Couple of new tools from Microsoft

by Marin Franković on 25 February, 2010

In the past few days I came upon several new or updated tools from Microsoft that can help you keep your infrastructure healthy, lower your support call costs and help your clients (internal or external) in adopting new technologies and coping with problems that may arise. These tools are designed to help administrator to deploy, maintain and monitor their network infrastructure.

Firs of all, I would like to mention final release of Windows Server 2008 R2 Migration Utilities. There is full support now for using there utilities in PowerShell console. Among other migration guides, you will find RRAS, Hyper-V and AD migration guides here. If you never used these tools, I recommend you to visit TechNet Events and view recorded sessions and demos. Table bellow show supported source and destination operating systems (taken from TechNet, click to enlarge).

Migration table

Second tool is Microsoft DirectAccess Connectivity Assistant, which can help users who are using DirectAccess feature of Windows Server 2008 R2, or even if you are planning to use it in your environment. This tool will show connection status on clients desktop computer and it will even try to self repair if failure is detected. All of this should lower support calls and thus decrease support costs. DCA is part of Windows Optimized Desktop Toolkit 2010 which also contains several other accelerators and tools to help administrators plan, deploy and manage their Microsoft environment. Two of more famous ones are Windows 7 Security Compliance Management Toolkit and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 (MDT 2010).

Third tool is embedded within Server Manager console on Windows Server 2008 R2 and it is called Best Practices Analyzer. BPA is a set of rules that define how certain services within WS 2008 R2 should be configured to have best and most efficient performance. BPA started from Exchange server and now is part of WS 2008 R2. Here is a list of currently available BPA tools in Server Manager console (taken from TechNet):

  • Active Directory Directory Services
  • Active Directory Certificate Services
  • Domain Name System
  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
  • Internet Information Services
  • Remote Desktop Services
  • Network Policy And Access Services

We can expect this list to be extended to all other services available.

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