Windows 2003 Storage Add-Ons Coming
- By Scott Bekker
Broadening its commitment to the use of its platform for increasingly sophisticated storage scenarios, Microsoft this week unveiled several new Windows Server 2003 add-ons.
Microsoft made storage a much higher priority in Windows Server 2003 with several services that shipped directly in the base operating system, especially Virtual Disk Services and Volume Shadow Copy Service. Microsoft released a brand new, storage-focused SKU, called Windows Storage Server 2003 last fall. And the software giant has already provided several storage add-ons, such as the Multipath I/O (MPIO) driver development kit and iSCSI support.
This week at Storage Networking World in Phoenix, Microsoft officials detailed a number of new Windows Server 2003 storage capabilities.
A new feature pack allows customers to consolidate Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 data on Windows Storage Server 2003-based network-attached storage (NAS) devices. That feature pack is released to manufacturing, Microsoft said. Because the specialized storage server operating system is only sold as part of complete systems sold by OEMs, NAS devices that include the feature pack are not expected for several months.
A Fibre Channel Information Tool, which gathers component storage area network (SAN) information for troubleshooting multivendor environments, will be available for free download in May.
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, expected in the second half of this year, will include storage tracing support. The feature will consolidate tracing and logging mechanisms used by storage drivers in SANs.
iSCSI hardware vendors can now begin qualifying their hardware products for Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition, Microsoft's low-volume, high-end operating system that is only sold with qualified hardware.
Microsoft will add support for Microsoft Multipath I/O between the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator and iSCSI targets by the end of 2004. MPIO allows multipath failover and load balancing.
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.