Contents tagged with Microsoft Solutions

  • Microsoft Hohm Joins Forces With Blue Line

    Posted by sumeethevans on July 28 2010, 2:11 AM. Posted in Microsoft Corp, Microsoft Solutions.

    Tracking your energy use and saving money just got easier today. Microsoft and Blue Line Innovations have joined forces to give consumers real-time information about their energy use down to the minute and the dollar. The companies have combined Blue Line’s popular energy tracking device with Microsoft Hohm to give consumers information about their household energy use — and its cost — at a glance, with easy-to-use graphs that show where you can save the most energy and money.

    “With a utility bill you may only see your energy usage once every month or even every two months,” said Troy Batterberry, product unit manager for Microsoft Hohm. “The Blue Line PowerCost Monitor and WiFi Gateway provide updates every 30 seconds, so you’re getting real-time data so you can take real-time action. It’s kind of like online banking for your energy bill, offering 24x7 access to your usage.”

    The Blue Line PowerCost Monitor attaches to a household power utility meter; no wiring is required, and no need to call in an electrician. The WiFi Gateway device wirelessly transmits energy use data to the consumer’s Microsoft Hohm account and can provide personalized energy recommendations. Hohm also offers social networking communities on Facebook and Twitter to help users compare notes and get tips for ways to improve their energy efficiency.

    Graphs and charts make it easy to identify usage patterns and potential problems. For example, the electricity usage chart below shows that power consumption spiked when the user turned on the air conditioner at various times of the day. With this type of insight into energy usage, consumers are empowered to make immediate choices about how to manage their household power consumption.

    Full Story here

  • Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 5.0 now available!

    Posted by sumeethevans on July 13 2010, 10:51 PM. Posted in Microsoft Solutions.

    The new Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 5.0 is now available for download! MAP 5.0 is an agentless tool designed to simplify and streamline the IT infrastructure planning process across multiple scenarios through network-wide automated discovery and assessments. This Solution Accelerator performs an inventory of heterogeneous server environments and provides you with usage information for servers in the Core CAL Suite and SQL Server, SQL Server 2008 discovery and assessment for consolidation, Windows 2000 Server migration assessment, and a readiness assessment for the most widely used Microsoft technologies—now including Office 2010.

    What's new with MAP Toolkit 5.0?

    ü Heterogeneous server environment inventory ü Software usage tracking for Windows Server, SharePoint Server, System Center Configuration Manager, Exchange Server, and SQL Server ü Microsoft Office 2010 readiness assessment ü SQL Server discovery and assessment for consolidation ü Windows 2000 Server migration assessment

    Download the MAP 5.0 Toolkit.

  • Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide for the Dynamic Data Center Now Available!

    Posted by sumeethevans on April 22 2010, 4:44 AM. Posted in Microsoft Solutions.

    The Solution Accelerator team has released a new guide: Dynamic Data Center. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>The design process in the free Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide for the Dynamic Data Center allows your organization to strategically plan a Dynamic Data Center infrastructure that is designed for ease of manageability. Key benefits of the guide include:<o:p></o:p>      ·         The infrastructure is designed using best practices to reduce the administrative burden of managing the Dynamic Data Center infrastructure.·         A single set of requirements is tracked throughout the entire design process and then transferred to the appropriate supporting Infrastructure Planning and Design guides.·         The infrastructure design of the virtualization hardware and the management software includes guidance on determining the scaling and architectural limits of each component.<o:p></o:p>With this guide, you can design a Dynamic Data Center infrastructure that will allow your organization to be responsive to changing market conditions by presenting new ways to develop, deliver, deploy, and manage applications and IT infrastructures.<o:p></o:p>Strategically planning your infrastructure can help you avoid problems before they begin, allowing your organization to operate more efficiently, while saving you time and money.<o:p></o:p><?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"><v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><v:path o:connecttype="rect" gradientshapeok="t" o:extrusionok="f"></v:path><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit"></o:lock></v:shapetype><o:p></o:p>Next Steps<o:p></o:p>Download the IPD Guide for the Dynamic Data Center.

    Download At Source

  • Proof of Concept Jumpstart Kit v1.0

    Posted by bink on April 21 2010, 1:43 AM. Posted in Microsoft Solutions.

    The PoC Jumpstart provides resources to deploy a desktop PoC with Windows 7, Office 2010, Internet Explorer 8, and Application Virtualization with Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack technology.

    This self-contained, self-service kit will help you complete a Proof-of -Concept (PoC) at your organization, allowing you to quickly evaluate the new Microsoft desktop technologies, including Windows 7, Office 2010 Pro Plus, Internet Explorer 8, and Application Virtualization with Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack technology App-V. It will also familiarize you with some of the important deployment tools provided by Microsoft to assist with your broader deployment efforts. This PoC is not meant to be comprehensive training mechanism but rather an introductory set of modules to familiarize you with tools and technologies.

    • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition – A platform that helps IT Professionals increase the flexibility and reliability of their server infrastructure.
    • Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) – A tool to assess your hardware readiness for Windows 7 and Office 2010.
    • Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) – A tool to assess your software readiness for Windows 7 and Office 2010.
    • Microsoft Office Migration and Planning Manager (OMPM) – A tool to assess and upgrade Office versions and files.
    • Microsoft Deployment Toolkit – A tool to create, configure, and deploy custom images, applications, and components.
    • Windows 7 Enterprise 90-day Trial image – This evaluation edition forms the base image for deployment on client computers.
    • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 – This system is the best productivity experience across the PC, Phone, and Web.
    • Office 2010 with Application Virtualization – This system is deployed virtually to streamline and centralize operations.
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition – This database system is used to store application compatibility and Microsoft Office assessment data for the ACT and OMPM tools.
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express Edition – This database system is used to store image and task sequence data for MDT Deployment Workbench.
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Evaluation Edition – This database system is used to store hardware assessment data for the MAP tool.

    The PoC Jumpstart is intended to show you that an upgrade to new Microsoft Optimize Desktop technologies can be seamless, feasible, easy and cost-effective. The PoC Jumpstart will also shed light on the deployment process (tools and technologies) and give your organization confidence for undertaking a broader deployment motion. After completion of the PoC, you should have a test environment setup that will allow you to evaluate the various features of the Microsoft Optimized Desktop and help you make informed decisions to meet your business needs.

    Download details PoC Jumpstart

  • Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) 4.0 updates

    Posted by bink on April 4 2010, 2:39 AM. Posted in Microsoft Solutions.

    MOF 4.0 is practical guidance for IT organizations. With the release of version 4.0, MOF now reflects a single, comprehensive IT service lifecycle—it helps IT professionals connect service management principles to everyday IT tasks and activities and ensures alignment between IT and the business.

    Looking for MOF Reliability Workbooks? Visit the new MOF Technology Library Download Center to download these resources. The first workbooks in the series address Active Directory, System Center Operations Manager, Hyper-V, Windows Server 2008 R2, and System Center Virtual Machine Manager. The download package also includes an administrator’s guide. New! Management Reviews. This guidance will help organizations ensure that their technology services are on track to deliver expected business value. The guide includes management reviews for Portfolio, Service Alignment, Project Plan Approved, Release Readiness, Operational Health, and Policy and Control. New! MOF Service Mapping. This guide is intended to introduce the content, structure, development, usage, and benefits of service maps. Service maps are graphical representations of an IT service that illustrate the various components that rely on the successful delivery of that service.

    Download details Microsoft Operations Framework

  • Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) 4.0 update

    Posted by bink on December 4 2009, 2:54 PM. Posted in Microsoft Solutions.

    MOF 4.0 is practical guidance for IT organizations. With the release of version 4.0, MOF now reflects a single, comprehensive IT service lifecycle—it helps IT professionals connect service management principles to everyday IT tasks and activities and ensures alignment between IT and the business.

    New! Getting Started with MOF 4.0: An Implementation Guide. This new extension of the MOF core content speaks to three targeted audiences—the CIO/IT director, IT managers, and individual contributors. The guide is the first step to a more efficient MOF implementation. It provides role- and situation-specific guidance, focused on helping users understand where to apply MOF and how to get the most from its recommendations.

    MOF Action Plan: Release Readiness for Windows 7. The latest release in the MOF Action Plan series addresses the challenge of validating people-readiness for Windows 7 deployment. Building upon guidance from the MOF Release Readiness Management Review, this action plan asks the reader to evaluate four distinct aspects of release readiness. The action plan provides key considerations to determine organizational preparedness, as well as guidance for creating a tailored deployment checklist.

    MOF Action Plan: Redistributing the Workload. This new series of MOF Action Plans was created to address the many challenges faced by IT pros. These resources provide IT pros with concise, actionable solutions that address real-world IT problems. The first release in this new series addresses the challenge of redistributing the workload due to staffing cuts. It asks readers to consider and reconfigure responsibilities and work distribution, based on key principles and best practices from MOF 4.0 core content.

    Microsoft Operations Framework 4.0. MOF 4.0 is designed to help IT professionals quickly access useful, relevant content. It contains practical guidance—not just theory—and its streamlined approach makes it possible to use either the entire framework or one process from a particular service management function (SMF).

    Using MOF for ISO/IEC 20000. This guide will help IT management, staff, and service providers to understand ISO/IEC 20000 requirements and help them use MOF as a means to streamlined and efficient implementation. The guide enables users to take informed steps toward ISO/IEC implementation, make cost-reducing process improvements, and increase organizational efficiency and flexibility. Ultimately, the steps outlined in this guide will help an organization meet ISO/IEC 20000 requirements and deliver effective IT services.

    Cross Reference ITIL V3 and MOF 4.0. This guide compares the similarities and differences between two of the leading service management frameworks—the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and Microsoft Operations Framework. In an environment where IT organizations are challenged as never before to deliver better IT services at lower costs, these service management frameworks offer best practice guidance for service improvement. This guide provides background information on IT Service Management (ITSM), introduces ITIL and MOF, and then discusses the two frameworks’ alignment, cross referencing, and application. It will enhance readers’ understanding of the main characteristics of these frameworks and how they align. Planning for Software-plus-Services: A MOF Companion Guide. This guide provides a framework for considering and planning a software-plus-service strategy, using concise guidance and strategies from MOF 4.0 core content. The steps in this guide can be used to evaluate how software-plus-services will best help an organization. This is the first of the MOF companion guides, which apply MOF 4.0 principles to specific activities—making MOF’s guidance even more practical and usable.

    MOF to COBIT/Val IT Comparison and Cross-Implementation Guide: How to Leverage MOF in a COBIT/Val IT Environment. This guide connects MOF, COBIT, and Val IT, enabling IT operations managers and professionals to understand how to best meet the mounting challenge of managing IT services in a way that appropriately demonstrates compliance. The guide describes the three frameworks, discusses their relationship to each other, and offers tips and techniques on how to use MOF to achieve the governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) objectives defined in the COBIT and Val IT governance frameworks. This guide will ultimately help users understand how MOF aligns with and supports the governance frameworks as well as the vital role MOF plays in integrating GRC capabilities into the daily operations of delivering high-quality and reliable IT services. To launch the download of this guide, go to http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=151989.

    MOF Job Aids. These templates, worksheets, and tools help IT pros apply MOF 4.0 guidance to specific scenarios and challenges.

    IT Pro Quick Start Kit. Save time and money by learning more about MOF 4.0. The IT Pro Quick Start Kit gives an overview of MOF 4.0 and provides the tools to start using it today. The kit includes links to presentations and data sheets, information on MOF, compliance, and training and certification, ready-to-use graphics, and supporting materials. To learn more, visit www.microsoft.com/MOF. Send questions or feedback to us directly at mof@microsoft.com.

    Download details Microsoft Operations Framework

  • IT Compliance Management Series for Windows beta now available

    Posted by sumeethevans on November 11 2009, 8:53 PM. Posted in Microsoft Solutions.

    The Compliance Solution Accelerators team has just released valuable extensions to the IT Compliance Management Series. And with “Companies now spend(ing) about 8.5 percent of their IT budgets on compliance needs," says French Caldwell, an analyst at Gartner (CIO Magazine, Sept 2007), these couldn’t be more timely.  These new offerings provide spe­cific technical guidance and resources for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

    The IT Compliance Management Series will help you shift the burden of your IT gov­ernance, risk, and compliance (GRC) efforts from people to IT systems and implement controls to address IT GRC requirements that apply to your organization. This series is intended for IT managers and IT professionals who must plan, implement, or configure Microsoft products and who want to ensure that IT GRC requirements are addressed efficiently and effectively.

    In addition to the already released IT Compliance Management Guide, the series now includes Beta versions of IT Compliance Management: Windows 7 and IT Compliance Management: Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Reviewers are asked to provide feedback on this collection of guides, resources, and compliance baselines that provide direction on how to enable Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 to support your organization’s key IT GRC initiatives by taking advantage of features and technology inherent in the operating systems.

    Full Info at http://kurtsh.spaces.live.com/Blog/cns!DA410C7F7E038D!6166.entry

    Download Here

  • Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 5.0 Community Technical Preview (CTP) Now Available!

    Posted by sumeethevans on November 10 2009, 2:24 AM. Posted in Microsoft Solutions.

    The Solution Accelerator team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 5.0 Community Technical Preview (CTP). Designed to simplify and streamline the IT infrastructure planning process across multiple scenarios through network-wide automated discovery and assessments, this tool provides a quick and complete inventory of the current IT environment of any organization, hardware and device compatibility assessment, and actionable reporting of recommended hardware upgrades for migration.

    The MAP Toolkit 5.0 (CTP) includes these new features: · Inventory of heterogeneous server environments including Windows Server, Linux, UNIX and VMware technologies · Ability to determine usage of deployed System Center Configuration Manager, a member of the Core Client Access License (Core CAL) Suite · Readiness assessment for migration or upgrade to Microsoft Office 2010

    Over 800,000 Microsoft customers and partners including Costco Wholesale Corporation, Continental Airlines, and Pella Corporation have already downloaded and used this toolkit to help plan for their server and PC deployments.

    Additional MAP Toolkit Features include: • Windows 7 Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment • Windows Server 2008 R2 Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment • Virtualization Candidates Assessment for Hyper-V Server Consolidation • Inventory of VMware Server Hosts and Guests • Enhanced Usability and Improved Inventory Performance • SQL Server Instance Discovery • Desktop Security Assessment for Anti-virus and Anti-malware Programs Installation • Forefront Client Security/NAP Readiness Assessment

    Register for the MAP Toolkit 5.0 (CTP) and download. (Live ID required)

    Want to be one of the few to influence the future of MAP? Complete the survey and receive a free 4GB Solution Accelerator branded Memory Stick.* (Live ID required)

  • MDT 2010 is released!

    Posted by sumeethevans on September 10 2009, 9:00 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp, Microsoft Solutions.

    We are pleased to announce the release of MDT 2010 available for download here

    MDT 2010 has been in planning and development for a little over a year and is our largest release to date with over 70% of our code changing since MDT 2008. MDT 2010 has also been tested throughout our Beta and Release Candidate versions by well over 10,000 IT professionals around the world.  We appreciate all of the feedback you have given and without your help this release would not have been possible.

    Michael Niehaus did a great series of blog posts on most of the new features of MDT 2010.  You can review those posts here.

    Source Springboard Series Blog

  • MDT 2010 Release Candidate is Now Available for Download!

    Posted by sumeethevans on August 20 2009, 4:02 AM. Posted in Microsoft Corp, Microsoft Solutions.

    We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of the release candidate of MDT 2010.  This release contains numerous bug fixes since MDT 2010 Beta 2.  MDT 2010 RC has been tested and will work with Windows 7 RTM and Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM as well as all previously supported operating systems. 

    A BIG Thank You to all of you who tested and have given feedback for MDT 2010 Beta 2.  We were able to fix several bugs and push through some design changes based on your feedback.  Now is the time for you to verify the bug fixes and continue to provide feedback as we work towards the release of MDT 2010.

    As with any release please make sure you read through the release notes to understand the known issues with this release and make sure you have a backup of your deployment environment before you upgrade to MDT 2010 RC.

    If you have not signed up on our connect site you can still do so here and download

  • RTM NEWS - Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Now Available!

    Posted by sumeethevans on July 14 2009, 1:56 AM. Posted in Microsoft Solutions.

    Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 releases are just around the corner.  Are you thinking about deploying these new operating systems? 

    Get a head start with Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0 to help you determine readiness of your machines and accelerate the deployment planning process. Over 690,000 Microsoft customers and partners including Costco Wholesale Corporation, Continental Airlines, and Banque de Luxembourg have already downloaded and used this toolkit to date.

    Today at the Worldwide Partner Conference 2009, we are announcing the public RTM release of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

    Introducing Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit

    Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0 is an integrated planning toolkit that makes it easier for Microsoft customers and partners to quickly identify what servers, workstations, and network devices are in their IT environment. This agentless and scalable toolkit has the ability to discover all computers within Active Directory and workgroup environments. It performs key functions that include hardware and device inventory, hardware compatibility analysis, and generation of actionable, environment-specific IT proposals for migration to most major Microsoft technologies.

    What’s New with v4.0?

    Version 4.0 of this toolkit has the following new features:

    • Windows 7 Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment
    • Virtualization Candidates Assessment for Hyper-V R2 Server Consolidation
    • Integration with the Microsoft Integrated Virtualization ROI Calculator
    • Inventory of VMware Server Hosts and Guests
    • User Interface and Proposal Customization for Partner co-branding
    • Enhanced Usability and Improved Inventory Performance

    Additional Features

    • Virtualization Candidates Assessment for Hyper-V Server Consolidation
    • Windows Vista Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment
    • Windows Server 2008 Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment
    • 2007 Microsoft Office Readiness Assessment
    • SQL Server Instance Discovery
    • Desktop Security Assessment for Anti-virus and Anti-malware Programs Installation
    • Forefront Client Security/NAP Readiness Assessment
    • App-V Infrastructure Readiness Assessment
    • Power Savings “Green IT” Calculator

    Continue at MAP Blog

  • Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0 Beta Now Available!

    Posted by sumeethevans on June 17 2009, 9:59 PM. Posted in Microsoft Solutions.

    Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will be available in the near future.  Are you thinking about deploying these new operating systems?  Get a head start with Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0 Beta. Over 680,000 Microsoft customers and partners including Costco Wholesale Corporation, Continental Airlines, and Banque de Luxembourg have already downloaded and used this toolkit to date.

    Introducing Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit

    Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 4.0 is an integrated planning toolkit that makes it easier for Microsoft customers and partners to quickly identify what servers, workstations, and network devices are in their IT environment. This agentless and scalable toolkit has the ability to discover all computers within Active Directory and workgroup environments. It performs key functions that include hardware and device inventory, hardware compatibility analysis, and generation of actionable, environment-specific IT proposals for migration to most major Microsoft technologies.

    What’s New in MAP Toolkit v4.0?

    MAP Toolkit 4.0 Beta has the following new features:

    • Windows 7 Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment
    • Virtualization Candidates Assessment for Hyper-V R2 Server Consolidation
    • Integration with the Microsoft Integrated Virtualization ROI Calculator
    • Inventory of VMware Server Hosts and Guests
    • User Interface and Proposal Customization for Partner co-branding
    • Enhanced Usability and Improved Inventory Performance

    Additional Features

    Other features from version 3.2 have also been carried over to version 4.0:

    • Virtualization Candidates Assessment for Hyper-V Server Consolidation
    • Windows Vista Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment
    • Windows Server 2008 Hardware and Device Compatibility Assessment
    • 2007 Microsoft Office Readiness Assessment
    • SQL Server Instance Discovery
    • Desktop Security Assessment for Anti-virus and Anti-malware Programs Installation
    • Forefront Client Security/NAP Readiness Assessment
    • Online Services (Exchange Online) Assessment
    • App-V Infrastructure Readiness Assessment
    • Power Savings “Green IT” Calculator

    Benefits to Customers and Partners

    Saves Planning or Pre-Sales Time. For most IT consultants and Microsoft Partners, a detailed network inventory and assessment of servers and desktops often takes days of manual labor. With Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit, you can now conduct an environment inventory of up to 100,000 computers in a matter of hours instead of days, giving you extra time to focus on critical planning or pre-sales tasks. For IT professionals, this toolkit can significantly reduce the time it takes to gather the information necessary to make the business case for client, server, and virtualization projects.

    Provides Actionable Recommendations and Reporting. MAP Toolkit provides valuable inventory and readiness assessment reports with environment-specific upgrade recommendations and virtualization candidate reports, making it easier for IT migration and deployment projects to get off the ground and running.

    Covers Wide Range of Scenarios--from Desktops to ServersMAP Toolkit offers technology assessments and planning recommendations for many Microsoft desktop and server products including Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V R2, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V, Virtual Server 2005 R2, 2007 Microsoft Office, SQL Server 2008, Forefront Client Security, Network Access Protection, Microsoft Online Services, Microsoft Application Virtualization (or App-V), and more.

    Next Steps--How can I get Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0 Beta?