New Era Technology NewsletterApril 2011
 
 

From The Editor

Welcome back to New Era Technology's edition of Wired In! Many new technologies are being unveiled including Windows 7, SharePoint 2010, and Exchange 2010.
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Feature Article from Christian Millar, MCT on Windows 7 SP1 - Big News for Business
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Windows 7 SP1 - Big News for Business

by: Christian Millar, MCT

 
   

The release of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is typically more significant for business than home users. Historically, most companies wait until the first Service Pack release of a Microsoft operating system before migrating from a previous version (example: from Windows XP to Windows 7), because most Service Pack include major fixes, compatibility issues, and improve the operating system's stability. In addressing this trend, Microsoft recently touted the benefits of Windows 7 SP1 to businesses, noting that two prominent features: RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory, which allow PC makers to build and retail affordable clients running Windows 7 within a virtual machine. Both RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory are intended to improve Windows 7's performance and customization options.

 
 

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) is an agentless, automated, multi-product planning and assessment tool for quicker and easier desktop and server migrations. MAP provides detailed readiness assessment reports and executive proposals with extensive hardware and software information, and actionable recommendations to help organizations accelerate their IT infrastructure planning process, and gather more detail on assets that reside within their current environment. MAP also provides server utilization data for Hyper-V server virtualization planning; identifying server placements, and performing virtualization candidate assessments, including ROI analysis for server consolidation with Hyper-V.


MAP helps make the following IT planning projects faster and easier...

  • Migration to Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Microsoft Office 2010
  • Migration to Windows 7 compatible versions of Internet Explorer
  • Migration to cloud-based services
  • Server virtualization with Hyper-V
  • SQL Server consolidation and migration to SQL Server 2008 R2
  • Assessment of current software usage and client access history for simplified software asset management
  • PC security assessment and migration to Microsoft Forefront Client Security

Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT)
The Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5.6 helps customers understand their application compatibility situation by identifying which applications are compatible with the Windows 7® and Windows Vista® operating system and which require further testing. ACT helps customers lower their costs for application compatibility testing, prioritize their applications, and deploy Windows more quickly.

You can use the ACT features to:

  • Verify an application's compatibility with a new version of the Windows operating system, or a Windows Update, including determining your risk assessment.
  • Become involved in the ACT Community, including sharing your risk assessment with other ACT users.
  • Test your Web applications and Web sites for compatibility with new releases and security updates to the Windows Internet Explorer® Internet browser.

OEAT
This is a comprehensive environment scanning tool. This tool (along with documentation) assists a customer in the assessment phase of deployment. It identifies the following:

  • Currently installed applications and installation environment.
  • Add-ins currently in use by Office clients.
  • Programs that are not registered as add-ins but still interact with Office programs.
  • Report: Environmental assessment (potential upgrade issues).
  • Report: Add-ins assessment—list of third party programs and information about the compatibility of those programs with Microsoft Office 2010.

OMPM

OMPM is a collection of tools that enables you to prepare an environment for migration to Microsoft Office 2010. OMPM can be a very important part of an Office 2010 migration plan. You can use the tools in OMPM to scan Office 97 through Office 2003 files for conversion issues, create reports to help you analyze the scan data, store the scan data, and convert older Office files into the Office 2010 file formats. OMPM checks for, and reports on, file properties and contents to help you analyze the environment and determine any issues that you might experience converting from Microsoft Office versions 97 through 2003 file formats to Office 2010 file formats. OMPM includes the following components:

  • The OMPM File Scanner (Offscan.exe), a command-line tool that scans files for conversion issues and stores the results in XML log files in a configurable location and, optionally, can bundle these log files into .cab files. The OMPM File Scanner performs two kinds of scans:
    • A light scan that quickly identifies the Office documents on a user’s computer or network file system.
    • A deep scan that you can perform on Office documents to crawl document properties that provide indicators of potential conversion issues.
    • A macro scan that quickly identifies the count of potential issues in VBA code included in document macros, or from 64-bit Office 2010 changes. Macro scanning is available only forMicrosoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word files.
  • A set of utilities that you can use to import the XML log files that are generated by the OMPM File Scanner into one or more Microsoft SQL Server 2000, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, or Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express Edition, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, or Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Edition databases.
  • A Microsoft Access 2010–based reporting solution that provides different reports for your analysis and enables you to define file sets for automated processing.
  • The Office File Converter (OFC), which lets you do bulk conversions of specific Office files that are in version 97 through 2003 formats to the Office 2010 file formats.
  • The Version Extraction Tool (VET), which lets you extract multiple saved versions of a single Word 97–2003 document to individualfiles in Word 2010.

MDT 2010
Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Update 1 supports deployment of Windows 7, Office 2010, and Windows Server 2008 R2 in addition to deployment of Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP.
MDT is the recommended process and toolset for automating desktop and server deployments. MDT provides you with the following benefits:

  • Unified tools and processes required for desktop and server deployment in a common deployment console and collection of guidance.
  • Reduced deployment time and standardized desktop and server images, along with improved security and ongoing configuration management.
  • Fully automated zero touch installation deployments by utilizing System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 2 and Windows deployment tools. For those without a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 infrastructure, MDT uses Windows deployment tools for Lite Touch Installation deployments.

High Touch with Standard Image
The High Touch with Standard Image strategy is for small organizations that have an information technology (IT) generalist on staff and that often use partners to help with technology adoption. Small organizations using this strategy usually have 100–200 client computers with small, unmanaged networks in distributed locations.


Typically, these organizations manually install Windows from retail or volume-licensed (VL) media, manually install applications from their media, and then manually configure the computers to suit their needs. IT pros often begin using answer files to automate Windows installations—a technique that the High Touch with Retail Media strategy advocates.
Investing in a major deployment infrastructure provides limited returns for a small organization, but customizing and deploying a standard image can help those organizations save time and money by making deployment faster and more consistent with fewer problems. Additionally, organizations can begin to take advantage of solutions from Microsoft, which helps them transition to more automation as they grow.


Like the High Touch with Retail Media strategy, this strategy advocates a high-touch installation, but it uses a standard configuration image instead of the retail image. This strategy works well in organizations with more technical IT staff, and it scales to 100–200 client computers. It can provide faster deployment with fewer problems without requiring a big investment to support an infrequent task.

  • Lite-Touch, High-Volume Deployment
  • The Lite-Touch, High-Volume Deployment strategy is for medium-sized organizations that have an information technology (IT) staff and sometimes use partners to help with technology adoption. Organizations that use this strategy have 200–500 client computers and at least one location with more than 25 users. They usually have managed networks in distributed locations that are running Windows Server.
  • Medium-sized organizations often assemble their own deployment solutions by using the tools and technologies that Microsoft provides for the Windows operating system. These solutions typically include combinations of answer files, scripts, the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK), and so on.
  • Such organizations can benefit from the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010, which is a solution accelerator that is available at no cost. MDT 2010 contains thousands of lines of code that were developed by Microsoft employees, partners, and customers. You can use this code to provide aa deployment framework for Windows operating systems, which enables you to focus on your business, not on programming.
  • Zero-Touch, High-Volume Deployment
  • The Zero-Touch, High-Volume Deployment strategy is for large organizations with an information technology (IT) staff with IT pros who have expertise with deployment, networking, and Configuration Manager 2007 R2. Organizations using this strategy typically have more than 500 client computers and at least one location with more than 25 users. They have managed networks based on Windows Server.
  • Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 is a Microsoft solution accelerator available at no cost for deploying Windows operating systems. Based on the experience of Microsoft employees, partners, and customers, MDT 2010 contains many thousands of lines of code—code that provides a deployment framework so that customers can focus on their business, not on programming. Integrating MDT 2010 with Configuration Manager 2007 R2 helps large organizations use this framework to more easily implement the Zero-Touch, High-Volume Deployment strategy.

 


Check back with us next time when we continue our look at the new features that are being offered and if you would like to contact me regarding anything in this article please feel free to email me at cmillar@neweratechnology.com.

 
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Guaranteed to Run IT
 
 
6422: Implementing and Managing Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V  April 18
10233A: Designing and Deploying Messaging Solutions with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010  April 25
10135A: Configuring, Managing and Troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange Server 2010  May 2
 
6419: Configuring, Managing and Maintaining Windows Server 2008 Servers  May 9
 
6231: Maintaining a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Database  May 16
CompTIA A+ May 24

6426A: Configuring and Troubleshooting Identity and Access Solutions with Windows Server 2008 AD

May 25

10231A: Designing a Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Infrastructure

May 30

50028B: Managing System Centre Operations 2007

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10174A: Configuring and Administering Microsoft SharePoint 2010 June 13
6232A: Implementing a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Database June 20
6425A: Configuring and Troubleshooting Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Domain Services June 20

6292: Installing and Configuring Windows 7 Client

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10266A: Programming in C# with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 July 18

50331: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician

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March 2011 Test Center Draw...

Congratulations To:

 

SHARON VINCENT

 

Our testers from each month can enter a draw to win 30% OFF a desired IT Course that New Era Technology offers (excluding 3rd party training - i.e. Mindsharp, Citrix, VM Training, etc.).