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Simple Strategy

6:00 PM -- Get ready for a parade of rollouts for those paradoxically titled "Simple SANs" that Microsoft and its storage partners have been promising for months.

IP SAN vendor EqualLogic got the ball rolling today, breathlessly declaring itself the first iSCSI vendor with a Simple SAN. (See EqualLogic Bumps Up Support.) At least one Fibre Channel vendor will follow next week.

The term Simple SAN isnt brand new -- Microsoft began listing vendors certified for the program last October. (See Microsoft Sets Sights on SANs.) Now those products are becoming available.

But what exactly is a Simple SAN? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?

Simple SAN vendors say their wares have been tailored to take advantage of Windows Server 2003 R2 and can be set up in less than an hour. In EqualLogic’s case, for instance, the vendor upgraded firmware for its PS Series array and added a Windows integration kit consisting of a CD the vendor says can provision a Windows server in less than five minutes.

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