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Microsoft Releases Free MAP 5.5 Toolkit

Version 5.5 of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit was released early this week.

The toolkit, part of Microsoft's free Solution Accelerators series, can be downloaded here. It previously was available in beta form, having been released in November. New features announced by Microsoft back then include the ability of the application to assess what's required for migrations to Windows Azure and SQL Azure, upgrades to Internet Explorer 7 and IE 8, database discovery for moving to SQL Server, and help with virtualization planning. 

The toolkit works with other Solution Accelerators software, specifically the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Security Compliance Manager, to provide recommendations for upgrades within the Microsoft product line. It runs network-wide from a single PC, gathering system resource and hardware information, according to Microsoft's TechNet library description. It does not use agents installed on other machines to generate its reports.

To assess migration possibilities to Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform, MAP 5.5 checks an organization's network for relational database management systems, Web apps and servers running Internet Information Services. It will check for MySQL, Oracle and Sybase databases, according to a Microsoft blog. MAP 5.5 will produce a report estimating the "number of Windows Azure compute instances, number of SQL Azure databases, bandwidth usage, and storage" needed for the migration, according to the blog.

For those migrating to Microsoft's IE 7 or IE 8 Web browsers, MAP 5.5 pulls out various details from a network. It records the number of Web browsers deployed, and even tracks the use of browser add-ons and ActiveX use.

MAP 5.5 also checks hardware and software readiness for virtualization and helps with server consolidation projects, according to Microsoft's blog. It checks for Intel and AMD processors. It supposedly makes server configurations easier to carry out for server consolidation projects.

On top of these new features, MAP 5.5 supports various Microsoft product migrations, such as moving to Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Office 2010. It can also track Microsoft software licensing use across a network.

About the Author

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

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