Microsoft Assessment & Planning Toolkit 5.0 – Now released, by Matt McSpirit

Way back in March, I blogged about the 1st beta release of the MAP Toolkit 5.0.  Well, we’ve been through a second beta since then, and finally, a couple of days back, shipped the product, which I’m pleased to say, is available to download here.

For those of you not in the know, what does MAP actually do?  Well, from here:


Secure and Agentless Inventory

MAP provides secure, agentless, and network-wide inventory that scales from small business to large enterprises. It collects and organizes system resources and device information from a single networked computer. Assessment tools often require users to first deploy software agents on all computers to be inventoried, but this tool does not. MAP uses technologies already available in your IT environment to perform inventory and assessments. These technologies include Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), the Remote Registry Service, Active Directory Domain Services, and the Computer Browser service.

You can use MAP to inventory the following technologies:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP Professional
  • Office 2010 and previous versions
  • Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 R2
  • Windows 2000 Professional or Windows 2000 Server
  • VMware ESX
  • VMware ESXi
  • VMware Server
  • Linux variants
  • LAMP application stack discovery
  • SQL Server 2008

Comprehensive Data Analysis

MAP performs a detailed analysis of hardware and device compatibility for migration to Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, and Microsoft Office 2010. The hardware assessment looks at the installed hardware and determines if migration is recommended. If it is not recommended, then the reports tell you why it is not.

The device assessment looks at the devices installed on a computer and reports availability of drivers for those devices. Device assessment can be used for migration and consolidation scenarios for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and SQL Server 2008 R2.

MAP identifies heterogeneous IT environments consisting of Windows Server and Linux operating systems, including those running in a virtual environment, and provides discovery of Linux-powered LAMP application stacks. MAP’s VMware discovery feature identifies already-virtualized servers running under VMware that can be managed with the Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager platform, or be migrated to the Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor.

For customers interested in server consolidation and virtualization through technologies such as Hyper-V and Virtual Server 2005 R2, MAP helps to gather performance metrics and generate server consolidation recommendations that identify the candidates for server virtualization and suggests how the physical servers might be placed in a virtualized environment. 

In-Depth Readiness Reporting

MAP generates reports containing both summary and detailed assessment results for each migration scenario. The results are provided in Microsoft Excel workbooks and Microsoft Word documents. Reports are generated for the following scenarios:

  • Identification of currently installed Windows client operating systems, their hardware, and recommendations for migration to Windows 7.
  • Reporting of antivirus and anti-malware programs installed on the desktop and if the Windows Firewall is turned on.
  • Identification of currently installed Microsoft Office software and recommendations for migration to Microsoft Office 2010.
  • Identification of currently installed Windows Server operating systems, underlying hardware and devices, as well as recommendations for migration to Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • Identification of currently installed Linux operating systems and underlying hardware for virtualization on Hyper-V or management by System Center Operations Manager R2.
  • Detailed assessment and reporting of server utilization, as well as recommendations for server consolidation and virtual machine placement using Hyper-V or Virtual Server 2005 R2.
  • Discovery of Microsoft SQL Server databases, instances, and selected characteristics.
  • Identification of SQL Server host machines and SQL Server components.
  • Identification of virtual machines running on both Hyper-V and VMware, their hosts, and details about hosts and guests.
  • Assessment of Windows 2000 Server environments and inventory.


Software Usage Tracker Feature Overview



The MAP Toolkit’s Software Usage Tracker feature provides Microsoft Volume Licensing customers with consistent software usage reports for key Microsoft server products: Windows Server, SharePoint Server, System Center Configuration Manager, Exchange Server, and SQL Server. MAP’s software usage tracker provides secure, agentless, and network-wide inventory that collects and organizes software usage information and client access history for the following Microsoft servers:

  • Windows Server
  • SharePoint Server
  • Exchange Server
  • SQL Server
  • System Center Configuration Manager

With the MAP software usage tracker, you can run updated reports whenever you need to accurately assess current software usage and client access history in your environment. This reduces time and administrative costs for managing your server and client access licenses (CALs) and helps you to streamline the management of your software assets.

Not bad for a free tool, right?

The biggest question I get back from people when I talk about MAP is along the lines of ‘this sounds great, but how do we use it?’

Thankfully, there’s a couple of ‘getting started guides’, dedicated to both general usage, and the Software Usage Tracker, but on top of that, Matt Hester, from the US IT Pro Evangelist team, has released a series of 6 videos showcasing MAP 5.0.  So far, he’s published the following:

In the meantime, if you’re desperate to see the remaining 3 videos, you can grab them on TechNet Edge:

If you’re interested, you can download the tool here.

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