RAP as a Service (RaaS) from Microsoft Services Premier Support

In this post, I’m excited to discuss a new Premier Support offering called Risk Assessment Program (RAP) as a Service (or RaaS for short).

For those that are not familiar with RAP, it is a Microsoft Services Premier Support offering that helps prevent serious issues from occurring by analyzing the health and risks present in your current environment.

For example: if you haven’t done a WDRAP (Windows Desktop RAP) and your end-users are suffering slow boot times, slow logon times, slow file copy, hung applications, and applications crashing, it could help! A WDRAP assesses your current environment and recommends changes which improve the Windows user experience.

Our new RAP as a Service offering helps accelerate the process of diagnosis and reporting, using our RaaS online service.

Q: So what is Microsoft RAP as a Service (RaaS)?
A:  RaaS is an evolution of the Risk Assessment Program offering.

  • RaaS is a way of staying healthy, proactively.
  • It’s secure and private.
  • The data is collected remotely.
  • We analyze against best practices established by knowledge obtained from Microsoft IT, and over 20,000 customer assessments.
  • It enables you to view your results immediately.

You can also take a look at this video describing RAP as a Service:

Microsoft RAP as a Service

Q:  What are the benefits of RaaS over a RAP?
A:  The benefits are:

  • Online delivery with a Microsoft accredited engineer.
  • A modern best-practices toolset that allows you to assess your environment at any time and includes ongoing updates for a full year.
  • You get immediate on-line feedback on your environment.  Just run the straightforward toolset and you’ll garner instant insight into your environment.
  • Easily share results with your IT staff and others in your organization.
  • You can reassess your environment to track remediation and improvement progress.
  • Reduced resource overhead requirements.  There’s no need to take your people away from their other work for multiple days, nor do they need to travel to the location where the work is being performed.
  • Better scheduling flexibility.  Due to the agile structure of the RaaS service offering, turnaround times to get a Microsoft accredited engineer to review your environment are much shorter.
  • Better security.  While both offerings are highly secure, RaaS has the added benefit of including no intermediary steps in the assessment process.
  • RaaS includes remediation planning, which helps you understand what’s required to get your environment optimally healthy.
  • A broader toolset that is continually enhanced.   For example, RaaS for Active Directory includes assessment checks that were previously available as two separate service offerings: an Active Directory RAP and Active Directory Upgrade Assessment Health Check.  These are combined in the Active
  • Directory RaaS. RaaS also includes additional new tests such as support for Windows Server 2012.

Q:  What technologies can be assessed using RaaS?
A:  There are numerous technologies available that include the below.  Datasheets and pre-requisites of these technologies are listed on the RaaS page.

  • Active Directory
  • Dynamics AX
  • Dynamics CRM
  • Exchange Server
  • Failover Cluster
  • Group Policy Object
  • Internet Information Services
  • Lync Server
  • SharePoint Server
  • SQL Server
  • System Center Configuration Manager
  • System Center Operations Manager
  • System Center Service Manager
  • Windows Desktop
  • Windows Azure: Application Resource Consumption and Cost
  • Windows Azure: Application Scalability
  • Windows Azure: Identity and Access Control
  • Windows Azure: Migrations
  • Release Management for Windows Azure
  • … and others coming soon, such as Hyper-V and more.  Please contact your Microsoft Premier Support Technical Account Manager for further info on availability.

Q:  I can’t wait until the releases of the other technologies!
A:  In the meantime, you can still request a RAP for those technologies until these are released with RaaS.

Q:  Is RaaS currently available for non-Premier Support customers?
A:  Not at this time. To find out more about Premier Support, please visit Microsoft Services Premier Support

Q:  Do I use the RaaS service for my environment before or after going into production?
A:  Both. We highly recommend you test your environment before going live using RaaS.  We also recommend using RaaS after you go in production, because changes between test and production are inevitable.

Q:  What are the system requirements for a RaaS?
A:  The Microsoft Download Center has a detailed description of RAP as a Service (RaaS) Prerequisites.

Q:  How do I schedule a RaaS?
A:  Talk to your Microsoft Premier Support Technical Account Manager (TAM) or Application Developer Manager (ADM), and they can schedule the RaaS.

Q:  Where would I go to sign-in for the RaaS?
A:  You browse to the Microsoft Premier Proactive Assessment Services site and enter your credentials. The packages will be waiting for you to download and start running.

Q:  I’m in a secure environment; we cannot access external websites.
A:  It’s alright! We have a portable version for your needs.

Q:  Does it take a lot of ramp-up time to get familiar with the toolset?
A:  No, the package is wizard-driven for ease of use.

Q:  Do I need to have any down time?
A:  No, the data collection is non-invasive, so no scheduled downtime is required. Collect the data on your own schedule.

Q:  OK, I collected the data, now what are my next steps?
A:  Once data collection is complete, you can submit the data privately and securely to the Microsoft Premier Proactive Assessment Services site for analysis.

Q:  When do I get to see my results?
A:  We (the accredited Microsoft engineers) will analyze and annotate the report for your specific environment.  Once you receive the report back, we will set up a conference call to go over the findings with your staff.

Q:  How long is the report available for us?
A:  The report is available online for twelve months so you can continue remediating any issues/problems.

Q:  Can I re-run the RaaS toolset?
A:  Yes, you get to re-collect the data, submit the data again and get the detailed analysis back for a whole year, as a Premier customer.

Q:  Can I still have Microsoft Premier Field Engineers come on-site?
A:  Yes, we still have that option available to assist you! Regular RAPs are still available.

Thank you and I hope you found this useful and something you can take advantage of.

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