Deploying Windows 7 - Part 3: Understanding MAP 4.0

by [Published on 7 July 2009 / Last Updated on 7 July 2009]

This series of articles on Windows 7 deployment continues by examining the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Tool version 4.0.

If you would like to read previous articles in this series, please go to:

Understanding MAP 4.0

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP), allows organizations to assess their current IT infrastructure (hardware and software) in order to determine what Microsoft technologies can help them meet their business needs. MAP evolved from the earlier Windows Vista Hardware Assessment Solution Accelerator, which was designed to help organizations assess the readiness of their desktop computing infrastructure for the deployment of Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007. MAP is a Solution Accelerator, a set of automation tools and a form of guidance that helps accelerate the adoption of Microsoft technologies by helping organizations during the planning phase of desktop or server migration or consolidation. A complete list of available Solution Accelerators can be found here.

The previous version of MAP (version 3.2) allows organizations to:

  • Perform secure agent-less network-wide hardware and software inventory of Windows computers and their devices by using WMI, SNMP, and other mechanisms.
  • Perform comprehensive data analysis of hardware and device compatibility in order to determine readiness of migration systems for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Application Virtualization and to assist in planning for consolidation of physical computers onto Hyper-V or Virtual Server 2005 R2.
  • Generate in-depth readiness reports containing both summary and detailed assessment results for different migration scenarios that include recommendations for migration or server consolidation.

The new version of MAP (version 4.0) that was recently released includes these new features:

  • An improved, simpler user interface that makes it easier than ever to inventory your infrastructure, assess readiness for different scenarios, and generate reports and recommendations.
  • Support for readiness assessment for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • Expanded support for readiness assessment for different server consolidation scenarios.
  • Improved experience to calculate Return on Investment (ROI) for server virtualization project by using MAP and the Integrated Virtualization ROI Tool.
  • Support for OEM and Partner customization of the MAP user interface and migration proposal documents.

The focus of this present series is on deploying Windows 7 and MAP 4.0 is a terrific tool to help you plan your desktop migration. Even so, MAP 4.0 can do far more than just assess whether your desktop computers can run Windows 7. Using MAP 4.0, you can:

  • Perform a comprehensive inventory of PC hardware and software including SQL Server instances.
  • Assess whether your servers are ready for migration to Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • Discover server roles on your network.
  • Find physical computers that are potential candidates for virtualization using Hyper-V.
  • Discover VMware virtual machines for potential migration to Hyper-V.
  • Assess possible candidates for App-V virtualization.
  • Perform readiness assessments for Microsoft Forefront and implementing Network Access Protection (NAP).
  • Estimate potential power savings when different power management settings are implemented on clients and servers.

MAP 4.0 and Windows 7 Deployment

MAP 4.0 is one of three key tools from Microsoft that organizations typically will need to use when preparing to migrate their desktops to Windows 7:

  1. MAP 4.0 – Use this tool first to assess the readiness of your environment to migrate your desktop computers to Windows 7.
  2. ACT 5.5 – Use the Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.5 next to test your existing applications for possible compatibility issues when running them on Windows 7 and for mitigating such issues by creating application shims for problem apps.
  3. MDT 2010 – Use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 to deploy Windows 7 once you have assessed that your desktop computers are ready for Windows 7 and that your legacy line-of-business (LoB) applications can be shimmed to run properly under Windows 7.

A product manager on the MAP team told me that internally they like to refer to these tools as "The Three Musketeers". Personally, I like to refer to them as MAPACTMDT :)

Installing MAP 4.0

Begin by downloading MAP 4.0 from here on the Solution Accelerators TechCenter on Microsoft TechNet. It is supported on:

  • Windows XP SP2 or later
  • Windows Vista Ultimate, Enterprise or Business
  • Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Business
  • Windows Server 2003 SP1 or later
  • Windows Server 2003 R2
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2

There are versions of MAP for the x86 and x64 architectures. Before installing MAP 4.0 you must ensure that you have the following additional software installed:

  • .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
  • Windows Installer 4.5
  • Microsoft Office Word 2007 or Microsoft Word 2003 SP2
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007 or Microsoft Excel 2003 SP2

During installation of MAP 4.0, the setup will download and install SQL Server 2008 Express Edition on your computer. Once installation of MAP 4.0 is completed, you will be prompted to create an instance of a SQL Server 2008 Express database for storing the inventory information MAP acquires during the assessment process (see Figure 1):


Figure 1: Creating a SQL Server 2008 Express database instance for use by MAP

Examining MAP 4.0

Once MAP 4.0 has been installed on a computer, you can launch the program from the Start menu. The MAP console displays a navigation pane on the left that has three buttons at the bottom: Inventory and Assessment, Surveys, and Reference Material. Selecting the Inventory and Assessment button displays a tree view of options you can choose from:

  • Discovery and Readiness
  • Server Consolidation

Selecting the Discovery and Readiness option as shown in Figure 2 below lets you perform inventory and assess readiness for:

  • Migrating client computers to Windows 7, Windows Vista or Office 2007.
  • Discovering server roles and SQL Server instances, and migrating servers to Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • Discovering virtual machines present on your network.


Figure 2:
The Discovery and Readiness option under Inventory and Assessment

Selecting the Server Consolidation option as shown in Figure 3 below lets you perform the following server consolidation tasks:

  • Inventory your server environment for physical servers that can be consolidated as virtual machines on Hyper-V.
  • Gather performance metrics for server consolidation.
  • Configure host machine equivalents and make recommendations concerning placement of guest machines.
  • Calculate the potential return on investment (ROI) your organization can achieve through implementing a Microsoft integrated virtualization solution.


Figure 3:
The Server Consolidation option under Inventory and Assessment

Selecting the Survey button in the bottom portion of the navigation pane allows you to:

  • Use an online survey to evaluate the migration of your existing messaging infrastructure to the Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services available from Microsoft Online Services (click here for more information).
  • Download the Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) assessment guide and scenario selection tool for Windows Optimized Desktop Scenarios, which you can use to evaluate the implementation of different Microsoft desktop virtualization technologies that could provide extra benefits to your desktop users, including rich and thin client solutions such as Windows Vista, App-V, VDI and more.


Figure 4:
The Surveys option provides links to an online survey and a Solution Accelerator you can download

The final button (Reference Material) found at the bottom of the navigation pane takes you to a page that has links to other useful planning and assessment tools available from Microsoft. It will also direct you to various documentation pages on Microsoft TechNet that can help you during the planning phases (Figure 5):


Figure 5: Links to additional reference material are available from within the MAP

Conclusion

In this article we have looked at what MAP 4.0 is and what it can be used for. We also examined the installation requirements and provided a brief overview of the MAP 4.0 console. In the next article of this series, I will help you set up a Windows 7 Readiness assessment.  For more information about MAP and to obtain the latest version of the toolkit, click here.

If you would like to read previous articles in this series, please go to:

Advertisement

Featured Links