Continuing its efforts to make Windows a storage-friendly platform, Microsoft Corp has unveiled the storage management features that will be part of the coming updates to Windows 2003, including a “quasi SRM” tool, WAFS-style services, and SharePoint collaboration software.
Some of the new features will appear only in Release 2 of Windows Storage Server 2003 – the version of Windows mostly tailored to power NAS boxes – while others will appear in the release and in Release 2 of the general purpose Windows Server 2003. Both operating systems will ship to hardware makers before the year-end, and reach customers in the first quarter.
What Microsoft itself describes as a quasi-SRM tool will ship in both releases, and will be a basic storage management product aimed at SMBs, replacing the W Quinn-developed SRM software that Microsoft currently OEMs from Symantec.
Called File Service Resource Manager, the Microsoft code will set user and directory quotas, apply filters to contraband files such as music files, and report on file usage and access histories.
More will come later, as Microsoft said that it will develop its SRM software for the Longhorn release of Windows, due to ship in 2007. Third-party software developers will be able to exploit the software functions of the software via an API. Microsoft also said that it may develop a visual SAN topology function.
SharePoint Services is the product name for Microsoft’s version control software, which will be added to Windows Storage Server 2003 Release 2. Microsoft said that around 28% of data stored in NAS devices consist of shared files or collaboration documents.
Both the server and storage versions of Windows 2003 Release 2 will incorporate differential compression software for copying of data from branch offices to data centers, sending only data changes. Is this WAFS? Yes, says Microsoft, but only because WAFS is so poorly defined.