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Microsoft and Dell Roll Out Unified Storage

Dell and Microsoft Corp. announced Wednesday that the PC maker is shipping a unified, networked storage system based on the software giant's Unified Data Storage Server 2003.

Dubbed the Dell PowerVault NX1950, the new server isn't cheap -- it starts at $17,000, with configurations that have 4.5 TB of disk space start at less than $24,000, according to a joint statement by the companies.

The NX1950 includes either single or two-node cluster configurations featuring a redundant SAS-based back-end storage array scaling up to 45 drives.

According to the statement, Windows Unified Data Storage Server 2003 is a new Microsoft storage platform that provides an advanced file server and IP SAN (iSCSI) capabilities, as well as unified management tools for deployment and maintenance in heterogeneous environments.

Dell's new storage solution features unified iSCSI block and file storage services, compatibility with both Windows CIFS (Common Internet File System) and Linux, Unix and Macintosh Network File System environments, redundant, multi-node cluster configurations, and advanced Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 capabilities such as single-instance storage, full indexed text search, distributed file services, and management of user quotas, file screening and storage reports. (See "Now Serving: Windows Storage Server 2003 Release 2," April 5, 2006.)

Integrated solutions with clustering and drive expansion, along with SAN gateway capabilities, will be available in the first half of 2007, the companies said.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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