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MAP Toolkit 8.0 Beta Available

A beta of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 8.0 was released this week.

It's the latest test version of Microsoft's agentless infrastructure assessment tool, which will produce an inventory of desktop computers and deployed software. It also delivers a report and a proposal, so it's a bit of a sales tool aimed at organizations keeping to the Microsoft stack and thinking about upgrading. The tool also offers suggestions for moving off non-Microsoft software, such as VMware solutions and various databases. An example of how MAP Toolkit 8.0 beta checks for SQL Server use is described in this Microsoft blog post.

Like its predecessor, the current MAP Toolkit 7.0, this new assessment tool will check if an organization has the required hardware needed for a migration to Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. Microsoft has said that Windows 7-logo machines will be capable of running Windows 8, although hardware requirements associated with touchscreens and running Hyper-V desktop virtualization may require having Windows 8-certified hardware. In addition, older trackpads on laptops might not support Windows 8 touch gestures.

MAP Toolkit 8.0 beta can track organizational readiness to move customer premises-based Windows Server or Linux server environments into Microsoft's cloud, according to Microsoft's announcement. This capability is called "migration to Windows Azure Virtual Machines" by Microsoft, and it can be tested by signing up for a preview. On the Linux side, the tool can assess migration from "Red Hat, Ubuntu, SuSE and CentOS," according to Microsoft's MAP FAQ. It also checks moving from HP-UX, as well as VMware's ESX, ESXi and Server products.

IT pros can also use the tool to check Office 365 readiness, as well as the ability to move to Office 2013.

Lync 2010 Enterprise edition tracking is part of the tool's capabilities. For instance, it can assess the number of Lync Client Access Licenses required. It also can track Lync software dependencies associated with Windows Server and System Center. Surprisingly, no assessment for Lync 2013 migrations seems to be included with the tool, per Microsoft's descriptions. Lync 2013 is expected to hit general availability sometime in the first half of next year.

The beta is open to try, but it requires a Microsoft account sign-up. The free tool also requires the use two other Microsoft "solution accelerators" to work, including the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Security Compliance Manager. The MAP Toolkit 8.0 beta can be accessed via the Microsoft Connect portal here.

About the Author

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

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