Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2011 R2 Released August 1st.

A couple of weeks ago at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, we announced that the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2011 R2 would be released in August.  I am excited to tell you that MDOP 2011 R2 is now available for download from the Microsoft Volume Licensing site. Customers who do not have access to the Volume Licensing site have the option to download it from TechNet or MSDN and Windows Intune customers have access to MDOP as an addition to their subscription.

The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) is a suite of technologies that helps improve compatibility and management, reduce support costs, increase asset management and improve policy control. MDOP technologies give customers’ better control of the desktop, accelerate and simplify application deployments and management, and enable IT to provide highly responsive service. This can significantly reduce the total cost of ownership of the operating system and entire application management lifecycle.

With MDOP 2011 R2, we have added Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM), Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolkit (DaRT) 7.0, and Microsoft Asset Inventory Service (AIS) 2.0. This release builds upon the foundation of MDOP 2011, which was released in March and included Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 4.6 SP1, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) 2.0, Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM) 4.0, AIS 1.5, DaRT 6.5, and Microsoft Desktop Error Monitoring (DEM) 3.5.

As a quick refresher, here are the details on the new products available with MDOP 2011 R2:

Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) will simplify deployment and key recovery, centralize provisioning, monitoring, and reporting of encryption status for fixed and removable drives, and also minimize support costs. Key features include:

    • Streamline BitLocker Provisioning: IT professionals can simplify BitLocker provisioning as part of their Windows 7 deployment or they can have the user enable it after their deployment.
    • Generate out of box reports: Users can easily generate compliance reports with out of box reporting.
    • Retrieve recovery keys: IT professionals can quickly and easily retrieve recovery keys via a webpage specifically designed for helpdesk use.
    • Protect recovery keys: By storing recovery keys in an encrypted database you can be sure that they are protected.

Microsoft Diagnostic and Recovery Toolkit (DaRT) 7.0 is a set of tools that helps easily recover unusable PCs, rapidly diagnose problem causes of issues, and quickly repair unbootable or locked-out systems. Key updates include:

    • Remote diagnostics and recovery: Software based remoting means that helpdesk staff can securely diagnose and recover PCs with DaRT without ever visiting the user’s PC or having to reimage the PC.
    • Flexible deployment option: You will have the option to choose the right deployment option, or combination of options, to their individual needs. DaRT can deploy via PXE, USB, CD, DVD, or to the local recovery partition.
    • Increased customization: IT professionals have the ability to create DaRT images that restrict end-user access to tools while making these same tools available to Helpdesk and IT staff.

Microsoft Asset Inventory Service (AIS) 2.0 is a cloud based asset management service that can help make good inventory management decisions and has some of the most requested features customers asked for:

    • Updated/localized UI and improved software reporting: Offers users improved inventory capabilities, with include a more intuitive user interface and reports that are easier to read.
    • Increased scalability and language support: Updates will allow for 100,000 clients to be supported per account and will also now be available in 11 different languages.
    • Comprehensive view of software installation: Customers get a complete view of the software installed on enterprise PCs, manage software and hardware assets, and forecast future needs. The service also analyzes how Microsoft Volume License agreements are deployed to help more easily manage true-ups, renewals, and license reallocation.