Microsoft To Offer iSCSI Drivers

The company also started an "iSCSI Designed for Windows" logo program to designate third-party hardware and software products that are certified to work with its operating systems.

Microsoft has always said it would provide iSCSI drivers once the standard was ratified, said Zane Adam, director of product development and marketing at the company's Enterprise Storage Division. The final version of the standard was ratified earlier this month.

According to Adam, there are two types of iSCSI products: initiators, which are iSCSI software drivers that sit on the server and enable communication with network storage products; and targets--NAS servers and storage arrays, for example--which store data on iSCSI networks.

Microsoft plans to release Beta 2 of its iSCSI drivers (initiators) sometime this month and expects to make the final version available for free download starting in June, Adam said.

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To ensure that third-party iSCSI targets interoperate properly, Microsoft plans to start a testing program in June. Products certified as compatible with Microsoft's iSCSI drivers will receive the "iSCSI Designed for Windows" logo, Adam said.