Microsoft System Center Capacity Planner 2007 (SCCP) beta available


What server(s) do I need to run Exchange ?  That is a loaded question that I hear several times a week.  The answer, of course, is: “It depends”.  It depends on MANY factors, and Exchange Server Sizing is as much art as it is science.

MSExchange.org has a series of articles that can help in your capacity planning as well:

There are also quite a few postings at the Exchange Team Blog that cover all aspects of Exchange Sizing (and every other imaginable Exchange topic).

If you would like to automate some of the process of planning server capacity, network layout, etc… I would highly recommend checking out the beta of System Center Capacity Planner 2007, currently in beta on the Connect site.

As noted on the Exchange Blog:

SCCP 2007 provides the IT professional with the guidance required to plan new deployments of Exchange Server 2007 and Operations Manager 2007 in the most efficient manner, while also delivering “what-if” analysis to optimize existing implementations.  At this point the results are based on models that are not fully complete so the predictions should not be used as guidance as they currently will not represent real world deployments accurately.  That said, the SCCP team really needs feedback as to whether the scenarios and scale supported in the product will meet the needs of Exchange 2007 and Operations Manager 2007 customers.  To sign up for the beta, please go to the connect site at: http://connect.microsoft.com/systemcenter/

What’s new in SCCP 2007?

  • Plan for new server roles in Exchange 2007
  • Select how you’ll cluster Exchange servers
  • Add in background load for virus scanning
  • Model 64-bit processors
  • Model untrusted agents and gateway servers for Operations Manager
  • Plan for multiple Operations Manager consoles

Where can you find more information?

Technical information on System Center Capacity Planner 2007 can be found on the connect site as well as the external web site at http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/sccp.

Delivering hardware utilization analysis, Capacity Planner can simulate the user workload on a model of the proposed IT infrastructure. It will calculate the utilization of each device in the infrastructure including servers, disk subsystems, LANs, and WANs. Based on this information, the IT professional can determine if the proposed deployment will meet current and future performance and capacity requirements.

  • What’s New in System Center Capacity Planner 2007
  • Plan for new server roles in Exchange 2007
  • Select how you’ll cluster Exchange servers
  • Add in background load for virus scanning
  • Model 64-bit processors
  • Model untrusted agents and gateway servers for Operations Manager
  • Plan for multiple Operations Manager consoles

You simply enter the number of locations, number of users at the locations, mail usage, network links, and a few other bits of information, and Capacity Planner pops out a nice diagram of the network layout at the WAN level, and you can drill into the network, spec out the necessary servers, add servers to the topology…  Very Cool (and timesaving)!

System Center Capacity Planner 2007 is available through a Microsoft TechNet Plus subscription, and through a MSDN Premium subscription.

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