Microsoft has pre-release versions of its Windows Essential Business Server Preparation and Planning Wizards available for download:

Brief Description

Preparation and Planning Wizards help prepare an existing environment for successful Windows Essential Business Server installation.

Overview

Preparation Wizard scans the existing network environment for any potential health issues to assure a proper and valid setup of Windows Essential Business Server. The tool runs about 100 environment checks and provides data and documentation links to address the issues found.

Planning Wizard provides guidance on planning migration to Windows Essential Business Server.

Additional Information

The computer where you install the Preparation Wizard and the Planning Wizard must be connected to your existing network. If you are planning to join Windows Essential Business Server to an existing Active Directory domain, the computer must be joined to the domain to test your environment for compatibility with Windows Essential Business Server.

If you installed the Preparation Wizard and the Planning Wizard on a domain-joined computer, you must be a member of the Domain Admins group to complete steps in a wizard that require a connection to Active Directory. If you are not logged on to the computer with appropriate credentials, the wizard prompts you for domain administrator credentials when they are needed.

OK, fine. So why is this of interest? Well, you don't have to be planning a Windows EBS install to use the tools, for starters: Instead, you can use them to gauge the health of a small- to mid-sized Active Directory environment and make sure everything is up and running properly. The first of the two tools, the Server Preparation wizard, is the most relevant for that purpose: It has a health scan that examines the key components of your network and identifies roles, services, and other areas that may not be functioning properly. (The second tool, the Planning Wizard, is more geared towards EBS planning specifically.)

You may be surprised what you find.