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Microsoft Adds Hyper-V to Planning Tool

Our July/August issue is going to be special. It's all about planning for your virtual environment. As an editor, I'm generally not a huge fan of "theme" issues, but in this case, it makes perfect sense. As the ubiquitous Gartner study points out, only around 10 percent of servers are currently virtualized (that number could be a little higher or lower, but it's likely fairly accurate).

That means most IT departments still aren't using virtualization; and among those that are, many have gone with a "consolidate a few servers and see what happens" method, without any real strategy behind it.

Thus, it makes sense to show you how to plan for a virtualization rollout -- what you need to know before you step into the brave new world. And one of the key components of that is knowing what's on your network, followed by that network's readiness for virtualization. To that end, there are a number of planning tools (which we'll also be reviewing in a great product shootout) to help in that step.

One of those tools is the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 3.1, which just released to manufacturing and is available for download now. The big news is that it supports Hyper-V. MAP, which is free, is an agentless product. TechNet has a nice learning center on MAP here.

Notice that MAP is free. Once again, Microsoft is attempting to undercut industry leader VMware with a free product. VMware's Capacity Planner is variable in price, and available only through a VMware partner. But, being VMware, you can be pretty sure it ain't cheap. Of course, the argument can be made that you get what you pay for, so each business will need to determine if it's worth the price. Still, Microsoft is being extremely aggressive on pricing in the virtualization space -- more aggressive, I'd be willing to bet, than it is in any other single area. That's what you get when you're the upstart.

In any event, being free, you've got nothing to lose by downloading it and kicking the tires. And don't forget to check out our Ultimate Planning issue -- coming to a mailbox or Website (this one!) to you soon.

Posted by Keith Ward on 07/03/2008 at 12:48 PM


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