Microsoft Assessment and Planning Solution Accelerator (and free Vista/Office)

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Solution Accelerator (and free Vista/Office)

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If you have not played with the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Solution Accelerator, you really need to.  It was awesome as the Windows Vista Hardware Assessment tool, and it is even better now that it adds support for Windows Server 2008, Virtualization, and Server Consolidation.  If you read this post all the way to the bottom, you will also find an offer to get a free copy of Windows Vista Ultimate and 2007 Microsoft Office Ultimate to the people that file the 10 best bugs...  Enjoy!


Microsoft Assessment and Planning Solution Accelerator
Beta 1 Now Available!
Are your existing servers and desktops capable of running Windows Server 2008 or Windows Vista?
Do you wish that there is a tool that can help you quickly determine if your infrastructure is ready for Microsoft's virtualization technologies such as Hyper-V, Microsoft Application Virtualization (SoftGrid) and Terminal Services? Look no further.
The new Microsoft Assessment and Planning Solution Accelerator will help you solve many of your assessment and planning problems by providing you with a multi-technology network-wide inventory and assessment tool.


The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Solution Accelerator (or MAP) is the expanded version of the Windows Vista Hardware Assessment (WVHA) released in February this year. In this new version, MAP is expanding into new areas of server side assessments, virtualization recommendations while retaining the WVHA functionalities. In addition, the graphics user interface is brand new as well to accommodate more features and functionalities for 1.0 release and the future releases.
Key Assessment Proposals and Reports
WVHA is known for its powerful assessments and report-generation capabilities and MAP is no different. Here's a short list of documents that MAP can generate for a specific network environment:
· Server Migration Reports and Proposals (Windows Server 2008)
· Server Consolidation Reports and Proposals (Virtualization: Hyper-V or Virtual Server 2005 R2)
· Application Virtualization Assessment Reports (SoftGrid)
· Windows Vista and 2007 Microsoft Office Hardware Assessment Reports and Proposals
· Server Roles and Non-Windows Machines Inventory and more
In addition, this tool can generate localized desktop readiness reports in N. American English, German, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Microsoft Assessment and Planning is based on agent-less infrastructure scanning technology developed by the Microsoft Solution Accelerators team. It makes it easier to set up the network-wide inventory remotely and securely without installing any software agents on each machine being inventoried.

First, by connecting a computer with the MAP application, the user with the correct network and local PC credentials can then inventory and assess the readiness of the servers, clients, devices and applications for various migration and virtualization scenarios. Since no agents are used, set up of MAP is very easy.
Upon successful inventory and/or performance gathering, MAP will generate the user-specified assessment reports and proposals in the form of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word documents. The proposals are typically targeted for Business Decision Makers and Technical Decision Makers in an organization; while the detailed reports are tailored for IT implementers including desktop and infrastructure administrators and IT consultants.


Underlying Technologies
MAP leverages Microsoft technologies including:
· Active Directory Domain Services
· Win32 Networking Protocols
· Internet Protocol (IP) Range Scanning
· Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)
· Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)

· Download MAP Beta now from the Microsoft Connect site (Live ID sign-in is required)
· File a bug or submit feature requests at Microsoft Connect site (Live ID sign-in is required)
· Learn more about Microsoft Assessment and Planning on TechNet
"Bug Bash" Contest
Finally, to thank you for your beta program participation, we will offer 10 sets of free gifts to the Top 10 bug filers. Criteria is simple. At the end of the Beta Program, the development team will select the 10 most impactful code-specific bugs for the RTM release. The filers of the Top 10 bugs will each receive a set of Windows Vista Ultimate and 2007 Microsoft Office Ultimate software packages. Please note that it is the quality of the bug on our software code that counts and not the number of bugs that you file. We welcome you to file bugs on typos and grammatical errors; however, these bugs will not be accepted for this contest.
Thank you for your interest in MAP and we look forward to your feedback.
Microsoft Assessment and Planning Development Team (mapsbeta@microsoft.com )

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