I'm settled in now for what I hope will be another great Microsoft Management Summit conference, back in Las Vegas this year at the Venetian hotel.  Having been to the real Venice back in November after the TechEd IT Forum conference in Barcelona, I have to say that this version of Venice is smaller, cleaner, and smells better - in other words, fake, just like the rest of Vegas :-)

I've already seen many familiar faces, and plenty of new ones, at the SCCMExpert/Adaptiva gathering this evening, which was well attended.  Tomorrow the conference begins.  Fortunately for me, the real fun doesn't start until Thursday, when Tim and I have three sessions:

SY04 Advanced OS Deployment with Configuration Manager - Part 3: Extending OS deployment with the Microsoft Deployment toolkit

Thursday, May 1 10:15 AM - 11:30 AM, Bellini 2001B
Speaker(s): Tim Mintner, Michael Niehaus
Track(s): Solution Accelerators, Systems Management

Microsoft Deployment is the next version of Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) 2007. New features in Microsoft Deployment integrate with and extend the native OS deployment functionality of Configuration Manager 2007 while providing thorough project management guidance.  Examine how the Microsoft Deployment toolkit uses and extends the OS deployment capabilities presented in part 1 and 2, providing new wizards, task sequence templates, additional server deployment automation and other features.

SY05 Advanced OS Deployment with Configuration Manager - Part 4: Provisioning your Windows Deployment with Microsoft Deployment (BDD)

Thursday, May 1 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM, Bellini 2001B
Speaker(s): Tim Mintner, Michael Niehaus
Track(s): Solution Accelerators, Systems Management

Now that you have a good understanding of the OS deployment features and functionality provided by Configuration Manager and Microsoft Deployment, we'll explore ways to create dynamic, data-driven deployment processes.  We will discuss performing rules-based, data-driven deployments; using external data sources; adding your own scripts and customizing those provided with Microsoft Deployment; overriding task sequence properties and other advanced topics.

SN02 What's New in the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2008? Updates for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1

Thursday, May 1 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM, Veronese 2401B 
Speaker(s): Tim Mintner, Michael Niehaus
Track(s): Solution Accelerators

Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1 introduce new changes in the underlying service stack and Windows Automated Installation Kit. These changes are addressed in the second release of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (formerly BDD). This session will introduce MDT 2008 changes, focused on Windows Vista SP1 support and Windows Server deployment. MDT 2008 provides broader support for deploying Windows Servers, including automated role installation using Server Manager in Windows Server 2008. This session will be presented first hand by solution developers and provide an overview of the Solution Accelerator, updates versus previous versions, tool demonstrations and the current roadmap and release schedule for future MDT releases.