Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2011 R2 Now Available for Download

The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2011 R2 is now generally available for download, as of August 1, annnounced Niamh Coleman.MDOP is a suite of technologies that helps improve compatibility and management, reduce support costs, increase asset management and improve policy control. New in the 2011 R2 release is Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM), […]

The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2011 R2 is now generally available for download, as of August 1, annnounced Niamh Coleman.

MDOP is a suite of technologies that helps improve compatibility and management, reduce support costs, increase asset management and improve policy control. New in the 2011 R2 release is Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM), Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolkit (DaRT) 7.0, and Asset Inventory Service (AIS) 2.0.

Microsoft officials said that 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."

Details on the new products available with MDOP 2011 R2:

"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 pros 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 pros 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.

DaRT 7.0 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'll have 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 pros 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.

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.

MDOP is a bundle of business-focused tools available to Software Assurance volume licensees only from the Microsoft Volume Licensing site. Customers who don't 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.

Finally, Microsoft will be releasing an update to the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) on August 15. Among the new features are:

An updated UI with better access to help and resources; download and product-key pages combined into a single page; a single subscriptions menu; and a new way for partners to see which promotional products to which a customer is entitled.

[Source: Windows for Your Business blog]