Microsoft Puts iSCSI Support in Windows on Hold

Users who plan to upgrade to Microsoft's next OS server--Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) 2003 (see first URL below)--shouldn't expect native support for Internet SCSI (iSCSI), according to a Microsoft executive. At Storage Networking World in Orlando, Florida, Zane Adam, director of product management and marketing for Microsoft's Enterprise Storage Division, said that Microsoft won't be including an iSCSI drive in the upcoming OS. Many users had hoped that the company would include a native driver, but the lack of a finalized iSCSI standard has put those plans on hold. According to Adam, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) hasn't officially ratified the iSCSI protocol, and Microsoft doesn't want to include prestandard support (see second URL below).

"Yes, we'll support it," Adam said. "We always said we'll support it. But the ship vehicle will depend on when \[iSCSI\] is ratified ... and we'd rather wait for the standard." Microsoft expects IETF to ratify the standard by the end of the year; company support will follow soon afterward. Microsoft expects to ship support through a Web download or in a future service pack. For now, customers who want to use iSCSI will have to continue to use third-party drivers.

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