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Microsoft Likes Fibre Channel, Too

PHOENIX -- Storage Networking World -- In a small departure from its party line, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) included Fibre Channel SAN tools in enhancements announced here at the Storage Networking World tradeshow today.

The Fibre Channel tools are part of Microsoft's effort to broaden its support of all types of networked storage -- though iSCSI and NAS still get most of the vendor's attention. Microsoft's announcements at the show include:

  • Fibre Channel configuration and troubleshooting tools in Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2003. Microsoft will consolidate tracing and logging information into one file so customers can find problems quicker. Microsoft also is making software available as a free download to help configure Fibre Channel devices on SANs with multiple vendors.
  • Support for iSCSI via qualification on Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition -- the only edition of Windows 2003 server that did not support iSCSI. Now thirteen iSCSI vendors have qualified devices for Datacenter, says Microsoft.
  • Built-in failover and load balancing support in Microsoft's iSCSI Initiator 2.0, a driver and support package for Windows servers that is expected by the end of the year.
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