I am happy to announce that the MDOP 2011 R2 is generally available today and can be downloaded from the Microsoft Volume Licensing website, MSDN and TechNet. This version of MDOP includes Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) which is brand new to MDOP, and updates to the Microsoft Diagnostic and Recovery Toolkit (DaRT) 7.0, and Microsoft Asset Inventory Service 2.0.
Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM):
Building on BitLocker in Windows 7, MBAM will help simplify BitLocker provisioning and deployments, improve compliance and reporting, and reduce support costs. To simplify provisioning and deployment, MBAM integrates into your existing Windows 7 deployment process to help automate the encryption process. If you have already deployed Windows 7 but have not enabled BitLocker, you can now have your end users with standard user permissions can start the encryption process. You can also target BitLocker encryption by targeting hardware by make and model, making sure that only machines capable of meeting the encryption policy are encrypted.
To help improve compliance and reporting, MBAM provides reports out of the box that help you understand which machines are encrypted and meet your BitLocker organizational policy. We also provide an alternative to storing BitLocker recovery key information in Active Directory. Machines with the MBAM client will send BitLocker recovery key information to an encrypted SQL database.
MBAM will also help you reduce your support costs by streamlining key recovery for the help desk via a web page that allows the help desk to quickly get the user’s recovery key if they get into BitLocker recovery mode. The help desk no longer needs access to Active Directory. MBAM also creates one time use recovery keys. When a recovery key is retrieved and used, the MBAM client will automatically generate a new recovery key for that PC so that the original key cannot be used to gain access to the machine again.
Microsoft Diagnostic and Recovery Toolkit 7.0 (DaRT):
Building on our previous version to help drive the cost to support Windows based PCs even lower. DaRT 7.0 will speed up recovery and provide IT organizations with more flexible ways to deploy it. In this version we provide flexible deployment options like network boot (PXE), USB, or via the local recovery partition, on top of the CD and DVD method we already have. Just think, you can now walk an end user through the network boot process over the phone and help them troubleshoot their machine without leaving your desk. To make it even easier to not have to visit the user’s desk, DaRT also now includes software based remote control so can securely diagnose and recover PCs. DaRT also now gives you the ability to restrict end-user access to DaRT tools while making these same tools available to you. This is achieved using the remote control feature so end users cannot use the tools without the remote session being active.
Asset Inventory Service 2.0 (AIS):
Last but not least is AIS which is our cloud based asset intelligence solution that translates inventory data into actionable information through advanced software and hardware inventory scanning. In the new version we have improved scalability so that the service can support up to 100,000 clients. We also improved the user interface and localized it into 11 languages. AI 2.0 supports the inventorying of App-V packages, and improved the hardware reporting. As a cloud service we release this outside of the MDOP disc and I posted here that it went live in May.