Storage UPDATE, November 24, 2003

Storage UPDATE--November 24, 2003

This Issue Sponsored By

Security Administrator

http://www.secadministrator.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei253xup

===============

1. Commentary

- Windows and iSCSI SANs

2. News and Views

- Microsoft Announces iSCSI Storage Partners

- Gateway and HDS Enter SAN Alliance

3. Announcements

- 2004 Date Announced: Windows & .NET Magazine Connections

- Quick Answers for Microsoft Small Business Server

4. Resource

- Windows Server 2003 Stops Responding After You Install an Array Controller

5. Event

- New--Microsoft Security Road Show!

6. New and Improved

- iSCSI Storage for Midrange Applications

- New Data-Replication Solution

- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

7. Contact Us

- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

==== Sponsor: Security Administrator ====

Try a Sample Issue of Security Administrator

Security Administrator is the monthly newsletter from Windows & .NET Magazine that shows you how to protect your network from external intruders and control access for internal users. But don't just take our word for it. Sign up for a sample issue right now. You'll feel more secure just knowing you did. Click here!

http://www.secadministrator.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei253xup

==========

==== 1. Commentary ====

by Mark Smith, [email protected]

Windows and iSCSI SANs

On November 19, Microsoft announced that 14 leading Internet SCSI (iSCSI) storage vendors qualified for Microsoft's Designed for Windows Logo Program. (For more details about this announcement, see "News and Views"; to read the full press release, click the first URL at the end of the commentary.) These vendors demonstrated their compliance through a set of tests that Microsoft designed to ensure data integrity and compatibility with the Windows platform. "In some ways, the iSCSI compliance testing is more rigorous than the Fibre Channel storage testing. The overall nature of the test is quite involved. Vendors that take the time to do this work on the front end will have less support costs and follow-up concerns," said Claude Lorenson, product manager for Microsoft's Enterprise Storage Division.

How does this announcement fit into Microsoft's bigger storage plans? According to Lorenson, Microsoft's goal is to make Windows Server the easiest, best performing, best priced platform to which to attach Direct Attached Storage (DAS), Network Attached Storage (NAS), iSCSI Storage Area Networks (SANs), and Fibre Channel SAN devices. Before Microsoft can achieve this vision, however, the company needs to meet some technical and educational challenges.

First, Microsoft doesn't support Microsoft Exchange Server or Microsoft SQL Server on Windows Storage Server 2003-based NAS devices. Today, your storage choices for these applications are limited to DAS and SANs. For SQL Server, the problem stems from a licensing restriction, not a technical limitation. In fact, Microsoft will tell you how to configure a small SQL Server installation on a non-Windows NAS platform. For Exchange Server, Microsoft must address both technical and licensing problems. Microsoft has stated that it will support Exchange on NAS in the future but recommends that you use DAS or SANs until then.

Second, the average Windows administrator still perceives SANs as being too complex. Currently, storage administrators, not Windows administrators, install most SANs. This perceived complexity is a huge challenge and opportunity for Microsoft. If Microsoft can convince Windows NT Server administrators, who are in charge of millions of NT servers, to buy and install a SAN or NAS device, Microsoft will create a huge new market for networked storage.

What's required for typical Windows administrators to consider buying NAS or a SAN? First, Microsoft needs to convince them that DAS costs more to maintain and wastes valuable disk storage. Second, Microsoft needs to convince them that installing NAS is easy. I've written on both of these subjects numerous times, and I believe the available evidence supports those claims. Third, Microsoft and its partners need to make SANs affordable, standardized, and fast enough for most small-to-midsized businesses. Finally, and most important, SANs must be easy for a typical Windows administrator to install. Translation: The installation needs to run from a Windows Server wizard interface, take fewer than 2 hours, and be hassle-free.

The iSCSI vendor community is addressing the affordability factor by leveraging commodity networking and storage hardware to deliver multiterabyte solutions at half the cost of their Fibre Channel SAN counterparts. The $15,000 1TB-2TB SAN will soon be a reality.

Microsoft is attacking the simplicity factor through Virtual Disk Service (VDS), which is part of Windows Server 2003 and Windows Storage Server 2003. SAN vendors can write VDS providers that give Windows access to SAN configuration features. Recently, SAN vendors have begun demonstrating Windows-based wizards that let administrators create and maintain LUNs on their SANs. Ultimately, a Windows administrator will be able to completely manage a SAN device without leaving Windows, thus mitigating the learning curve and decreasing the intimidation factor of dealing with SANs.

In the October 27 issue of Storage UPDATE, I wrote about the San Francisco Networking Technologies Users Group (SFNTUG) teaching its members how to install and configure an iSCSI SAN and connect it to Windows 2003 servers. (To read that issue of Storage UPDATE, click the second URL below.) In one 6-hour class, the SFNTUG installed the SAN and configured it for clustering, tested failover, and configured the SAN to support Exchange Server 2003. The audience consisted of Windows Server administrators, not storage specialists, showing that early adopters are starting to consider making iSCSI SANs part of their IT infrastructure.

As more iSCSI vendors adopt the Designed for Windows logo, they're playing a part in a larger plan to make Windows the best platform for networked storage. If Microsoft and its storage partners can make SANs and NAS simple and cheap enough for the average Windows administrator, the market for networked storage will really take off.

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2003/nov03/11-19leadingvendorsqualifypr.asp

http://www.winnetmag.com/article/articleid/40625/40625.html

==== 2. News and Views ====

by Keith Furman, [email protected]

Microsoft Announces iSCSI Storage Partners

Microsoft has announced that 14 storage vendors' Internet SCSI (iSCSI) products have qualified to work with Windows. All the products passed tests that were part of Microsoft's Designed for Windows Logo Program, which includes a category for iSCSI hardware and iSCSI host bus adapters (HBAs). In June, the software giant released iSCSI software that lets storage vendors more easily use iSCSI hardware in Windows. "Today's announcement is a major step forward in making IP storage networks more accessible and cost-effective for customers, with Microsoft's iSCSI Software Initiator as a prime driver," said Zane Adam, director of product management and marketing for Microsoft's Enterprise Storage Division. "We're pleased to be working with our storage-industry partners to bring iSCSI solutions to market."

The companies that have qualified their iSCSI hardware for use with Windows and are now part of the Designed for Windows Logo Program are Adaptec, Advanced Digital Information Corporation (ADIC), ATTO Technology, Cisco Systems, Crossroads Systems, EqualLogic, Intel, Intransa, LeftHand Networks, McDATA, Network Appliance (NetApp), QLogic, Spectra Logic, and Storageconnections.net. The qualification helps ensure interoperability and provide quality assurance for Windows customers, according to Microsoft.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/storage/iscsi.mspx

Gateway and HDS Enter SAN Alliance

Gateway and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) are working together to help Gateway become a player in the Storage Area Network (SAN) market. The companies have announced an alliance that will let Gateway resell HDS's Thunder 9500 V Series modular storage system and related software. Gateway's sales staff will market and sell the system to Gateway's customer base. The Thunder 9500 V Series features as much as 64TB of raw capacity, 7.4GBps of cached bandwidth, 1024 Virtual Storage Ports with secure multi-tenancy, and 2048 LUNs. "Our alliance with SAN industry leader Hitachi Data Systems will enable us to enhance our existing customer relationships, as well as compete against tier-one storage providers with an industry-proven enterprise storage solution," said Scott Weinbrandt, senior vice president and general manager of Gateway's Enterprise Systems Division.

Gateway also launched a new Serial ATA (SATA) RAID solution, a Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliance, and updated management software. The new Gateway 840 SATA RAID Enclosure supports as many as 12 hot-swappable 80GB, 160GB, or 250GB SATA drives, which can scale up to 3TB of data in a 2U (2.5") rack-mountable chassis. The Gateway 860 NAS appliance runs Windows Storage Server 2003 and can provide as much as 1TB of storage. Updated Gateway System Manager (GSM) 3.0 software ships with Gateway servers and provides easy management of Gateway systems through a Web interface.

http://www.gateway.com/business

==== 3. Announcements ====

(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

2004 Date Announced: Windows & .NET Magazine Connections

Windows & .NET Magazine Connections will be held April 4 to 7, 2004, in Las Vegas at the new Hyatt Lake Las Vegas Resort. Be sure to save these dates on your calendar. Early registrants will receive the greatest possible discount. For more information, call 203-268-3204 or 800-505-1201 or go online at

http://www.devconnections.com

Quick Answers for Microsoft Small Business Server

Is Small Business Server right for you? Do you need answers about how to set up Small Business Server? Learn about Small Business Server's key features, upgrade possibilities, and storage and find how-to guides, troubleshooting tips, forums, and more at Windows & .NET Magazine online.

http://www.winnetmag.com/smallbusinessserver

==== 4. Resource ====

Windows Server 2003 Stops Responding After You Install an Array Controller

After you install an array controller in your Windows 2003-based computer, your system might stop responding. If you're having this problem, you'll be glad to learn that a hotfix is available. For details about the problem and information about the hotfix, go to the following URL:

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=823728

==== 5. Event ====

(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

New--Microsoft Security Road Show!

Join industry guru Mark Minasi on this exciting 20-city tour and learn more about tips to secure your Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 network. There is no charge for this event, but space is limited, so register today! Sign up now for our December events.

http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/security2003dec

==== 6. New and Improved ====

by Renee Munshi, [email protected]

iSCSI Storage for Midrange Applications

SANRAD announces the general availability of V-Switch 3000. This new implementation of the Internet SCSI (iSCSI) V-Switch delivers IP data center capabilities to midrange applications by combining the functionality of a multiprotocol switch, storage virtualization engine, storage router, and SCSI/Fibre Channel bridging into an integrated solution. V-Switch 3000 includes a browser-based management GUI and is available through select resellers worldwide. Prices range from $15,000 to $25,000. For more information, see SANRAD's Web site.

http://sanrad.com

New Data-Replication Solution

Kashya unveiled the KBX4000, an enterprise-class disaster-recovery data-replication solution. The KBX4000 is based on the intelligent Kashya Data Protection Appliance, which connects to the SAN and IP infrastructure to provide bidirectional data replication across any distance for heterogeneous storage and server environments. Pricing for the KBX4000 data replication appliance starts at $25,000 for 0.25TB of replicated storage. For more information, visit Kashya's Web site.

http://www.kashya.com

Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a Windows & .NET Magazine T-shirt if we write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to [email protected]

==== Sponsored Links ====

Sybari Software

Free! "Admins Shortcut Guide to Email Protection" from Sybari

http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;6574227;8214395;q?http://www.sybari.com/ebook

VMware Inc.

FREE VMware Workstation for Microsoft Certified Trainers.

http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;6602582;8214395;m?http://www.vmware.com/wl/offer/486/0

=========

==== 7. Contact Us ====

About the commentary -- [email protected]

About the newsletter -- [email protected]

About technical questions -- http://www.winnetmag.com/forums

About product news -- [email protected]

About your subscription -- [email protected]

About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]

==========

Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

Storage UPDATE--November 24, 2003

==== This Issue Sponsored By ====

Security Administrator

http://www.secadministrator.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei253xup

==========

1. Commentary

- Windows and iSCSI SANs

2. News and Views

- Microsoft Announces iSCSI Storage Partners

- Gateway and HDS Enter SAN Alliance

3. Announcements

- 2004 Date Announced: Windows & .NET Magazine Connections

- Quick Answers for Microsoft Small Business Server

4. Resource

- Windows Server 2003 Stops Responding After You Install an Array Controller

5. Event

- New--Microsoft Security Road Show!

6. New and Improved

- iSCSI Storage for Midrange Applications

- New Data-Replication Solution

- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

7. Contact Us

- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

==== Sponsor: Security Administrator ====

Try a Sample Issue of Security Administrator

Security Administrator is the monthly newsletter from Windows & .NET Magazine that shows you how to protect your network from external intruders and control access for internal users. But don't just take our word for it. Sign up for a sample issue right now. You'll feel more secure just knowing you did. Click here!

http://www.secadministrator.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei253xup

==========

==== 1. Commentary ====

by Mark Smith, [email protected]

Windows and iSCSI SANs

On November 19, Microsoft announced that 14 leading Internet SCSI (iSCSI) storage vendors qualified for Microsoft's Designed for Windows Logo Program. (For more details about this announcement, see "News and Views"; to read the full press release, click the first URL at the end of the commentary.) These vendors demonstrated their compliance through a set of tests that Microsoft designed to ensure data integrity and compatibility with the Windows platform. "In some ways, the iSCSI compliance testing is more rigorous than the Fibre Channel storage testing. The overall nature of the test is quite involved. Vendors that take the time to do this work on the front end will have less support costs and follow-up concerns," said Claude Lorenson, product manager for Microsoft's Enterprise Storage Division.

How does this announcement fit into Microsoft's bigger storage plans? According to Lorenson, Microsoft's goal is to make Windows Server the easiest, best performing, best priced platform to which to attach Direct Attached Storage (DAS), Network Attached Storage (NAS), iSCSI Storage Area Networks (SANs), and Fibre Channel SAN devices. Before Microsoft can achieve this vision, however, the company needs to meet some technical and educational challenges.

First, Microsoft doesn't support Microsoft Exchange Server or Microsoft SQL Server on Windows Storage Server 2003-based NAS devices. Today, your storage choices for these applications are limited to DAS and SANs. For SQL Server, the problem stems from a licensing restriction, not a technical limitation. In fact, Microsoft will tell you how to configure a small SQL Server installation on a non-Windows NAS platform. For Exchange Server, Microsoft must address both technical and licensing problems. Microsoft has stated that it will support Exchange on NAS in the future but recommends that you use DAS or SANs until then.

Second, the average Windows administrator still perceives SANs as being too complex. Currently, storage administrators, not Windows administrators, install most SANs. This perceived complexity is a huge challenge and opportunity for Microsoft. If Microsoft can convince Windows NT Server administrators, who are in charge of millions of NT servers, to buy and install a SAN or NAS device, Microsoft will create a huge new market for networked storage.

What's required for typical Windows administrators to consider buying NAS or a SAN? First, Microsoft needs to convince them that DAS costs more to maintain and wastes valuable disk storage. Second, Microsoft needs to convince them that installing NAS is easy. I've written on both of these subjects numerous times, and I believe the available evidence supports those claims. Third, Microsoft and its partners need to make SANs affordable, standardized, and fast enough for most small-to-midsized businesses. Finally, and most important, SANs must be easy for a typical Windows administrator to install. Translation: The installation needs to run from a Windows Server wizard interface, take fewer than 2 hours, and be hassle-free.

The iSCSI vendor community is addressing the affordability factor by leveraging commodity networking and storage hardware to deliver multiterabyte solutions at half the cost of their Fibre Channel SAN counterparts. The $15,000 1TB-2TB SAN will soon be a reality.

Microsoft is attacking the simplicity factor through Virtual Disk Service (VDS), which is part of Windows Server 2003 and Windows Storage Server 2003. SAN vendors can write VDS providers that give Windows access to SAN configuration features. Recently, SAN vendors have begun demonstrating Windows-based wizards that let administrators create and maintain LUNs on their SANs. Ultimately, a Windows administrator will be able to completely manage a SAN device without leaving Windows, thus mitigating the learning curve and decreasing the intimidation factor of dealing with SANs.

In the October 27 issue of Storage UPDATE, I wrote about the San Francisco Networking Technologies Users Group (SFNTUG) teaching its members how to install and configure an iSCSI SAN and connect it to Windows 2003 servers. (To read that issue of Storage UPDATE, click the second URL below.) In one 6-hour class, the SFNTUG installed the SAN and configured it for clustering, tested failover, and configured the SAN to support Exchange Server 2003. The audience consisted of Windows Server administrators, not storage specialists, showing that early adopters are starting to consider making iSCSI SANs part of their IT infrastructure.

As more iSCSI vendors adopt the Designed for Windows logo, they're playing a part in a larger plan to make Windows the best platform for networked storage. If Microsoft and its storage partners can make SANs and NAS simple and cheap enough for the average Windows administrator, the market for networked storage will really take off.

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2003/nov03/11-19leadingvendorsqualifypr.asp

http://www.winnetmag.com/article/articleid/40625/40625.html

==== 2. News and Views ====

by Keith Furman, [email protected]

Microsoft Announces iSCSI Storage Partners

Microsoft has announced that 14 storage vendors' Internet SCSI (iSCSI) products have qualified to work with Windows. All the products passed tests that were part of Microsoft's Designed for Windows Logo Program, which includes a category for iSCSI hardware and iSCSI host bus adapters (HBAs). In June, the software giant released iSCSI software that lets storage vendors more easily use iSCSI hardware in Windows. "Today's announcement is a major step forward in making IP storage networks more accessible and cost-effective for customers, with Microsoft's iSCSI Software Initiator as a prime driver," said Zane Adam, director of product management and marketing for Microsoft's Enterprise Storage Division. "We're pleased to be working with our storage-industry partners to bring iSCSI solutions to market."

The companies that have qualified their iSCSI hardware for use with Windows and are now part of the Designed for Windows Logo Program are Adaptec, Advanced Digital Information Corporation (ADIC), ATTO Technology, Cisco Systems, Crossroads Systems, EqualLogic, Intel, Intransa, LeftHand Networks, McDATA, Network Appliance (NetApp), QLogic, Spectra Logic, and Storageconnections.net. The qualification helps ensure interoperability and provide quality assurance for Windows customers, according to Microsoft.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/storage/iscsi.mspx

Gateway and HDS Enter SAN Alliance

Gateway and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) are working together to help Gateway become a player in the Storage Area Network (SAN) market. The companies have announced an alliance that will let Gateway resell HDS's Thunder 9500 V Series modular storage system and related software. Gateway's sales staff will market and sell the system to Gateway's customer base. The Thunder 9500 V Series features as much as 64TB of raw capacity, 7.4GBps of cached bandwidth, 1024 Virtual Storage Ports with secure multi-tenancy, and 2048 LUNs. "Our alliance with SAN industry leader Hitachi Data Systems will enable us to enhance our existing customer relationships, as well as compete against tier-one storage providers with an industry-proven enterprise storage solution," said Scott Weinbrandt, senior vice president and general manager of Gateway's Enterprise Systems Division.

Gateway also launched a new Serial ATA (SATA) RAID solution, a Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliance, and updated management software. The new Gateway 840 SATA RAID Enclosure supports as many as 12 hot-swappable 80GB, 160GB, or 250GB SATA drives, which can scale up to 3TB of data in a 2U (2.5") rack-mountable chassis. The Gateway 860 NAS appliance runs Windows Storage Server 2003 and can provide as much as 1TB of storage. Updated Gateway System Manager (GSM) 3.0 software ships with Gateway servers and provides easy management of Gateway systems through a Web interface.

http://www.gateway.com/business

==== 3. Announcements ====

(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

2004 Date Announced: Windows & .NET Magazine Connections

Windows & .NET Magazine Connections will be held April 4 to 7, 2004, in Las Vegas at the new Hyatt Lake Las Vegas Resort. Be sure to save these dates on your calendar. Early registrants will receive the greatest possible discount. For more information, call 203-268-3204 or 800-505-1201 or go online at

http://www.devconnections.com

Quick Answers for Microsoft Small Business Server

Is Small Business Server right for you? Do you need answers about how to set up Small Business Server? Learn about Small Business Server's key features, upgrade possibilities, and storage and find how-to guides, troubleshooting tips, forums, and more at Windows & .NET Magazine online.

http://www.winnetmag.com/smallbusinessserver

==== 4. Resource ====

Windows Server 2003 Stops Responding After You Install an Array Controller

After you install an array controller in your Windows 2003-based computer, your system might stop responding. If you're having this problem, you'll be glad to learn that a hotfix is available. For details about the problem and information about the hotfix, go to the following URL:

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=823728

==== 5. Event ====

(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

New--Microsoft Security Road Show!

Join industry guru Mark Minasi on this exciting 20-city tour and learn more about tips to secure your Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 network. There is no charge for this event, but space is limited, so register today! Sign up now for our December events.

http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/security2003dec

==== 6. New and Improved ====

by Renee Munshi, [email protected]

iSCSI Storage for Midrange Applications

SANRAD announces the general availability of V-Switch 3000. This new implementation of the Internet SCSI (iSCSI) V-Switch delivers IP data center capabilities to midrange applications by combining the functionality of a multiprotocol switch, storage virtualization engine, storage router, and SCSI/Fibre Channel bridging into an integrated solution. V-Switch 3000 includes a browser-based management GUI and is available through select resellers worldwide. Prices range from $15,000 to $25,000. For more information, see SANRAD's Web site.

http://sanrad.com

New Data-Replication Solution

Kashya unveiled the KBX4000, an enterprise-class disaster-recovery data-replication solution. The KBX4000 is based on the intelligent Kashya Data Protection Appliance, which connects to the SAN and IP infrastructure to provide bidirectional data replication across any distance for heterogeneous storage and server environments. Pricing for the KBX4000 data replication appliance starts at $25,000 for 0.25TB of replicated storage. For more information, visit Kashya's Web site.

http://www.kashya.com

Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a Windows & .NET Magazine T-shirt if we write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to [email protected]

==== Sponsored Links ====

Sybari Software

Free! "Admins Shortcut Guide to Email Protection" from Sybari

http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;6574227;8214395;q?http://www.sybari.com/ebook

VMware Inc.

FREE VMware Workstation for Microsoft Certified Trainers.

http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;6602582;8214395;m?http://www.vmware.com/wl/offer/486/0

=========

==== 7. Contact Us ====

About the commentary -- [email protected]

About the newsletter -- [email protected]

About technical questions -- http://www.winnetmag.com/forums

About product news -- [email protected]

About your subscription -- [email protected]

About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]

==========

Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

Storage UPDATE--November 24, 2003

==== This Issue Sponsored By ====

Security Administrator

http://www.secadministrator.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei253xup

==========

1. Commentary

- Windows and iSCSI SANs

2. News and Views

- Microsoft Announces iSCSI Storage Partners

- Gateway and HDS Enter SAN Alliance

3. Announcements

- 2004 Date Announced: Windows & .NET Magazine Connections

- Quick Answers for Microsoft Small Business Server

4. Resource

- Windows Server 2003 Stops Responding After You Install an Array Controller

5. Event

- New--Microsoft Security Road Show!

6. New and Improved

- iSCSI Storage for Midrange Applications

- New Data-Replication Solution

- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

7. Contact Us

- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

==== Sponsor: Security Administrator ====

Try a Sample Issue of Security Administrator

Security Administrator is the monthly newsletter from Windows & .NET Magazine that shows you how to protect your network from external intruders and control access for internal users. But don't just take our word for it. Sign up for a sample issue right now. You'll feel more secure just knowing you did. Click here!

http://www.secadministrator.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei253xup

==========

==== 1. Commentary ====

by Mark Smith, [email protected]

Windows and iSCSI SANs

On November 19, Microsoft announced that 14 leading Internet SCSI (iSCSI) storage vendors qualified for Microsoft's Designed for Windows Logo Program. (For more details about this announcement, see "News and Views"; to read the full press release, click the first URL at the end of the commentary.) These vendors demonstrated their compliance through a set of tests that Microsoft designed to ensure data integrity and compatibility with the Windows platform. "In some ways, the iSCSI compliance testing is more rigorous than the Fibre Channel storage testing. The overall nature of the test is quite involved. Vendors that take the time to do this work on the front end will have less support costs and follow-up concerns," said Claude Lorenson, product manager for Microsoft's Enterprise Storage Division.

How does this announcement fit into Microsoft's bigger storage plans? According to Lorenson, Microsoft's goal is to make Windows Server the easiest, best performing, best priced platform to which to attach Direct Attached Storage (DAS), Network Attached Storage (NAS), iSCSI Storage Area Networks (SANs), and Fibre Channel SAN devices. Before Microsoft can achieve this vision, however, the company needs to meet some technical and educational challenges.

First, Microsoft doesn't support Microsoft Exchange Server or Microsoft SQL Server on Windows Storage Server 2003-based NAS devices. Today, your storage choices for these applications are limited to DAS and SANs. For SQL Server, the problem stems from a licensing restriction, not a technical limitation. In fact, Microsoft will tell you how to configure a small SQL Server installation on a non-Windows NAS platform. For Exchange Server, Microsoft must address both technical and licensing problems. Microsoft has stated that it will support Exchange on NAS in the future but recommends that you use DAS or SANs until then.

Second, the average Windows administrator still perceives SANs as being too complex. Currently, storage administrators, not Windows administrators, install most SANs. This perceived complexity is a huge challenge and opportunity for Microsoft. If Microsoft can convince Windows NT Server administrators, who are in charge of millions of NT servers, to buy and install a SAN or NAS device, Microsoft will create a huge new market for networked storage.

What's required for typical Windows administrators to consider buying NAS or a SAN? First, Microsoft needs to convince them that DAS costs more to maintain and wastes valuable disk storage. Second, Microsoft needs to convince them that installing NAS is easy. I've written on both of these subjects numerous times, and I believe the available evidence supports those claims. Third, Microsoft and its partners need to make SANs affordable, standardized, and fast enough for most small-to-midsized businesses. Finally, and most important, SANs must be easy for a typical Windows administrator to install. Translation: The installation needs to run from a Windows Server wizard interface, take fewer than 2 hours, and be hassle-free.

The iSCSI vendor community is addressing the affordability factor by leveraging commodity networking and storage hardware to deliver multiterabyte solutions at half the cost of their Fibre Channel SAN counterparts. The $15,000 1TB-2TB SAN will soon be a reality.

Microsoft is attacking the simplicity factor through Virtual Disk Service (VDS), which is part of Windows Server 2003 and Windows Storage Server 2003. SAN vendors can write VDS providers that give Windows access to SAN configuration features. Recently, SAN vendors have begun demonstrating Windows-based wizards that let administrators create and maintain LUNs on their SANs. Ultimately, a Windows administrator will be able to completely manage a SAN device without leaving Windows, thus mitigating the learning curve and decreasing the intimidation factor of dealing with SANs.

In the October 27 issue of Storage UPDATE, I wrote about the San Francisco Networking Technologies Users Group (SFNTUG) teaching its members how to install and configure an iSCSI SAN and connect it to Windows 2003 servers. (To read that issue of Storage UPDATE, click the second URL below.) In one 6-hour class, the SFNTUG installed the SAN and configured it for clustering, tested failover, and configured the SAN to support Exchange Server 2003. The audience consisted of Windows Server administrators, not storage specialists, showing that early adopters are starting to consider making iSCSI SANs part of their IT infrastructure.

As more iSCSI vendors adopt the Designed for Windows logo, they're playing a part in a larger plan to make Windows the best platform for networked storage. If Microsoft and its storage partners can make SANs and NAS simple and cheap enough for the average Windows administrator, the market for networked storage will really take off.

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2003/nov03/11-19leadingvendorsqualifypr.asp

http://www.winnetmag.com/article/articleid/40625/40625.html

==== 2. News and Views ====

by Keith Furman, [email protected]

Microsoft Announces iSCSI Storage Partners

Microsoft has announced that 14 storage vendors' Internet SCSI (iSCSI) products have qualified to work with Windows. All the products passed tests that were part of Microsoft's Designed for Windows Logo Program, which includes a category for iSCSI hardware and iSCSI host bus adapters (HBAs). In June, the software giant released iSCSI software that lets storage vendors more easily use iSCSI hardware in Windows. "Today's announcement is a major step forward in making IP storage networks more accessible and cost-effective for customers, with Microsoft's iSCSI Software Initiator as a prime driver," said Zane Adam, director of product management and marketing for Microsoft's Enterprise Storage Division. "We're pleased to be working with our storage-industry partners to bring iSCSI solutions to market."

The companies that have qualified their iSCSI hardware for use with Windows and are now part of the Designed for Windows Logo Program are Adaptec, Advanced Digital Information Corporation (ADIC), ATTO Technology, Cisco Systems, Crossroads Systems, EqualLogic, Intel, Intransa, LeftHand Networks, McDATA, Network Appliance (NetApp), QLogic, Spectra Logic, and Storageconnections.net. The qualification helps ensure interoperability and provide quality assurance for Windows customers, according to Microsoft.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/storage/iscsi.mspx

Gateway and HDS Enter SAN Alliance

Gateway and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) are working together to help Gateway become a player in the Storage Area Network (SAN) market. The companies have announced an alliance that will let Gateway resell HDS's Thunder 9500 V Series modular storage system and related software. Gateway's sales staff will market and sell the system to Gateway's customer base. The Thunder 9500 V Series features as much as 64TB of raw capacity, 7.4GBps of cached bandwidth, 1024 Virtual Storage Ports with secure multi-tenancy, and 2048 LUNs. "Our alliance with SAN industry leader Hitachi Data Systems will enable us to enhance our existing customer relationships, as well as compete against tier-one storage providers with an industry-proven enterprise storage solution," said Scott Weinbrandt, senior vice president and general manager of Gateway's Enterprise Systems Division.

Gateway also launched a new Serial ATA (SATA) RAID solution, a Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliance, and updated management software. The new Gateway 840 SATA RAID Enclosure supports as many as 12 hot-swappable 80GB, 160GB, or 250GB SATA drives, which can scale up to 3TB of data in a 2U (2.5") rack-mountable chassis. The Gateway 860 NAS appliance runs Windows Storage Server 2003 and can provide as much as 1TB of storage. Updated Gateway System Manager (GSM) 3.0 software ships with Gateway servers and provides easy management of Gateway systems through a Web interface.

http://www.gateway.com/business

==== 3. Announcements ====

(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

2004 Date Announced: Windows & .NET Magazine Connections

Windows & .NET Magazine Connections will be held April 4 to 7, 2004, in Las Vegas at the new Hyatt Lake Las Vegas Resort. Be sure to save these dates on your calendar. Early registrants will receive the greatest possible discount. For more information, call 203-268-3204 or 800-505-1201 or go online at

http://www.devconnections.com

Quick Answers for Microsoft Small Business Server

Is Small Business Server right for you? Do you need answers about how to set up Small Business Server? Learn about Small Business Server's key features, upgrade possibilities, and storage and find how-to guides, troubleshooting tips, forums, and more at Windows & .NET Magazine online.

http://www.winnetmag.com/smallbusinessserver

==== 4. Resource ====

Windows Server 2003 Stops Responding After You Install an Array Controller

After you install an array controller in your Windows 2003-based computer, your system might stop responding. If you're having this problem, you'll be glad to learn that a hotfix is available. For details about the problem and information about the hotfix, go to the following URL:

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=823728

==== 5. Event ====

(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

New--Microsoft Security Road Show!

Join industry guru Mark Minasi on this exciting 20-city tour and learn more about tips to secure your Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 network. There is no charge for this event, but space is limited, so register today! Sign up now for our December events.

http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/security2003dec

==== 6. New and Improved ====

by Renee Munshi, [email protected]

iSCSI Storage for Midrange Applications

SANRAD announces the general availability of V-Switch 3000. This new implementation of the Internet SCSI (iSCSI) V-Switch delivers IP data center capabilities to midrange applications by combining the functionality of a multiprotocol switch, storage virtualization engine, storage router, and SCSI/Fibre Channel bridging into an integrated solution. V-Switch 3000 includes a browser-based management GUI and is available through select resellers worldwide. Prices range from $15,000 to $25,000. For more information, see SANRAD's Web site.

http://sanrad.com

New Data-Replication Solution

Kashya unveiled the KBX4000, an enterprise-class disaster-recovery data-replication solution. The KBX4000 is based on the intelligent Kashya Data Protection Appliance, which connects to the SAN and IP infrastructure to provide bidirectional data replication across any distance for heterogeneous storage and server environments. Pricing for the KBX4000 data replication appliance starts at $25,000 for 0.25TB of replicated storage. For more information, visit Kashya's Web site.

http://www.kashya.com

Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a Windows & .NET Magazine T-shirt if we write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to [email protected]

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=========

==== 7. Contact Us ====

About the commentary -- [email protected]

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About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]

===============

Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

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