With the release of Office 365 and all Microsoft’s talk about the cloud and its potential, it was striking that many of the cloud migration tools for MS cloud products recently have been from third-party vendors. However, Microsoft has announced the release of Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 6.0 that appears to be redressing that balance.

Announced on the Windows Team blog, MAPS 6.0 offers enterprises a way of planning their migration strategy and, in doing so, making the process quicker.

If one of the big obstacles for enterprises with the cloud has been the ability to assess their legacy deployments, and working out how to make the move without losing any content or data, then MAPS 6.0 will do that for them, as well as assessing the suitability of a move to Office 365.

According to the blog, the toolkit gives organizations an insight into potential workloads for both private and public cloud platforms and offers estimates of the infrastructure resources needed for both Azure and Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track.

Also available with this version is an enhanced VMWare inventory, and Oracle schema discovery and reporting.

With v6.0 then, there are six components:

1. Application Portfolio Assessments

The application portfolio provides users with the ability to quantify and label applications across the entire organizations; After all, you don’t want to have made the move and find that you’ve left something behind. With it, organizations can:

  • List all the applications and where they are in the environment
  • Estimate required capacity on Azure
  • Indicate level of migration difficulty
  • List applications by level of difficulty
  • Offer TCO and ROI of those applications

2. Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track

Provides consolidation guidance and validated configurations for Hyper-V Fast Track infrastructures along with estimated computing power, network and storage architectures. It also accelerates the move from physical to virtual environments and provides guidance on the next steps to take to move the project forward.

3. Migration opportunities

The expanded MAP server environment inventory includes inventories of VMware Server, vSphere and VMware vCenter. It offers an assessment of the number of servers and guests managed by VMware infrastructure and offers suggestions around possible migration opportunities.

4. Office 365 readiness

MAP offers an assessment of suitability for Office 365 migration as well as an assessment of Office suites' compatibility with the Office 365 environment, including hardware and software suitability assessments. As a result, enterprises can see straight away which client computers are ready to work with Office 365, as well as indicating why a particular computer might not be suitable.

5.Windows 7 and IE 9

Updated to enable assessments of IE 9, it assesses an enterprise's web environment and lists the web browsers currently being deployed in an enterprise. It also assesses existing ActiveX controls and add-ons, and then generates a migration assessment report, offering proposals for easier migration.

6. SQL Server

While the earlier version, v5.5, included database assessments to enable and accelerate migration to SQL Server from MySQL, Oracle and Sybase, in this version it comes with Oracle schema discovery, and offers an assessment of the complexity of migration as well as suggesting candidates for migration. This offers a TCO assessment of maintaining Oracle and the potential ROI of moving across to SQL Server.

While there have been previous versions of MAP, which worked well, the release of Office 365 required an update that included assessments of an IT environment’s suitability to move to it. Given the size and potential complexity of such a move, and concerns about getting everything across, MAP 6.0 can offer advice on where you should be going with it, or even if you should be going there in the first place.

If you’re going to make the move, it needs to be done correctly, and this might just be the starting point rather than jumping in at the deep end.