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MAP Toolkit 9.0 Beta Assesses New Server and Cloud Enrollment Licensing Scenarios

A beta test version of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 9.0 was released this week.

This release of the toolkit is notable for enabling IT organizations to assess Microsoft's newest licensing scenarios, as well as its 2013-branded server products, for planning and potential migrations. The toolkit is a free agentless solution that inventories hardware and software in a computing environment from a single machine.

The current non-test release of the toolkit is MAP 8.5, which can be downloaded here. Organizations wanting to try the MAP Toolkit 9.0 beta can download it, too, but they have to sign up first via this Microsoft Connect page.

One reason to go through all of the trouble of testing the beta is that MAP Toolkit 9.0 supposedly will help organizations "identify and inventory" Microsoft products that might apply to its new Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE) licensing scenarios, according to Microsoft's announcement. SCE licensing is a new offering that affects organizations with Enterprise Agreements (EAs). Microsoft has indicated that SCE, which apparently hit the price list this month, will eventually replace its existing Enrollment for Application Platform and Enrollment for Core Infrastructure EA licensing programs.

The MAP Toolkit 9.0 beta will help "streamline enrollment" in SCE licensing, according to Microsoft. However, early analysis of SCE by independent licensing experts has suggested that organizations likely will face higher prices in most instances. SCE divides the EA licensing into four offerings, including "core infrastructure" (Windows Server and System Center), "application platform" (SQL Server), "platform developer" (Visual Studio Ultimate and Premium) and "Windows Azure" (all Azure-based cloud services).

Another perk of using the MAP Toolkit 9.0 beta is tracking the licensing of Remote Desktop Services (RDS). "With the new RDS Licensing scenario, the MAP Toolkit rolls up license information enterprise-wide into a single report, providing a simple alternative for assessing your RDS licensing position," according to Microsoft's announcement.

Microsoft raised the price of its RDS Client Access Licenses for Windows Server 2012 R2. The cost is up by 20 percent for those using Select and Open licenses.

About the Author

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

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