Microsoft Teams with EMC on Reliability

EMC Corp. and Microsoft Corp. today announced an alliance designed to help organizations build and deploy highly reliable, available and manageable business solutions using Windows 2000 Server.

Deborah Willingham, vice president of Windows marketing at Microsoft (, says that reliability has overthrown scalability as the most important issue facing IT departments today.

To increase Windows 2000 reliability, the companies will combine Windows 2000, storage solutions and services from EMC (, and end-to-end solutions and services from EMC’s Data General division.

As part of the alliance, Data General is offering a 99.9 percent uptime service guarantee for Windows 2000, Exchange Server, SQL Server 7.0 and NT 4.0, enhancing its high-availability solutions for customers running their mission-critical operations on Microsoft enterprise platforms. This uptime service guarantee will cover clustered Data General servers running Windows 2000 Advanced Server or Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, when it becomes available around the middle of this year.

Dwight Davis, an analyst with Summit Strategies pointed out that Data General offered a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee for Windows NT 4.0 and, since Windows 2000 is supposed to be more reliable, the uptime guarantee for it should increase beyond three nines.

"We’re all focused on driving reliability and availability," says Bob Dutkowski, president of EMC’s Data General division.

In cases where the uptime guarantee is not met, officials said, customers will be given credit on their accounts, depending on the size of the systems they use and the duration of downtime.

Under terms of the agreement, the companies will develop and market storage networking solutions for Windows NT Server and Windows 2000 using EMC storage systems and software. The alliance will also deliver a suite of packaged, end-to-end solutions combining Data General’s "In-a-Box" products, Cluster-in-a-Box, Exchange-in-a-Box and TermServer-in-a-Box.

To help customers upgrade from Exchange Server 5.5 to Exchange 2000 Server and establish highly available, scalable and manageable Exchange messaging and collaboration environments, the companies will develop and market integrated solutions using servers and services from Data General as well as EMC’s storage solutions and services.

Microsoft has similar uptime agreements with a number of other hardware vendors regarding Windows NT 4.0, but the companies claim this is the first such uptime agreement for Windows 2000. Microsoft also has an existing agreement with EMC, and today’s agreement is an extension of that.

"In the case of this alliance, the enhancement is the addition of storage products," Microsoft’s Willingham says. -- Thomas Sullivan

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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