Microsoft Ships Windows Storage Server 2003 Appliance

The file and print server solution, whose release was announced at the Storage Decisions 2003 conference in Chicago, will be available through OEMs including Dell, EMC, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Hewlett-Packard, Inline, Iomega, Maxxan Systems and NEC, the company said.

Microsoft has shipped two editions of the storage product, formerly known as Windows Powered Network Attached Storage (NAS). The enterprise edition is aimed at the corporate data center, while the standard edition is aimed at departments, branch offices and SMBs.

As first reported by CRN last week, the new appliance offers a variety of features such as Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) from Windows Server 2003, as well as support for Windows iSCSI and for volumes ranging in size from 160 Gbytes to 40 or more terabytes, the company said. VSS enables customers to keep point-in-time copies of single and multiple volumes.

The appliance also features a distributed file system (DFS), eight-node server clustering and multipath input/output (MPI/O) technology.

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Today at the conference, several OEMs unveiled new products based on Microsoft's storage appliance, including Dell's PowerVault 775N and 770N storage systems, HP's StorageWorks NAS 2000s, Iomega's NAS P400m and Inline's FileStorm systems, and Maxxan's SG110m NAS gateway appliance.

EMC's forthcoming NetWin 200 will also be based on Microsoft's Windows Storage Server 2003, the company said.

The product will be officially launched at the Chicago conference by Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsoft's Enterprise Storage Division, which was formed in April 2002.