Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012 Beta 1 Available

Microsoft has just released as a public beta the newest version of Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012 with a few important updates:

  • Supporting System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2012.
  • Using Lite Touch Installation (LTI), great improvements in the client side look-n-feel.
  • Also for LTI, behind-the-scenes enhancements for partitioning, UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface), and user state migration.
  • Some minor bugs fixed.

MDT 2012 Requirements

Same as MDT 2010:

  • Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) 2.0. You can download it from here.
    Note: The download page indicates that the WAIK version is “1”; but don’t worry, the actual version is 2.0.
  • MSXML 6.0
  • PowerShell.
  • .Net Framework 3.5 SP1. Available for download here.
    Note: Even though .Net Framework 2.5 SP1 is not a requirement for MDT 2010 installation; one of its features, User-Driven Installation (UDI), does requires the latest Microsoft Framework installed.

MDT 2012 Look-n-Feel

For what I’ve seen so far, the user experience of the Deployment Workbench console is pretty much the same.

mdt2012a01

mdt2012a02

MDT 2012 Beta 1 Download

The beta is available in this link from Microsoft Connect,

Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) 6.0 Beta: Accelerate the adoption of Microsoft private and public cloud platforms

Planning your journey to the cloud just got a bit easier. The next release of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit—version 6.0 Beta—includes assessment capabilities to evaluate workloads for both public and private cloud platforms. With MAP 6.0 Beta, you now have the ability to identify workloads and estimate the infrastructure size and resources needed for both Windows Azure and Hyper-V Fast Track. Also new to MAP 6.0 Beta is the Office 365 client assessment, enhanced VMware inventory, and Oracle schema discovery and reporting. Expanded assessment and discovery capabilities from MAP help you streamline planning for your next migration project. Plan what’s next with MAP.

New features and benefits from MAP 6.0 Beta release help you:

· Analyze your portfolio of applications for a move to the Windows Azure Platform

· Accelerate planning to private cloud with Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track onboarding

· Identify migration opportunities with enhanced heterogeneous server environment inventory

· Assess your client environment for Office 365 readiness

· Determine readiness for migration to Windows Internet Explorer 9

· Discover Oracle database schemas for migration to SQL Server

Download the beta materials on Connect:http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=219165

Kemp LoadMaster Sizing Guide for MS Exchange 2010

Kemp released a cool tool: LoadMaster Sizing Guide for MS Exchange to see which of our products is best for you.

Some info about Kemp:
KEMP LoadMaster combines versatility with ease-of-use to speed deployment (see our step-by-step guidelines in the LoadMaster Deployment Guide for Load Balancing MS Exchange 2010) of the complete portfolio of advanced messaging applications and protocols used by Exchange 2010, including Outlook Web Access, Outlook Anywhere, ActiveSync, SMTP, POP3 and IMAP and RPC Client Access (Native MAPI). With built-in SSL acceleration and/or overlay, the LoadMaster offloads a key source of CPU drain to improve the capacity of Client Access Servers. Layer 7 healthchecking at the LoadMaster ensures that should one of the servers become inaccessible, the load balancer will take that server off-line, while automatically re-routing and reconnecting users to other functioning servers. Not quite ready to make the move to Exchange 2010? KEMP LoadMasters integrate seamlessly with earlier versions of Exchange as well.
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Screenshot from de sizing tool:

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