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Now Serving: Windows Storage Server 2003 Release 2

Microsoft announced this week the availability of Windows Storage Server 2003 Release 2, the second iteration of its dedicated file and print server, right on schedule.

The system is available now or will be soon available on a list of OEMs’ network-attached storage appliances, including on Dell PowerEdge, HP Proliant, and IBM xSeries storage servers, according to a Microsoft statement. In addition, LeftHand Networks’ SAN Filer 150 and Tacit Networks’ Ishared Branch Office in a Box will come with R2.

Also, more than 50 companies, including Brocade Communications, Bull, Fujitsu Siemens and Iomega, have committed to building on or supporting Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 with their products and solutions in the near future, Microsoft said.

The company announced in September it would release the update sometime this month.

A key enhancement will be single-instance storage -- a concept familiar to Exchange administrators. In cases in which many users are accessing the same file, the feature allows the server to store only one physical copy and the rest of the files point to that instance.

Microsoft is also including its own software for quota management, replacing software the company previously licensed from Veritas. Other additions include Windows SharePoint Services. “Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 customers will also benefit from high availability and easy integration with SANs, and the ability for the first time to run 32- and 64-bit versions,” the company’s statement said.

In addition to R2, Microsoft also described how the WinTarget technology, acquired from String Bean Software last month, will be delivered. The iSCSI target technology will be offered through OEMs as a feature pack for Windows Storage Server 2003 R2.

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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