Today, we are going to kickoff a short series that covers a new feature in MAP v7.0 – the Desktop Virtualization Planning scenario.  This is a very broad topic covering everything from virtualization of the operating system, application virtualization, user profile management and many others. In our discussions with our many partners, customers, Microsoft field and technical folks, there were four areas identified where MAP could provide specific and actionable guidance and planning automation.  Here  they are:

  • Recommendations for hardware that could be re-purposed to run Windows Thin PC
  • A way to capture and model the hardware performance impact of a usage scenario
  • Recommendations for server sizing and capacity planning for proposed Remote Desktop Session and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure environments
  • The ability to relate users to computers and the applications running on them

In the first part of this series, we will cover the Windows Thin PC assessment .  In part two, we’ll show how the toolkit can help you model the performance profile  of a usage scenario.  Part three will cover capacity planning and in part four, we’ll show you how to relate a MAP inventoried computer to a user and get the applications installed on those computers summarized as well. 

Windows Thin PC Assessment

Windows Thin PC enables organizations to repurpose existing PCs as thin clients by providing a smaller footprint, locked down version of Windows 7.  Benefits include:

  • Reduced End Point costs for VDI
  • Excellent Thin Client experience
  • Enterprise Ready platform

The Windows Thin PC Assessment in MAP is one of the many operating system and application migration assessments available.  In MAP 7.0, these include Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008R2 and Windows Thin PC. All of these scenarios share a common set of steps which include:

  1. Prepare your environment for a Windows inventory
  2. Determine your discovery method and perform an inventory of your Windows client machines
  3. Review the results
  4. Customize the CPU, Memory and Storage requirements for the assessment (Optional)

 

Prepare your environment for a Windows inventory

The Windows Thin PC assessment relies on data gathered through WMI.  This is something that you must enable through Group Policy settings, logon scripts or manually on each computer.  Before you run your initial scan, please read through the sections about Preparing Your Environment in our Getting Started Guide or check out our new wiki page site.  The following topics will help you prepare for this inventory and perform some initial troubleshooting if needed.

Of course, you can always contact us directly by sending us an email at mapfdbk@microsoft.com or through our community forum at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/map/threads.

Discover computers and perform your inventory

Once the environment is ready for a WMI based inventory, open the MAP toolkit console where you can either use an existing or create a new database.

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If you haven’t yet run an inventory or need to collect information from additional machines, use the Inventory and Assessment Wizard.  On the Data Collection summary, you can access this wizard by selecting the ‘Go’ button next to Step 1: Perform an Inventory.

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On the Inventory Scenarios page of the wizard, select the Windows computers option and select ‘Next’.

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Note that the Collector Technologies section indicates that this scenario will use WMI.

The wizard pages that follow allow you to select your discovery methods (e.g. Active Directory, IP Address Range Scan) and provide the credentials list that MAP will use to connect and inventory each machine through WMI.  For more information on these topics, see the Getting Starting Guide and our wiki content home at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/1640.microsoft-assessment-and-planning-toolkit-en-us.aspx.

Review the results

In MAP 7.0, we’ve added a new entry for Desktop Virtualization under the Inventory and Assessment navigation pane on the left hand of the console.  To view the summary results of the Windows Thin PC Readiness assessment.  Expand the Desktop Virtualization tree item and select Windows Thin PC Readiness.

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You will see two sets of information – the Readiness Summary and the Device Compatibility Summary.  In the Readiness Summary, MAP provides a three categories of information.  What computers are ready to run Windows Thin PC, which computers cannot run Windows Thin PC and the computers which MAP didn’t have enough information to evaluate.  Unlike other hardware assessments in MAP, we assumed that you aren’t going to invest in any additional hardware upgrades to get these computers to run Windows Thin PC – so the category that indicates how many can run the OS with hardware upgrades is not included.

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Since Windows Thin PC is based upon Windows 7, the Device Compatibility Summary closely resembles that for the Windows 7 Readiness Assessment.  The big difference is that with Windows Thin PC you won’t be able to get device driver updates through Windows Update.  The categories for the device driver assessment are as follows:

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You can also generate a report that provides additional detail related to the hardware and device compatibility assessment by selecting ‘Generate report’ from the Action pane on the right hand side of the console.  This report provides you with assessment information on a machine by machine and device by device level.

Customize the assessment

By default, MAP uses the recommended configuration for CPU, Free Disk and Memory. 

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You can customize the settings for use in the assessment by selecting the ‘Set Assessment Properties’ action from the right hand pane.  Using the dialog above you can increase the CPU Speed, Free Disk and Memory requirements to be used in the assessment.  Once you have made your adjustments, select ‘Run Assessment’ and the results will be updated in the Summary Results page.

For more information on Windows Thin PC see http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/products-and-technologies/virtualization/thinpc.aspx.

In the next couple of days, I plan on covering the other topics above.  In the meantime, if you haven’t had a chance to take a look at MAP 7.0, it’s available for download!  

Your input plays such a big role not only in terms of what we do, but how we design it.  Let us know what we we’re doing well and not so well.  The team is super passionate about making MAP a great resource for your IT planning and assessment needs and we take your feedback seriously.  Here are some of the ways that you can let us know what you think.

Next up: A way to capture and model the hardware performance impact of a usage scenario