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Hello everyone – I’m Niamh Coleman and I ’m on the Windows Product Management Team. I’ll be blogging about Windows’ manageability, security and the non-virtualization Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) products, including Advanced Group Policy Management; the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset; Desktop Error Monitoring, the Asset Inventory Service and our new MDOP Product, Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring.
Last week we told you about two new management and security features that will be in the next release of Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) and I’m happy to say the beta of the next version of our Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) is available today. (Last week we released the beta for Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring, or MBAM.)
Both features will be part of the next version of MDOP, which will be available in Q3 of calendar year 2011.
This new version of DaRT is focused on remote recovery and enhanced deployment scenarios. MBAM builds on BitLocker in Windows 7 and helps simplify BitLocker provisioning and deployments, improves compliance and reporting, and reduces support costs through streamlining the key recovery process.
So why these changes to MDOP?
We enhanced DaRT based on input from our customers. Until now IT professionals had to physically visit a user’s PC when there were issues that caused Windows not to boot. This new version allows IT pros to use the DaRT features to both diagnose and repair that PC without having to physically be there. Think about a user in a remote location – visiting that user to help recover their PC would be difficult. Our goal with DaRT has always been to help organizations recover PCs faster than the time it takes to reimage. With DaRT 7’s remote recovery features, the help desk can have the end user boot into DaRT and enable the help desk to remote control the PC . The help desk person can then perform this initial diagnostic work and either repair the problem right away for the user or escalate the issue as needed to another team.
On the deployment front, we heard from IT pros that using a CD or DVD to boot the machine into the recovery environment is challenging. In DaRT 7 we fully support loading DaRT to a USB drive or key. We also support PXE (network boot) of the DART image. Another new deployment option we support in DaRT 7 is to deploy to the local hard drive. Using standard tools like MDT, or OSD in System Center Configuration Management, you can deploy the DaRT tools in place of the standard Windows recovery partition. This means that when you need DaRT it’s already there for you.
We also heard from customers that were implementing BitLocker. They wanted better control over provisioning, monitoring and key recovery. With MBAM, we have taken strides to help organizations simply provision and deploy BitLocker, improve their compliance and reporting and reduce their support costs. This translates into MBAM features such as the ability to understand which machines are encrypted and meet the organizational policy with out-of-the-box reports. It also enables the IT team to store key recovery information to an encrypted Microsoft SQL Server database and a web page that allows the help desk to quickly get the user’s recovery key if they enter BitLocker recovery mode.
I hope you check out these betas and give us your feedback. When the products release, they will be automatically available for download to all existing MDOP customers. I look forward to coming back at a later date to announce the General Availability date for these products.
I have tried on several occasions to submit my survey to join the DaRT beta, and the survey submission always results in an error. How can I apply and gain access to this beta?
@GoodThings2Life: There were some issues with our connect site for a couple of days. You should have access to the BETA now. If not, please let us know
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