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Microsoft VP Sounds Off on SAN Security

SANs can't advance until they get more secure, according to the executive in charge of storage software at Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT).

"SANs are not secure," says Charles Stevens, corporate VP of Microsoft's Enterprise Storage Division, in an interview with Byte and Switch today. "You can get a password and get on... Protecting security and identity on a SAN is key to making SANs more widespread and ubiquitous."

Stevens's sentiments are hardly new. Thanks in part to some high-profile break-ins related to storage, SAN security has moved to the forefront of storage networking issues, with a bevy of hardware and software solutions offered to tackle the problem from various aspects (see SAN Security and Startups Focus on Secret SANs).

Microsoft's focus has been on extending the Radius (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service) security it has in its Windows Server 2003 software into Windows Storage Server 2003, Microsoft's server operating system designed to consolidate and manage storage for file and print servers (see Microsoft Raises NAS Roof).

Stevens says Microsoft is still working with Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA), and QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC), among others, to tie their switch interfaces into Radius-based security in the Windows Server 2003.

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