Microsoft rolled out its long-awaited new Windows Server 2003 OS, which has many new storage features. The new OS is the first that Microsoft has released since forming its Enterprise Storage Division. Microsoft updated many storage-related tools in Windows 2003 and also added several important new features.
The new features include Virtual Disk Service (VDS), Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), and Automated System Recovery (ASR). Storage Area Network (SAN) support has been improved, and iSCSI support is coming in June 2003. VDS lets storage companies develop applications to manage groups of individual disks as a seamless whole, making storage simpler. VSS lets users make point-in-time copies of data by creating a shadow copy of the data. VSS makes backing up live data easier. ASR lets users recovery data quickly by making it possible to do easy bare-metal restores. Other updated tools include Check Disk Command (chkdsk.exe), which examines Windows volumes for errors, and an improved diskpart.exe utility, which expands disks as you need more space. Microsoft will deliver iSCSI support in June for Windows 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 Server.