First thing you’re thinking is, ‘What’s a Community Technical Preview?’  Well, I’m not actually 100% sure to be honest, but I think it’s pre-beta, but not too far off beta, if you know what I mean :-)  As always, I could be wrong! :)

Anyway, if you’re not familiar with MAP, in a nutshell, MAP is designed to simplify and streamline the IT infrastructure planning process across multiple scenarios through network-wide automated discovery and assessments.  MAP provides a quick and complete inventory of the current IT environment of any organization, hardware and device compatibility assessment, and actionable reporting of recommended hardware upgrades for migration.

What does that mean in terms of technologies?

  • Windows 7 Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment
  • Virtualisation Candidates Assessment for Hyper-V Server Consolidation
  • Inventory of VMware Server Hosts and Guests
  • Enhanced Usability and Improved Inventory Performance
  • SQL Server Instance Discovery
  • Desktop Security Assessment for Anti-virus and Anti-malware Programs Installation
  • Forefront Client Security/NAP Readiness Assessment

OK, all that stuff was in MAP 4.0 – what’s new in MAP 5.0?

  • Heterogeneous Server Environment Inventory for Technologies including Windows Server, Linux, UNIX and VMware
  • Ability to determine usage of deployed System Center Configuration Manager, a member of the Core Client Access License Suite
  • Readiness assessment for migration or upgrade to Microsoft Office 2010.

So, with MAP 5.0, you’ve gained an ever greater level of insight around the desktop space, with Office 2010 capabilities, along with more non-Microsoft platform integration.  The fact that you can now inventory Linux and Unix, as well as VMware, is a powerful addition, and reinforces Microsoft’s push to embrace non-Windows OS’s through both virtualisation on Hyper-V, but also through monitoring and management with System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2.

Register for the MAP Toolkit 5.0 CTP and download