Microsoft Continues to Deliver on its Universal Distributed Storage Vision with Data Protection Manager 2007

DALLAS, Oct. 17, 2007 – Data protection and data storage strategies are vital to planning for any business’ future. To address customers’ needs to efficiently store, manage and protect their data, Microsoft announced its Universal Distributed Storage (UDS) vision in 2006. Universal Distributed Storage is Microsoft’s commitment to deliver affordable storage solutions that are built on industry-standard hardware and provide high-end storage functionality via a multitude of partners. As part of this strategy, Microsoft is adding System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 (DPM) to its storage solutions portfolio.

Ted Kummert, Corporate Vice President, Data and Storage Platform Division at Microsoft

To help mark the release to manufacturing of DPM 2007, Ted Kummert, corporate vice president of the Data and Storage Platform Division at Microsoft, spoke at Storage Networking World about the company’s commitment to its customers and to the storage industry. PressPass spoke with Kummert to get a better understanding of Microsoft’s vision and the role of its partners in bringing that strategy to fruition.

PressPass: What did you discuss today during your keynote at Storage Networking World keynote?

Kummert: Today at Storage Networking World we reinforced our commitment to storage to our customers and partners and highlighted some specific examples of how we’re continuing to deliver on our UDS vision with our products and partners.

As we continue to build software that delivers enterprise-class storage functionality to business of all sizes, partners play a crucial role in bringing these solutions to our customers. The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) also plays an important hand in bringing the industry together to dialogue with our customers and with each other on how we can collectively address our customers’ need for cost-effective storage solutions. While we as an industry have come a long way, we still have a ways to go. In my keynote, I discussed our vision and what we are doing to accomplish this objective.

Specific to our growing portfolio of storage solutions, we also announced the release to manufacturing of DPM 2007. DPM 2007 is designed to be the new standard for Windows data protection, delivering continuous data protection for Microsoft applications and file servers using seamlessly integrated disk and tape media. The work that went in to creating DPM 2007 demonstrates our commitment to the storage industry – to provide solutions that set the bar for affordability, scalability and ease of use.

PressPass: Can you tell us more about Microsoft’s Universal Distributed Storage (UDS) strategy, and what role does System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 play within that strategy?

Kummert: UDS is our commitment to make enterprise-class storage functionality affordable and available to companies of all sizes. To make that happen, we work closely with a multitude of partners that help ensure our Windows storage technologies are compatible with industry standards and the needs of customers who have deployed our products. Furthermore, we have made key investments in several areas, including: scalable storage supporting file and block, internet small computer system interface (iSCSI), storage management and continuous data protection.

Consistent with our strategy, DPM 2007 brings such enterprise-class capabilities as protecting a broad ecosystem of workloads – files and applications, including SQL Server, Exchange Server and SharePoint Portal Server – under a common framework. In addition, we also added enterprise-class capabilities such as recovery from disk and archive to tape. With DPM 2007 we also went one step further to design the protection from inside-out, so it would appeal to administrators of specific workloads.

PressPass: Microsoft announced Windows Unified Data Storage Server 2003 (WUDSS) last year as the center piece of its UDS strategy. What is the market’s reaction to the product?

Kummert: The development of WUDSS – and our investments in iSCSI – was in direct response to customer requests for a storage solution that provides easy to manage file and block storage at a low total cost of ownership. We have worked with a number of partners including Dell, HP and Intel to bring these solutions to market. Its reception to date, with customers and within the partner community, has validated our position.

We are excited about this platform. We will continue to focus on improving the scalability and manageability of the platform, and enabling it for a broad range of customer scenarios, ranging from archiving to near-line storage for applications.

PressPass: You mentioned the expanded partnerships with for Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 and Windows Unified Data Storage Server 2003 (WUDSS). Can you elaborate a bit more on the partners who are announcing solutions at SNW?

Kummert: We have been working closely with our partners to drive broad adoption of both Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 and WUDSS. We are seeing great returns on this investment as we expand our partner ecosystem to address a wide variety of customer scenarios, ranging from Hitachi’s unified storage systems for the small and medium business market to the archiving solutions from ProStor Systems.

In addition, we also see partners such as Sanbolic that are building solutions on Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 and that provide ease of integration with existing infrastructures or heterogeneous file-serving environments. Such solutions address the needs of small- and medium-sized businesses, and improve the performance and availability for large, clustered, network-attached storage and virtual server solutions.

These are just a few of the examples of Microsoft’s UDS vision in action, and we will continue to build our partner ecosystem to meet customers’ needs and deliver on our commitment to the storage industry.

PressPass: Can you tell us more about how Microsoft is driving interoperability with storage vendors to ensure customers have a good experience with the Windows Platform?

Kummert: We take interoperability very seriously at Microsoft and believe we have an important role in fostering interoperability industry-wide. Towards that end, we have multiple initiatives in place across the company to ensure that our products work well with other industry-leading products.

In the storage industry, we make every effort to provide open, published infrastructure components, and work with our industry partners that want to access and license our protocol programs.

Our customer-focused Simple SAN program is designed to help partners put together solutions that include multiple technologies. As part of the process, we help our partners such as Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM and EqualLogic, among others, with the testing and diagnosis of their solutions. Consequently, customers can rest assured that they have a storage and data protection solution that is fully-tested, fully-constructed, easy-to-deploy and interoperable with the other technology running on their networks.

Our partners are at the center of all of our efforts in storage and they play a critical role in providing affordable, scalable and reliable storage functionality for customers of all sizes.

PressPass: What can partners and customers expect as the Universal Distributed Storage vision unfolds?

Kummert: Microsoft is committed to the storage industry and its vision of Universal Distributed Storage also embodies the strategy through which we will meet customers’ needs. We will continue to focus on delivering storage capabilities in the Windows platform that our partners can build upon, and which customers can integrate with their Microsoft investments.

Furthermore, the expertise of our many partners will help ensure that storage solutions built on the Windows platform support industry standards, and also support the important work of the SNIA in driving greater interoperability throughout the storage industry.

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