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Assess your environment and plan for Windows 7
Now available, the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 5.5 Beta.
Simplify planning for upgrade or migration to the latest Microsoft products and technologies with the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 5.5 Beta. This multifaceted tool is now even better—with assessment for easier migration to Windows Azure and SQL Azure, heterogeneous database discovery (of MySQL, Oracle and Sybase instances) for SQL Server migration projects, Internet Explorer 8 upgrade assessment, and much more—MAP 5.5 Beta includes new features to help customers streamline planning for their next migration project. Click here to join the MAP 5.5 Beta.
Elevate the security of Windows 7
Microsoft Solution Accelerators—the team that brought you the Security Compliance Manager tool—has just released the latest addition to their collection of free security tools and guidance: a new Windows 7 setting pack.
The setting pack, in combination with the Windows 7 Security Baseline and the Security Compliance Manager tool, will enable you to define baselines that include settings outside the scope of the security baselines from Microsoft. You can use this new resource to define custom baselines, meet business-critical needs, and elevate the security of Windows 7.
Since the release of the Security Compliance Manager tool, one of the most frequent requests has been to add all of the available Group Policy settings to the Microsoft-recommended baselines so that they can be accessed through the tool. While our baselines include hundreds of settings, there are hundreds of additional settings available in Group Policy. In response to this request, the team has created setting packs. The setting packs include the basic information required by the Security Compliance Manager tool to define custom baselines that you can use to create GPO backups, DCM configuration packs, and SCAP content. This is a temporary solution to address this request. A future version of the tool will provide the capability to add the settings customers need to their baseline without using a setting pack.
New users can access this setting pack by visiting the Microsoft Download Center to download the Security Compliance Manager tool. Existing users can access the setting pack in the tool by clicking the Tools menu, and then clicking Check for Baselines.
Great stuff - MAP in particular has been and continues to be a great tool, whether you are actually looking at deploying/upgrading your Office, Windows, or consolidating your servers or just even creating an inventory of your current environment.
It's well worth the time to try it out.
I particularly like the Hyper-V / Server consolidation feature; it helps determining which of your servers could be P2V-ed and how to group them (per Hyper-V host)