Using the Windows discovery tool

Migrate for Anthos provides a self-service tool that you run on a Windows VM workload to determine the workload's fit for migration to a container.

The tool outputs a zip file that indicates whether or not the Windows VM is a potential fit for migration. The name of the file indicates the results:

  • indicates that the VM is a potential fit to be migrated.
  • indicates that the VM is not fit to be migrated. Typically a NOFIT results from a missing or incorrect version of IIS.

How the tool works

Because Migrate for Anthos requires Windows VMs to run Microsoft IIS 7 or higher, the discovery tool collects IIS and general system information.


To run the Windows discovery tool:

  • You must have a 64-bit version of Windows.
  • You must be an administrator on the Windows VM.

Downloading and running the tool

The tool is packaged as a single .exe file. You must download the tool before you can execute it.

To evaluate a VM:

  1. Log in to your VM.

  2. Create a directory for the tool:

    > mkdir m4a 
    > cd m4a
  3. Download the tool to the VM from

  4. Run the tool on the VM as an administrator:

    You can either right click on the tool in the File Manager and select Run as Administrator, or open a PowerShell command window as an administrator:

    > collect_info.exe

    The tool outputs a zip file named or to the current directory.

    The timestamp is in the format YYYMMDDhhmmss. See Output zip file format for a description of the zip file.

    You can optionally use the -o option to specify the path to the output directory. For example:

    > collect_info.exe -o /home/mydir

    To see help information, use:

    > collect_info.exe -h

Output zip file format

The output zip file contains:

  • A log file named log.log.
  • A file named collect_info_version.txt containing the version of the tool.
  • Directories containing information about the system:
    • computer_info
    • iis
    • gac
    • odbc

The contents of each directory are described below.

The computer_info directory

The computer_info directory contains:

File Description
hosts.txt Copy of machine hosts file
installed_programs.json Information of installed programs
ipconfig_out.txt Output of ipconfig /all.
msinfo32_out.txt Report from msinfo32 utility.
netstat_out.txt Information of all connections and listening ports with executables involved in creating each connection or listening port.
routing_tables.txt The machine's routing tables.
schedtasks.csv Information of scheduled tasks
systeminfo_out.csv Output of systeminfo utility in CSV format.
win32_product_installed_programs.json Information of installed programs provided by Win32_Product WMI class.
windows_features.json Information on Windows features.

The iis directory

The iis directory contains information about IIS, sites and .NET configurations, and additional selected information that might help us to understand the applications.

The directory contains following files:

File Description
Framework[64]_v<version>_config Copy of all .NET global config directories, for each framework and version.

Includes global.configs and machine.configs, for example Framework_v2.0.50727_config, Framework64_v4.0.30319_config. The source for this information is %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework[64]\version\config.

iis_config A copy of the IIS config directory including configs and schemes.
sites_files A directory contains exported files from IIS sites, meaning copies of all web.config files in sites.
sites.json Information on all sites configured in IIS, including recursive directory listing for each site with ACL information of files.
version.txt The IIS version.

Handling secrets in the iis directory

Copies of config files and directories (IIS, global .NET, and sites) might contain secrets. These files include applicationHost.config and web.config.

The collect_info.exe tool filters passwords from connection strings in those files ( .NET 3.5+ format). Every password is replaced with ***. You can remove and filter any additional sensitive information manually from the output zip file.

The gac directory

The gac directory contains information of the .NET Global Assembly Cache:

File Description
clr2.txt A list of assemblies in CLR2.0 GAC.
clr4.txt A list of assemblies in CLR4.0 GAC.

The odbc directory

The odbc directory contains information of the ODBC DSNs and installed drivers:

File Description
system_dsn_32.reg Exported registries with all information of system DSNs and drivers for 32-bit.
system_dsn_64.reg Exported registries with all information of system DSNs and drivers for 64-bit.
user_dsn.reg Exported registries with all information of user DSNs and drivers for 32- and 64-bit.

Handling secrets in the odbc directory

ODBC DSNs might contain secrets. The collect_info.exe tool filters out passwords from the exported .reg files. You can remove and filter any additional sensitive information manually from the output zip file.

What's next