Whether you're an IT professional, a partner or a consultant, the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit helps you understand your organization's IT infrastructures and assets. It helps you determine the right Microsoft technologies for your needs. This free Solution Accelerator (a "helper" tool) can quickly inventory small or large IT environments and provides insight into your ability to migrate to the latest versions of Microsoft products. MAP is an ideal assessment and planning tool for the following key benefits.
The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit is Version 9.1 as of this writing. The MAP Toolkit is a free Microsoft download that is an agentless (meaning there is nothing to install on the client machines) inventory, assessment, and reporting tool that can securely assess your IT environments. I like it for its simplicity to take a hardware and software inventory without any of the political or financial constraints sometime involved with a "fee-based" inventory tool; often involving a debate as to what needs to be purchased and from whom. No discussion, it doesn't cost anything.
MAP toolkit uses commonly found IT technologies, that are usually already in place, for its assessment and reporting such as Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS), SMS Provider, and typical networking technologies (such as IP subnets, etc.) to collect data in your environment for computer inventories, computer hardware, software, and operating systems in small or large IT environments without installing any agent software on the target computers.
The data and analysis provided by MAP streamline the planning process for software migration, help assess device driver availability, and allow you to make hardware upgrade recommendations. The MAP Toolkit also gathers performance metrics from computers you are considering for virtualization and includes a feature to model a library of potential host and storage hardware configurations. Use the MAP Toolkit to simplify the planning process for migration to Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 7, Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft Office 2013, Microsoft Office 365, Internet Explorer 11, Windows Azure Platform, Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft SQL Server 2012, Hyper-V, Hyper-V R2, and Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track.
After you have installed the MAP Toolkit, you can begin the data collection process. There are two wizards that are used to collect the data required for most scenarios. These are:
The Inventory and Assessment Wizard is your starting point with MAP based on different inventory scenarios. The scenarios you use determine the technologies used to collect information from your environment. The scenarios are listed in figure 1.
It's important to note that the MAP Toolkit uses collection protocols to communicate with computers in a network in order to collect information to use in the various assessments. The communication is subject to specific administration and security settings on the target computers and is based upon many things including the operating system, firewall and anti-virus settings as well as the information that you are trying to collect. In this scenario you will gather the user accounts and passwords needed to connect and successfully inventory your environment in advance of running the toolkit.
The Performance Metrics Wizard is used to collect specific performance-related information such as CPU, memory, network and disk utilization for Windows servers and clients as well as Linux-based servers. The information gathered through this collection mechanism allows for the capacity planning features for server consolidation, desktop virtualization, Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track, and Azure VM Capacity Planning. The number of clients per host, what and how many applications a server can support, can now properly be planned ahead of time before the actual rollout of your infrastructure.
Launch the Inventory and Assessment Wizard as shown in figure 1. Select the Inventory Scenarios check boxes as appropriate to your network infrastructure. Then select Next. You can see from the left console pane the list of selections MAP can use for the Discovery Methods.
Figure 1: Inventory Scenarios
In preparation for using the MAP Toolkit, it is important to understand how the Discovery Methods are used. Your selections are based on Credential Requirements, network protocols, network IP address ranges, optional use System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to leverage the use of collections, and what credentials might be required. Your choices are:
Other requirements that might be needed are:
Figure 2 shows the environment of the collection. Notice that although the environment was scanned, not all devices were assessed for hardware and software. The MAP Toolkit uses collection protocols to communicate with computers in a network in order to collect information to use in the various assessments. The communication is subject to specific administration and security settings on the target computers and is based upon many things including the operating system, firewall and anti-virus settings as well as the information that you are trying to collect. These administration specific items can be adjusted and mitigated for subsequent scans.
Scenarios from figure 2 are Inventory Results, Windows Environment (Servers and Clients), Linux Environment and Performance Metrics. You can continue to get more detail on your Environment by running the Collect Inventory Data and the Collect Performance Data links located at the top of the main window under Steps to Complete.
Figure 2: The Environment
Click the Usage Tracking link one the left console pane shown in figure 3. You can see what the tool finds in your environment. The Usage Tracking scenario found shows: Total Devices and Users found, Windows Devices and Total Devices per User, Server and Cloud Enrollment and which Software as a Service (SaaS) applications are hosted, Windows Servers with User data, SharePoint Server tracking, SQL Server tracking, Configuration Manager tracking, Endpoint Protection tracking, Lync Server tracking, Windows Volume Licensing showing the number of licensing per operating system, and Remote Desktop Licensing tracking User and Device CALs.
The Collect Inventory Data link located at the top left of the main results screen will produce a result of hardware and software inventory of each device scanned.
Figure 3: Usage Tracking
This scenario in figure 4 is extremely useful in analyzing of the state of your virtualization environment and helping to plan migration of physical to virtual (P to V).
The scenarios are:
Figure 4: Server Virtualization
This Desktop scenario helps your infrastructure with a determination of upgrade compatibly to the newer operating systems and Office applications—by analyzing readiness scenarios.
Results shown in figure 5 show a readiness of clients capable of upgrading to Windows 8.1, Window 7, Office 2013, and Office 2010 Readiness. Inventory of Internet Explorer Discovery and the versions of the browser that MAP found is shown. As with other scenarios, the Collect Inventory Data link is at the top of the main screen.
Figure 6: Desktop Inventory
Each scenario comes with the report generator. This is valuable in creating a listing in spread sheet format that shows results of your particular scenarios selected.
These Excel spreadsheet reports are MAP's way of saving your results for later viewing and can be used as your own benchmark comparisons of an assessment of your network taken at a later time and date.
Figures 7 and 8 show inventory and hardware inventory reports of the scenarios taken.
Figure 7: Server Virtualization Report
Figure 8: Harware Inventory Report
The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit is an free inventory, assessment, and reporting tool from that helps you assess your current IT infrastructure and determine the right Microsoft technologies for your IT needs.
And, here is your list of MAP Toolkit Resources:
Mark Mizrahi has been a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) since Windows NT3.51. He holds a CEH Certified Ethical Hacker Security Certification and is a CEI Certified EC-Council Instructor. He is a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) and MCSA/MCSE for Windows Server 2008, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2. He currently teaches Microsoft curriculum for Global Knowledge and other training vendors. Mark is president of Standard Computer Services and consults for various Fortune 500 companies. He designs and implements web-based Internet Security and Video Surveillance Systems for a diversified customer base. Keeping up the various hacking methods is part of his daily intake of information, and he loves sharing it with this clients and students. He may be contacted at email@example.com.