The Windows Hardware Engineering Conference isn’t far away now, and if you’re lucky enough to be going, and have an interest in Virtualisation, I’d strongly suggest you take note, as this is the first time many of you will have heard about these features.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with what WinHEC is all about, here’s the blurb:

“With over 140 technical sessions, panels, and chalk-talks, WinHEC will provide plenty of opportunities to connect in person and in depth with Windows engineers. WinHEC is designed to provide deep explorations of future engineering and business directions for PC and device hardware. We are making sure we have the right speakers to have meaningful conversations. The people who build and develop for Windows are working hard to make sure the talks are on target. They designed the code; they built the code; they tested the code. Having our core engineering team at the conference gives us an opportunity to have valuable dialogue with you”

This year, there’s a strong focus on Windows 7, both client, and for me, more interestingly, server.  I’ve pulled out a couple of the key sessions that, if you have an interest in Virtualisation, you should be looking to attend (or at least be looking to read the write up’s of the bloggers!) :

Improving Networking Performance for Hyper-V Virtual Machines - ENT-T589

Presenter(s): Alireza Dabagh

Windows Server 2008 R2 will deliver new networking features and enhanced support of stateless and state-full offload technologies to Hyper-V virtual machines. This session discusses the architecture and implementation details of these Windows networking features. Also included is a description for how network interface card (NIC) adapters implement this support for virtualized environments.

Windows Boot from Virtual Hard Disk - ENT-T606

Presenter(s): Paul Rambo, Peter Brundrett

Virtual hard disk (VHD) is a de facto standard image format for virtual machine operating system images. This session discusses native support of VHD in Windows Server 2008 R2. This support allows users, administrators, and vendors of storage and management tools to operate on VHDs as they would other storage devices. This creates opportunities for lowering operational costs by enabling customers to use a single image creation, deployment, and maintenance process and toolset across virtual and physical environments.

Windows Presentation Virtualization - ENT-T591

Presenter(s): Tad Brockway; Nelly Porter

This session discusses Microsoft's continued investment in Windows remoting features such as Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) that empower the enterprise mobile workforce in the next release of Windows and beyond. We’ll covers how RDP features in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will enhance the user computing experience and how applications can integrate well with core remoting infrastructure services to provide on-the-go users with rich software and device experience from anywhere with Internet access.

Windows Server Power Management Implementation Details - ENT-T552

Presenter(s): Johnson Cheng

This session presents an in-depth discussion of the power management technologies and features that will be introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2. Included will be best practices for platform design, an outline of hardware and platform requirements, and internal details of system software features for server power management.

Windows Virtualization and Cluster Shared Volumes - ENT-T588

Presenter(s): Jeff Mastro, Bryon Surace

Windows Server 2008 R2 will introduce a new feature for Failover Clustering called Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV). CSV is an enhancement that allows multiple virtual hard disk (VHD) images to be mounted on a single logical volume. It allows the migration of virtual machines from one physical host server to another with minimal downtime. This session discusses the architecture and implementation details of CSV and illustrates its utility in Windows virtualization deployments

Directions for Virtualized I/O in Windows - ENT-T590

Presenter(s): Jake Oshins

Now that Hyper-V is released, it's time to consider virtualized I/O directions that go beyond "make it work with existing drivers." This session discusses areas of technologies that are being investigated for future Microsoft virtualization offerings. These include PCI Single-Root I/O Virtualization, those technologies that enable it, and their implications to the Windows Driver Model. Improving storage area network (SAN) support and other I/O-related virtualization capabilities are also discussed.

There are loads more, listed under the ‘Enterprise Conferencing’ on the Sessions Page.

If you’re going, have fun (very jealous), and if you’re not, like me, you’ll no doubt get all your news via the web.  Not to worry, I’m sure you’ll get the information you need.  Think, 2 years ago at WinHEC, we showed Hyper-V with Live Migration!