I mention this because the process of working out how to make changes to your data centre can and should take longer than doing the actual work. For example if you are going to dive into virtualisation or do more with it, upgrade or migrate your database servers then a lot of testing and checking needs to be done. It’s even harder if you are planning to change platforms. It’s really hard if you don’t even know what you’ve got and thus migrations and updates can be a great opportunity to de-clutter the servers and applications you have.
But where to start? If it were me I would try to work out the size of the problem and to do that I would use a killer utility, the Microsoft Assessment & Planning Toolkit (MAPT). Essentially this casts a microscope over your infrastructure and comes up with a load of analysis and recommendations. Obviously it can only do this if you give it high powered access to your systems as it needs to interrogate active directory, the network, WMI etc. to work. If you want to connect to non Microsoft servers such as linux , MySQL Vmware etc. the tools allows you to enter credentials for that as well.
I have two uses for it one is spotting wild copies of SQL Server which gets installed all over the place with various third party applications, :
and secondly to make recommendations about what servers could be virtualised and how that will work on a set of physical servers you specify.
(BTW the insufficient data is nothing to with my blog it’s just that there were some redundant entries in my active directory and the toolkit couldn’t find them.
There are three other things it does:
1. logs performance of the servers you select enabling you to establish a baseline for planning.
2. Gather an inventory of the software you have.
3. A reference section linking to solution accelerators to help you implement your project.
The Toolkit is under constant development, at the time of writing its up to version 6 beta, and this version also has assessments for migrating databases to SQL Azure and readiness for Office 365 .