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Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 7.0 now available | Accelerate your migration to the private cloud

July 12, 2012 Leave a comment

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit team is pleased to announce that MAP 7.0 is now available for download.

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit is an agentless, automated, multi-product planning and assessment tool for quicker and easier desktop, server and cloud migrations. MAP provides detailed readiness assessment reports and executive proposals with extensive hardware and software information, and actionable recommendations to help organizations accelerate their IT infrastructure planning process, and gather more detail on assets that reside within their current environment. MAP also provides server utilization data for Hyper-V server virtualization planning; identifying server placements, and performing virtualization candidate assessments, including ROI analysis for server consolidation with Hyper-V.

The latest version of the MAP Toolkit adds several new scenarios to help you plan your IT future while supporting your current business needs. Included scenarios help you to:
• Plan your deployment of Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 with hardware and infrastructure readiness assessments
• Size your desktop virtualization needs for both Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and session-based virtualization using Remote Desktop Services
• Ready your information platform for the cloud with SQL Server 2012
• Virtualize your existing Linux servers onto Hyper-V
• Identify opportunities to lower your virtualization costs with Hyper-V using the VMware migration assessment
• Assess user and device access for Lync 2010 Standard licensing

Key features and benefits of MAP 7.0 help you:
• Determine your readiness for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8
• Migrate your VMware-based virtual machines to Hyper-V
• Size your server environment for desktop virtualization
• Simplify migration to SQL Server 2012
• Evaluate your licensing needs for Lync 2010
• Determine active users and devices

Assess Windows Server 2012 readiness
MAP 7.0 assesses the readiness of your IT infrastructure for a Windows Server 2012 deployment. This feature includes detailed and actionable recommendations indicating the machines that meet Windows Server 2012 system requirements and which may require hardware updates. A comprehensive inventory of servers, operating systems, workloads, devices, and server roles is included to help in your planning efforts.

Determine Windows 8 readiness
MAP 7.0 assesses the readiness of your IT environment for your Windows 8 deployment. This feature evaluates your existing hardware against the recommended system requirements for Windows 8. It provides recommendations detailing which machines meet the requirements and which machines may require hardware upgrades.
Key benefits include:
• Assessment report and summary proposal to help you to understand the scope and benefits of a Windows 8 deployment.
• Inventory of desktop computers, deployed operating systems, and applications.

Virtualize your Linux servers on Hyper-V
MAP 7.0 extends its server virtualization scenario to include Linux operating systems. Now, MAP enables you to gather performance data for Linux-based physical and virtual machines and use that information to perform virtualization and private cloud planning analysis for both Windows and Linux-based machines within the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track scenario.
Key features allow you to:
• Incorporate non-Windows machines into your virtualization planning.
• View consolidation guidance and validated configurations with preconfigured Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track infrastructures, including computing power, network, and storage architectures.
• Get a quick analysis of server consolidation on Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track infrastructures to help accelerate your planning of physical to virtual (P2V) migration to Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track.
• Review recommended guidance and next steps using Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track.

For a comprehensive list of features and benefits, click here.

Next steps:
Download MAP Toolkit 7.0.
• Send your comments to the MAP Team.
Learn more about MAP.

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Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012 Now Available | Reliable and flexible OS deployment

April 18, 2012 Leave a comment

The latest version of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit—version 2012— is now available for download.
Visit the Download Center to download MDT 2012.

Deploy Windows 7, Office 2010, Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Windows Server “8” Beta and Windows Server 2008 R2 with the newly released Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012. MDT 2012 is the newest version of Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, a Solution Accelerator for operating system and application deployment. MDT is the recommended process and toolset for automating Windows 7 and Office 365 deployments.

The Solution Accelerators Team added new features to MDT 2012 that include the ability for users to initiate and customize their own deployments using System Center Configuration Manager 2012, key enhancements in Windows 7 driver support, and much more.
MDT 2012 will provide new benefits such as:
• Comprehensive tools and guidance to efficiently manage large-scale deployments of Microsoft Office 2010.
• An enhanced User-Driven Installation (UDI) deployment method that utilizes System Center Configuration Manager 2012. UDI lets end users initiate and customize an OS deployment on their PCs—via an easy-to-use wizard.
• Ease Lite Touch installation with new capabilities to check on the status of currently running deployments.
• This release provides support for deploying Windows 8 Consumer Preview in a lab environment.

These features, combined with many bug fixes and other improvements, make MDT 2012 more reliable and flexible than ever.

Support for Configuration Manager 2012: MDT 2012 provides support for Configuration Manager 2012 releases. MDT 2012 fully leverages the capabilities provided by Configuration Manager 2012 for OS deployment. Users now also have the ability to migrate MDT 2012 task sequences from Configuration Manager 2007 to Configuration Manager 2012.

Customize deployment questions: For System Center Configuration Manager customers, MDT 2012 provides an improved, extensible wizard and designer for customizing deployment questions.

Ease Lite Touch installation: The Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolkit (DaRT) is now integrated with Lite Touch Installation, providing remote control and diagnostics. New monitoring capabilities are available to check on the status of currently running deployments. LTI now has an improved deployment wizard user experience. Enhanced partitioning support ensures that deployments work regardless of the current structure.

Secure Deployments: MDT 2012 offers integration with the Microsoft Security Compliance Manager (SCM) tool to ensure a secure Windows deployment from the start.

Reliability and flexibility: Existing MDT users will find more reliability and flexibility with the many small enhancements and bug fixes and a smooth and simple upgrade process.

Support for Windows 8: MDT 2012 provides support for deploying Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Windows Server “8” Beta in a lab environment.

Next steps:
Download MDT 2012.
• Send your comments to the MDT Team.
Learn more about the MDT.

Get the latest tips from Microsoft Solution Accelerators—in 140 characters or less! Follow us on Twitter: @MSSolutionAccel.