and license model," according to a Microsoft blog.

Microsoft is moving to core-based licensing in this edition of SQL Server, a change from its long-held processor-based model. The new MAP Toolkit will help with organizational assessment before the next licensing true-up or agreement renewal for those considering the migration. Microsoft is raising the cost of a Client Access License in the 2012 Server version by 25 percent, although overall licensing costs are difficult to determine.

A Register story, citing an undisclosed reseller, suggested that the average cost will rise by 20 percent for licenses of the Enterprise edition of SQL Server 2012. A source quoted in an article by veteran reporter Mary Jo Foley stated that the costs will double for organizations running 10-core machines.

Microsoft's toolkit can inventory other database management systems such as Oracle on Itanium servers, MySQL, and Sybase. Another new toolkit capability is its ability to gather information about moving to the Database Consolidation Appliance, a complete hardware and software SQL Server 2012 product. One such product is currently offered by HP.  The toolkit also has a new "Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track" assessment capability. It describes server consolidation details.

The toolkit provides license tracking for devices, called an "active devices" feature. Microsoft describes active devices as "a new inventory scenario that allows organizations to report Windows devices that are active on the network."  The previous version of the toolkit seemed to have this capability, however.

A description of the new features in MAP Toolkit 6.5.4228.0 can be found at Microsoft's Solutions Accelerators page here, which also provides a link to the download.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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