OK, I know this isn't really ConfigMgr or OpsMgr specific but it was just too cool to let slide under the radar.  Today, at TechEd EMEA 2008 in Barcelona, we announced the RTM release of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit version 3.2.  If you're not familiar with this toolkit then let me just say this is a must-have IMO.  I posted some of the official highlights as well as a download link below:

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Introducing Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit

Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP)Toolkit is a scalable and agent-less assessment platform designed to make it easier for you to adopt the latest Microsoft technologies. In this version, MAP has expanded its assessment capabilities to include SQL Server 2008, Forefront/NAP, and Microsoft Online Services migration, as well as providing a Power Savings assessment to help you “go green.”

In summary, MAP Toolkit 3.2 assessment areas now include:

SQL Server Database Instance Discovery (NEW!)

Microsoft Online Services Needs Assessment and Survey (NEW!)

Forefront Client Security/NAP Readiness Assessment (NEW!)

Power Savings Calculator (NEW!)

Virtualization Infrastructure Assessment (e.g. reporting the mapping of hosts by guests) (NEW!)

• Windows Server 2008 Hardware Assessment

• Server Consolidation Reports and Proposals (Hyper-V or Virtual Server 2005 R2)

• Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 Hardware Assessment

• Desktop Security Assessment to determine if desktops have anti-virus and anti-malware programs installed and up-to-date, or if the Windows Firewall is turned on

Toolkit Features

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit performs key functions that include hardware and device inventory, compatibility analysis, and readiness reporting.

MAP utilizes an enterprise-scale, agent-less architecture that enables you to inventory your servers, desktops, applications, and network devices without installing any software agents on each machine being assessed. This tool can discover all computers within Active Directory, and most importantly, non-IT managed machines such as workgroup members.

Additionally, MAP can generate localized desktop readiness reports in seven languages including North American English, German, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Benefits to You (Customers and Partners)

Fast and Agent-less. MAP provides secure network-wide assessment of environments of up to 100,000 computers in a matter of hours instead of days, all without deploying any software agents on each inventoried machine.

Saves Pre-Sales and Planning Time. For those of you who are IT consultants and Microsoft Partners, you know that a detailed network inventory and assessment of servers and desktops often takes days of manual labor. With MAP, you can now drastically reduce the time it takes for the same inventory to a matter of hours; allowing you more time to focus your efforts on critical pre-sales engagement tasks. For those of you who are IT professionals, MAP can significantly reduce the time it takes to gather the information necessary to make the business case for client and server migration, as well as for your upcoming virtualization projects.

Actionable Recommendations and Reporting. MAP offers valuable inventory and readiness assessment reports with specific upgrade recommendations and virtualization candidate reports that make it easier for IT migration and deployment projects to get off the ground and running.

Coverage from Desktops to Servers. MAP provides technology assessment and planning recommendations for many Microsoft desktop and server products including SQL Server 2008, Forefront Client Security/NAP, Microsoft Online Services, Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V, Virtual Server 2005 R2, Windows Vista, 2007 Microsoft Office, Microsoft Application Virtualization (or App-V), System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007, and more.

Next Steps

Try the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 3.2 RTM version now! Tell a friend and blog about it!

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Enjoy!

J.C. Hornbeck | Manageability Knowledge Engineer