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MAP Toolkit 8.5 Assesses Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 Readiness

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 8.5 was released late last week.

This version of the free toolkit, which can be downloaded here, will check whether an organization's computing environment is ready or not to run the Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 operating systems, as well as various Microsoft application software. It will check for hardware and software compatibilities for running Microsoft's 2013-branded products, such as Lync Server 2013, Exchange Server 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013. IT pros get reports generated by the toolkit to assess migration and upgrade options.

MAP Toolkit 8.5 will conduct an inventory for possible SQL Server 2012 and SQL Server 2008 R2 migrations. However, no support was indicated in Microsoft's announcement for SQL Server 2014, which was released last month at the "community technology preview" stage. The toolkit also checks for Oracle and Sybase database management system installations and migration scenarios.

The toolkit can detect virtual machines (VMs), providing the number of VMs per host in a report. That information can be used for planning, as well as for software licensing compliance. It detects VMs running on Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware hypervisors, as well as providing an inventory of Linux-based VMs.

MAP Toolkit 8.5 is an agentless program that runs on a single machine to inventory hardware and software resources. While it can be used by IT pros to assess software licensing compliance, Microsoft claims that the toolkit doesn't send an organization's information back to Microsoft. "By default, no data about your environment is uploaded to Microsoft or anyone else by the MAP Toolkit," according to Microsoft's FAQ.

The toolkit is free but it works with two other free Microsoft "solution accelerators," including the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Security Compliance Manager.

Microsoft also has tried to make it easier for IT pros to switch to Hyper-V from VMware products by releasing its new Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Automation Toolkit (MAT), which was announced last month. MAT provides PowerShell scripts to automate the conversion of VMs from VMware to Microsoft Hyper-V.

MAT can work across multiple VMs, instead of just on single instances, when using PowerShell scripting instead of the graphical user interface, according to Keith Mayer, a Microsoft technical evangelist, in a video demonstration. The tool queries the host and pulls back a list of VMs to convert. According to Mayer, the VMs just need to be in an "On" state and connected to a common network so that the tool can take a snapshot prior to conversion.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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