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Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 include several new technologies, known collectively as the Microsoft Windows Rally technologies, which enhance the setup and management experience for network-connected devices:

Link Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD)
The LLTD protocol enables quick discovery and centralized, simplified management of network-connected devices, as well as network traffic analysis, prioritized bandwidth allocation, and a graphical view of all network-attached devices.

  • LLTD: Topology Map
    specification for Link Layer Topology Discovery describes how the LLTD protocol operates over wired (802.3 Ethernet) and wireless (802.11) media. As the protocol name suggests, LLTD enables device discovery via the data-link layer (Layer 2) and determines the topology of a network. LLTD is on and enabled by default in Windows Vista (The protocol is also available via an update for Windows XP). Devices that implement LLTD can provide rich metadata that contains information about themselves, such as their current state and configuration, as well as a scalable icon that represents the industrial design or form factor of the device in the Windows Vista user interface. This information appears in the various network map views available in Windows Vista, regardless of any IP configuration issues on the network, enabling easy device configuration, management, and assessment of device health and network state.

  • LLTD: Quality of Service (QoS) Extensions
    LLTD QoS Extensions enable quality media streaming experiences, even on networks with limited and variable bandwidth. Devices that implement the QoS Extension portions of the LLTD protocol work in concert with qWave-enabled applications to ensure that changes in available bandwidth have little or no impact on the user experience. Some features provided by qWave include:

    • Auto-discovery of end-to-end QOS compatibility

    • End-to-end bandwidth estimation of maximum link capacity (bottleneck bandwidth) and real-time available bandwidth

    • Intelligent packet prioritization

    • Congestion notification

    • Flow shaping (rate throttling)

    • Distributed admission control to enable multisource stream coexistence

Windows Connect Now (WCN)
Windows Connect Now technologies enable non-technical users to quickly create and secure a wireless network, and easily provision wireless hardware such as:

  • Wireless access points, PCs, and servers

  • Network printers, printer bridges, digital still cameras, and game consoles

  • Digital media receivers, set-top boxes, electronic picture frames, and personal digital assistants (PDAs)

Windows Connect Now technologies include the following:

    WCN-NET is Microsoft's implementation of the Wi-Fi Simple Configuration Protocol, a Wi-Fi Alliance standard that enables configuration of devices on out-of-band Ethernet and in-band wireless networks.

    WCN-NET in Windows Vista communicates with access points and wireless stations by using UPnP, authenticates with the devices by using a personal identification number (PIN), and provides wireless settings that are based on user selection. Direct wireless in-band communication of stations is done via proxy from a Windows Connect Now-enabled wireless AP or wireless router.

    Enables a simple and secure method for users to configure wireless networks that include one or more Windows PCs. WCN-UFD utilizes a USB flash drive (UFD) to store network configuration data in an XML-based format that devices and PCs may use to configure themselves. WCN-UFD is supported on both Windows Vista and Windows XP.

    WCN-MTP extends Media Transport Protocol (MTP) to provide capabilities for associating and provisioning wireless devices to simplify the configuration of devices such as portable media players and digital cameras.

Devices Profile for Web Services (DPWS) and the Web Services on Devices API (WSDAPI)
The Devices Profile for Web Services specifies a lightweight set of Web Services functionality that enables network-connected devices to interoperate with Web services. The Devices Profile prescribes how to enable the following networking functions:

  • Send secure messages to and from a Web service
  • Dynamically discover a Web service
  • Describe a Web service
  • Subscribe to and receive events from a Web service

The Web Services on Devices API is an implementation of the Devices Profile in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. WSDAPI provides the foundation for connecting to Web Services-based devices and allows clients to discover and access remote devices and their associated services across a network. WSDAPI supports device control, eventing, and one-way and two-way messaging.

Plug and Play Extensions (PnP X)
PnP-X extends Plug and Play in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 to make network-connected devices as easy to discover, install and use as traditional Plug and Play devices that connect directly to the computer over buses such as USB or PCI. PnP-X uses SSDP and WS Discovery for device discovery and supplements either UPnP or Web Services for Devices (WSD) enabled devices. The result for end users is that PnP-X unifies the device experience in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, making device discovery, installation, and usage the same regardless of the device's method of attachment to the computer.

Function Discovery API
In Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, the Function Discovery API provides application developers with a uniform programmatic interface and extensible discovery provider model for finding and using devices and resources that are connected to a computer, making it easy to create applications that enumerate and use devices of a specific type, regardless of how they are connected to the computer. Function Discovery acts as an abstraction layer between applications and devices, allowing applications to manage lists of devices or objects categorized by functionality or class rather than by bus type or connection. . Applications and users can use Function Discovery to discover what functions their system can perform, regardless of the underlying device or software architecture.


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