Microsoft Application Analyser and IBM Sizing

Paul Mooney, and some others, have recently commented on Microsoft Application analyser. My input into this debate is based on my experience with large customers (15,000-30,000 users) in EMEA. Many of them have been approached by Microsoft with competitive packages and tools to assist them in analysing the cost of migration to Microsoft based email and application platforms. In one case the customer was interested and set up 2 teams, 1 to consider a Microsoft Collaborative environment and 1 to look at what could be done with their existing Lotus Collaborative environment.

As a member of both teams I saw what Microsoft and IBM brought to the table. Microsoft were able to use the analyser tool Paul describes, then some tools not publicly available which run on the output from the analyser tool. These allowed them to quickly estimate the required architecture to support the existing Lotus applications on MS platform.

From the IBM side we had NO automated way of analysing databases. We were looking to re-architect the existing wintel based application environment, serving 4,000+ applications, onto a new platform. IBM delivered a sizing questionnaire for us to enter data about each application manually. Surely there must be a better way of doing this and a tool which could be developed by IBM. I would argue the IBM tool should allow an easy estimate of the processing power and memory required and hence an architecture could be designed. In the end we used platform statistics to give a picture of the total CPU / Memory usage in order to give a rough estimate for the requirements in a new environment. The difficultly here is this method does not take into account duplicity between servers (i.e. a large database consumes processing power on each replica server for view indexing etc.).

My real point from this post is that the customer observed Microsoft arrive with good experts and automated tools to analyse the environment. They saw IBM arrive with some very good experts but no real automated method for application environment sizing. Please IBM can we have an automated tool to help with sizing application environments.

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