Tech Ed: Microsoft Renames NAS OS, Ships To OEMs

The change, unveiled at the Microsoft Tech Ed conference here, was made to reflect the operating system's relationship with Windows Server 2003, said Claude Lorenson, product manager for the company's Enterprise Storage Division.

Two years ago, the operating system was known as Server Appliance Kit (SAK), but that was changed once Microsoft formed its own dedicated storage division, Lorenson said.

Windows Storage Server 2003, expected to be officially launched in September, is this month being released to manufacturing to OEMs looking to build NAS appliances based on the operating system, Lorenson said. Currently, only EMC has publicly said it will use the OS, he said.

However, other OEMs, including Dell Computer, Fujitsu Siemens, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Iomega, Legend Group and NEC currently base NAS appliances on Windows operating systems, Microsoft executives said.

Sponsored post

Windows Storage Server 2003 keeps the storage features from Windows Server 2003 while eliminating many features not needed for a NAS appliance, Lorenson said.

Among the features included in the new NAS OS are Volume ShadowCopy Service (VSS), which allows point-in-time copy capabilities to be integrated between the operating system and applications, and Virtual Disk Service (VDS), which enables the management of multivendor storage devices, and Multi-Path I/O (MPIO), which provides 32 paths to data, Lorenson said.

The operating system also features a new Network File System (NFS) with increased server performance compared with earlier versions, improved Check Disk (CHKDSK) performance, and a faster Distributed File System (DFS), which can go to multiple roots or closest roots to work with files, Lorenson said. ISCSI initiator drivers are available to OEMs, as is a redesigned Web user interface for NAS management, he said.