Microsoft Makes Its Play for the Network Attached Storage Market

By Joel Shore  |  Posted 2004-01-29

With Windows Storage Server, Microsoft Corp. aims to boost reliability and slash costs as it gears up efforts to make NAS attractive to SMB segment.

The companys Enterprise Storage Division, launched in January 2002, has three powerful tools on its side in that endeavor. One is Windows Storage Server (WSS) 2003, a third-generation operating system optimized for file and print serving.

Second is a series of high-profile vendors, including Computer Associates, EMC Corp., Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Hewlett-Packard Corp., and IBM Corp., supporting WSS. And third is a growing legion of solution providers selling into the small and medium business (SMB) marketplace.

"What we set out to do is dramatically slash the cost of network attached storage (NAS) to make the technology attractive to the tens of thousands of businesses that need it but couldnt afford it in the past," said Zane Adam, Director of Product Management and Marketing in Microsofts Enterprise Storage Division (ESD).

"There were a lot of storage vendors charging what Microsoft believed was too much for NAS and we saw an opportunity to offer a solution at a much lower cost," he added.

Whereas multi-terabyte NAS solutions historically were priced at 15 cents to 18 cents per megabyte, Microsoft and its hardware partners have brought that cost down to 1 cent to 3 cents per megabyte, according to data provided by Microsoft.

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