Storage Begins to Take Shape at Microsoft

Microsoft officially began to expose its enterprise storage business plan Wednesday afternoon with the launch of a new site.

Microsoft Corp. officially began to expose its enterprise storage business plan Wednesday afternoon.

The dozen-employee division, being led by Bob Muglia, senior vice president enterprise storage services group, is currently looking within Microsoft for existing storage initiatives that may exist in silos, according to Chris Phillips, business manager of the companys recently created Enterprise Storage Division.

"We take a strategic role across lots of organizations within Microsoft," Phillips said.

Microsoft also launched its enterprise storage Web site at today, a company spokeswoman added.

Though Muglia gave a keynote address at the Storage Networking World tradeshow Wednesday in Desert Springs, Calif., he spoke little about Microsofts storage plans.

In fact, according to Phillips, Microsoft has no plans to officially announce the group. But some of their intentions are public. For example, according the companys Web site, the storage group under Muglia explores, "file systems, network attached storage (NAS), storage area networks (SAN), backup, continuous availability and storage resource management."

In addition, at its Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in Seattle later this month, Microsoft will discuss plans to integrate storage and a light version of the SQL Server next-generation database, code-named Yukon. Fibre Channel and RAID drivers, iSCSI support, data shadowing, backup technology, and an API for host-bus adapters are also on the agenda for discussion at the event.

One trend Microsoft is paying attention to is that of hardware vendors entering the software arena of object-based storage. "Microsoft thinks that we can do a lot of innovation... extending XML or metadata around storage," Phillips said. "So we believe that thats a natural evolution."