Microsoft-Specific Storage Solutions Proliferate
- By Scott Bekker
Several software and hardware vendors in recent weeks unveiled storage solutions targeted at helping administrators with certain tasks in Microsoft .NET Enterprise Server and general Windows server environments.
Network Appliance Inc. and OTG Software extended storage solutions to Exchange 2000, CommVault Systems added support for Microsoft's SharePoint Portal Server, while Maxtor Corp. promised Windows-powered network attached storage solutions with two partners -- OTG and Legato Systems Inc.
The Exchange 2000 solutions from OTG and NetApp represent a slow but steady movement among vendors to support Exchange 2000. Users who want to upgrade from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2000 must implement an Active Directory structure first based on Windows 2000, and uptake has been relatively slow.
An official at one of the companies acknowledged that customer demand for Exchange 2000 solutions is light in terms of customers having already moved to Exchange 2000 or being in the middle of migrations. But customers are demanding Exchange 2000 support when considering new Exchange-based products, even if those customers haven't begun their upgrade from Exchange 5.5, the official said.
Network Appliance introduced SnapManager for Microsoft Exchange 2000 at Networld+Interop last week. Designed for use in conjunction with NetApp's NAS filers, the software offers a Windows 2000 interface for automating data backup, storage and recovery through snapshot technology.
OTG Software added support for Exchange 2000 to its EmailXtender product, which automatically captures messages and their attachments and routes them to alternate storage to free up message servers and client hard drives. The product already supported Exchange 5.5 and Lotus Domino.
OTG positions EmailXtender as a potential Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2000 migration aid. The company says moving an Exchange 5.5 message store to alternate storage via EmailXtender can minimize the need to convert large databases of old messages to the new messaging platform.
CommVault in late August became one of the few tools vendors specifically offering support for Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server, a relatively new .NET Enterprise Server having been released in late May.
CommVault Galaxy, a backup and recovery storage management tool, now protects SharePoint Portal Server dashboards, databases, indexes, documents, workspaces, log files, Microsoft search service and stores.
Maxtor, which launched a 5.7-TB capacity NAS filer built on Microsoft's Server Appliance Kit 2.0 at N+I last week, also announced two relationships with vendors for specific products to be delivered in the fourth quarter.
Maxtor is working with Legato to built a high-availability NAS solution out of Maxtor's MaxAttach NAS 4300 and NAS 6000 servers. Legato's technology will continuously replicate files between two MaxAttach NAS servers to prevent either server from becoming unavailable to clients in case of a failure or connection problem.
OTG is working with Maxtor on bringing its storage virtualization technology, sold as DiskXtender, to the MaxAttach storage servers. OTG's technology will allow Maxtor's servers to be pooled to allow administrators to add the storage capacities of several NAS devices into a larger virtual volume.
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.