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New MAP Toolkit Checks SQL Server 2012 Readiness

Microsoft this week released its latest no-cost network administrator toolkit for Windows environments that's designed to assess server and operating system migration readiness, as well as to verify licensing and compliance issues.

Version 6.5.4228.0 of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit, which is available for download here, succeeds Microsoft's November release of version 6.5. Even though Microsoft seems to be signaling by the version numbering that this release is a minor upgrade to the toolkit, it does contain some noteworthy new features.

For instance, organizations assessing a move to SQL Server 2012, which is due for product release on April 1, will get licensing information in addition to discovery capabilities from using the tool. A "SQL Server proposal" gets generated from the tool showing licensed editions in a 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 with SQL Server 2012, instead of the previous processor-based approach. Presumably, 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 increasing the Client Access License costs for SQL Server 2012 by 25 percent. However, overall licensing costs appear somewhat difficult to assess.

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

Those interested in independent analysis on SQL Server 2012 licensing can tune into a Webcast by the Directions on Microsoft consulting firm on March 22 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, but registration is required.

Microsoft's toolkit also can perform inventories on other database management systems, such as Oracle on Itanium servers, MySQL and Sybase. Another new capability in the toolkit is the ability to gather information about moving to the Database Consolidation Appliance, which is 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.

Another new feature in the toolkit is license tracking for devices, which is 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." However, the previous version of the toolkit seemed to have this capability as well.

A description of the new features in MAP Toolkit 6.5.4228.0 can be found at Microsoft's Solutions Accelerators page here, where the toolkit also can be downloaded.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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