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Microsoft Brings More Storage Functionality To Windows

Microsoft is bringing more storage functions to its Windows platform, adding NAS support back into Exchange Server and making SAN-specific enhancements to Windows Server 2003.

On the NAS side, the Redmond, Wash., company this week is unveiling a new Feature Pack that allows database and log file data from Exchange Server to be stored on NAS appliances running Windows Storage Server 2003, said Marcus Schmidt, senior product manager.

The vendor recently decided to reinstate NAS support for Exchange with its latest version, said Schmidt. "Exchange supported NAS in version 5.5," he said. "But when the company moved to Windows 2000, we said Exchange could only be supported on a SAN or via direct-attach. Now the new version of Exchange that's just out supports NAS and SCSI. ... So we came out with a Feature Pack to make sure it happens [with Windows Storage Server 2003]."

For OEMs building NAS appliances on the operating system, the Feature Pack is expected to ship in the next 60 to 90 days, said Schmidt. At that time, ISVs will also be able to incorporate NAS support for Exchange in their applications, he said.

Solution providers will have opportunities to consolidate Exchange on fewer storage devices or consolidate data into fewer Exchange databases, Schmidt said.

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