Earlier this week, Microsoft released the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP), the evolved version of the Windows Vista Hardware Assessment tool. MAP is an inventory, assessment, and reporting tool that can simplify your migration to the following: Windows Vista, Microsoft Office 2007, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Virtual Server 2005 R2, SQL Server 2008 and Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 (formerly SoftGrid), Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Online Services, Forefront/NAP.

MAP is agentless, so you don't have to install software agents on all your computers before using it. You can use it in small, medium, or large environments.

MAP's hardware assessment looks at the installed hardware and determines if migration is recommended. If it isn't recommended, the reports tell you why not.

MAP's device assessment looks at the devices installed on a computer and reports availability of drivers for those devices. Device assessment is provided for both Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista migration scenarios.

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

MAP generates reports containing both summary and detailed assessment results in both Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word documents. Reports are generated for the following:

  • Identification of currently installed Windows Client operating systems, their hardware, and recommendations for migration to Windows Vista. This tool also reports if desktops have anti-virus and anti-malware programs installed or if the Windows Firewall is turned on.
  • Identification of currently installed Windows Server operating systems, their hardware, and recommendations for migration to Windows Server 2008.
  • Identification of currently installed Microsoft Office software and recommendations for migration to Microsoft Office 2007.
  • Detailed assessment and reporting of server utilization gathered using the Performance Metrics Wizard.
  • Recommendations for server consolidation and virtual machine placement using Hyper-V or Virtual Server 2005 R2.
  • Assessment of client machines, servers, and the technology environment for the implementation of Microsoft Application Virtualization (formerly SoftGrid).  
  • Reporting of SNMP-enabled devices found in the environment during inventory.
  • Security Assessment:  Create a report on existing client computers to identify machines where Security Center, antispyware, antivirus or firewall products are not found or are not running correctly.
  • Microsoft SQL Server Assessment:  Create a report on existing client and server computers to identify machines where Microsoft SQL Server instances are found.
  • Virtual Machine Inventory:  Create reports that identify virtual machines in your computer environment.
  • Power Savings Assessment: Create a proposal to identify server and client machines running in your environment and understand the power management capabilities available.
  • Optimized Desktop Scenario Selection Tool: This tool defines common-usage scenarios to help organizations choose the client computing scenarios that best meet the unique needs of their businesses. Use the Windows Optimized Desktop Scenario Selection Tool to identify one or more Optimized Desktop scenarios that suit your organization’s needs.

- Andrea