Auditing with Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 5.0 – Part 2

Using MAP to inventory your servers

When you start MAP, the application prompts you for a database name (see figure below). At the very beginning there will be no database to hold MAP inventory information, so you will need to specify a new database name. You can name it anything, but for our purpose, I have chosen to name it as MAPS. This database then becomes the central repository for all the information collected by MAP. When using subsequently, you can choose this database from the drop down list.

MAP 5

After you have created the database (or chosen it from the list), the main interface opens with the navigation pane on the left, the detail pane in the middle and the action pane on the right. The Inventory and Assessment wunderbar is active on the navigation pane by default. This is where you can initiate MAP to start discovering and inventorying your computers. The possible types of inventorying that are listed under the Discovery and Readiness node. This includes Windows 7 readiness, Windows 2008 and 2008 R2 readiness, SQL Server discovery, Office 2010 readiness and so on.

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The “readiness” components are meant to audit machines that have the earlier versions of these Microsoft products installed. So if a server is running Windows 2003 and MAP can reach it, the machine will be listed in the final report. MAP will analyse the hardware configuration of the server and will comment if it is good enough to be upgraded to Windows 2008.

Besides readiness, MAP can discover your non-Windows servers running Linux. You can also use it to discover and catalogue virtual severs running VMWare:

In our example here, we are only interested to find the list of SQL Servers running in the enterprise, so the obvious choice would be SQL Server Discovery. However, when we click on the item on the navigation pane, the detail pane shows the following message:

“There is not enough inventory data for this view to display. To discover, inventory and assess the environment, use the Inventory and Assessment Wizard”

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That’s because MAP has not yet gone across the network and done its tallying. Once a pass is complete, the information from its discovery and inventory will be reported here.

If we click the Inventory and Assessment Wizard link (underlined in blue), the following screen appears:

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The default by choice is Windows based computers. For our exercise, I have chosen SQL Server. The lower part of the dialogue box changes automatically, showing MAP will use WMI as well as SQL Server native and integrated security mode to connect to SQL Servers it finds.

The next screen is the computer discovery method. This is what we discussed before. MAP can find computers in the network using a number of methods ranging from you typing in the names of the machines to MAP dynamically accessing the Active Directory. The first two options (Active Directory Domain Services and Windows Networking Protocol) are selected by default. Since I know all the SQL Server computers in my network are under one single AD domain, I have ticked off the second check-box.

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Since we want MAP to query the AD to find out the list of computers, it asks for domain credentials in the next screen. The account you specify here needs to be a domain account.

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Continues…

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