Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2011 R2 Can Cut Costs More than Previous MDOP Releases

Generally available as of today, August 1st, 2011, Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2011 R2 will help businesses slash costs even more compared to previous MDOP releases.

The conclusion comes after looking at the most recent stage in the evolution of Microsoft’s suite of technologies for desktop optimization, and taking into consideration the enhancements introduced, especially Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) 1.0 and Microsoft Diagnostic and Recovery Toolkit (DaRT) 7.

Back in February 2011, IDC published the results of a study commissioned by Microsoft focused on the role of desktop optimization in reducing costs.

IDC concluded that the six components of MDOP can contribute to slashing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by as much as $571 per PC per year.

Obviously, exact cut cost savings will vary from company to company, but there can be no doubt that MDOP helps business customers save money, and that MDOP 2011 R2 will only increase savings.

R2 is the second iteration of MDOP that the software giant is providing its volume customers in 2011, after the one offered in March.

The plain vanilla MDOP 2011 brought to the table components such as 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.

All of the technologies above are packed into MDOP 2011 R2, to which Microsoft also added MBAM 1.0. DaRT was upgraded to version 7.0, with AIS making the jump to 2.0. Although DEM is still offered, Microsoft will no longer update this MDOP component in the future, citing poor interest from customers.

I dare venture to say that MBAM 1.0 and DaRT 7.0 will have the largest impact when it comes down to helping customers reduce costs.

With DaRT 7.0, Microsoft introduced a number of enhancements that are bound to delight IT professionals, especially those tasked with diagnostics and recovery work.

Focused on recovering unusable PCs rather than reimagining them, DaRT 7.0 will save IT pros time with a range of new features including remote diagnostics and recovery. Efficiency and productivity are also bound to get a boost since DaRT 7.0 can be deployed via PXE, USB, CD, DVD, with admins also having the option of creating recovery partitions locally, seamlessly blended with the Windows boot process.

And for those customers dealing with BitLocker, the first version of Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring is bound to be a breath of fresh air.

MBAM features out of box reporting functionality, enhancing compliance, and comes to simplify the provisioning of BitLocker.

In addition, because it’s designed to store recovery key in an encrypted SQL database, MBAM also simplifies the recover y process of lost keys.

“We can use MBAM to get greater value from BitLocker. We can ensure that BitLocker is enabled and that we are compliant with corporate encryption mandates without taxing our employees or IT staff,” said Bob Johnson, Director of IT at BT in the United States and Canada.

“We believe that using MBAM could make it easy to centrally configure BitLocker and help us ensure compliance and improve protection through better reporting and an intuitive web interface,” added Markus Dauberschmidt, senior System Architect in Siemens IT Solutions and Services.

Another MDOP component improved considerably is the Microsoft Asset Inventory Service. AIS 2.0 now supports the inventorying of both software and hardware assets for as much as 100,000 clients and in 11 different languages.

MDOP 2011 R2 is already available for download to customers with Software Assurance license agreements, from the Microsoft Volume Licensing site.

MSDN and TechNet subscribers can also grab the latest MDOP version, as is the case for those customers that subscribe to Windows Intune, which can pay just $1 per PC per month for MDOP 2011 R2 and all future releases.

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