Customers Gain Simplicity, Choice and Economic Value Through Industry Adoption of Microsoft Storage Innovations

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 27, 2003 — Today at Storage Networking World (SNW) Fall 2003, Microsoft Corp. announced the continued industry adoption of Windows
® storage technologies such as Virtual Disk Service (VDS), Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS), Multi-path Input/Output (MPIO), Storport and others. More than 75 storage software and hardware vendors have integrated these Microsoft®
storage innovations into their products. As a result, customers have a broad choice of more manageable and economical storage solutions. By adopting Windows storage technologies, storage area network (SAN) and network attached storage (NAS) companies, switch vendors, and backup and recovery software makers provide customers with improved data availability, more reliable data protection and lower total cost of storage systems.

“A year ago Microsoft clearly stated its goals to address customer need for simpler, more reliable and cost-effective storage solutions: improve Windows as a storage platform, foster industry partnerships and deliver new Microsoft storage products,” said Nancy Marrone-Hurley, senior analyst at Enterprise Storage Group. “Microsoft added a number of storage-centric features to Windows Server 2003, making this platform much easier to use in networked storage environments. By also leveraging these features into Windows Storage Server 2003, Microsoft is delivering on its promise to focus on the needs of partners and end users in the storage market.”

A prime example of how customers will see value in vendor adoption of Windows storage technologies is the industry initiative driven by QLogic Corp. to make SANs simpler and more affordable. Key to the initiative is Microsoft Virtual Disk Service, a Windows storage technology that provides customers with simplified management of multivendor SANs via a graphical user interface. With the support of HP, Intel Corp., LSI Logic Storage Systems, Microsoft and Seagate, QLogic is demonstrating new solutions at SNW that make it easier to deploy and manage SANs with Windows Server 2003. QLogic’s new products include its SAN Connectivity Kit for Windows Server 2003, a turnkey SAN in a box, and SANsurfer VDS Manager, a Windows-based application for SAN administration that uses VDS.

SAN security is another area in which Microsoft is working with industry vendors and benefiting storage customers. Cisco Systems Inc. today extended its fabricwide security features by adopting the Microsoft implementation of Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) protocol and directory services. An Internet Engineering Task Force standard, RADIUS is implemented in the Internet Authentication Service (IAS) component of Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003, providing simplified and enhanced security management of users and devices. Cisco joins SAN infrastructure vendors Brocade Communications Systems Inc., McData Corp. and QLogic, which previously announced their support for Microsoft RADIUS. Cisco and McData are both demonstrating SAN security solutions that use Microsoft RADIUS at SNW this week.

Investments in Customer Success With Windows Storage Server 2003

Microsoft also announced today that it has jointly launched with Quest Software Inc. the Storage Optimization Offering. The program includes an analytics software utility and an online return on investment (ROI) calculator, which enable IT professionals to accurately measure the ROI they will receive by consolidating servers with Windows Storage Server 2003 and Quest FastLane Consolidator. Once the calculation is complete, participants can refer to an accompanying Recommendations Guide to interpret results. The Storage Optimization Offering is available for download at no charge* at .

In addition, Microsoft recently posted an online skills assessment, Implementing and Managing Windows Storage Server 2003. Available at , the assessment provides a free analysis of Windows Storage Server 2003 knowledge and a personalized learning plan to improve skills. A new online training clinic for implementing and managing Windows Storage Server 2003 is available as well, at .

About the Microsoft Enterprise Storage Division

Microsoft’s Enterprise Storage Division was formed to bring greater focus to Microsoft’s customers’ increasingly complex storage requirements. The division is focused on three primary objectives: to make Windows a better platform for storage, to catalyze the industry to develop innovative storage solutions, and to bring to market Microsoft storage products. Additional information on Microsoft’s storage offerings can be found at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

* Connect-time charges may apply for download.

Microsoft, Windows and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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