EMC, Microsoft Partner for Storage

The JointSupport Queue, a partnership between Microsoft and the server vendors that sellDatacenter Server machines, gained quite a bit of attention in the week after thelaunch of the high-end Windows server. The storage end of Datacenter Server,however, has gone overlooked.

AtSeptember’s Datacenter Server launch in San Francisco, Microsoft and storagegiant EMC announced two products for high-end Windows environments: EMCExtractor and EMC ResourcePak for Windows.

“Microsoftis leveraging technology in EMC’s space that is time-tested and time-proven,”says Mike Killian, senior technologist at EMC. Killian believes Microsoft isprudent to partner with EMC, since EMC has a broad range of experienceproviding storage solution in the enterprise. Since Microsoft is attempting tocompete with Unix and mainframe vendors with its Datacenter Server line, it islogical that it would partner with a company that provides storage products forthose environments.

Killian isconfident about Datacenter Server and the future of Windows in the enterprise,saying simply, “We’re not going to build stuff that’s not going to sell.”Although EMC’s history of partnerships with Microsoft might suggest thatMicrosoft drove EMC to support Datacenter Server, Killian says the user, notRedmond, is the driving factor for EMC’s Windows initiative. “This is acritical market space of us; our customers are adopting it,” he says.

SteveDuplessie, an analyst at Enterprise Storage Group, says Microsoft has quite abit to gain from the partnership, as well. “[Datacenter] isn’t going to happenuntil you have a rock-solid data infrastructure,” he says.

SinceMicrosoft is still in many ways working up from the desktop into the high-enddata center space, it may lack credibility with users. “Microsoft needs topartner with hardware companies that have respect in the data center,”Duplessie says.

Killianagrees that administrators of large scale projects will not tolerate an iota offlakiness: “The data center guys don’t stand mistakes very well, they don’tstand bugs, they don’t stand downtime,” he says emphatically. Killian believesthe EMC partnership will abate some administrators’ anxieties surrounding a Windowsdeployment in the data center.

EMCExtractor allows Windows users to extract information from databases stored onEMC Symmetrix storage systems. A central server authorizes a user to grab thedata, then the client machine can access it directly from storage by passingthe server. It is based on the industry standard OLE DB interface.

The EMCResource Pak contains a number of storage management products for Windows,TimeFinder/SQL Server Integration Module, TimeFinder/Exchange IntegrationModule, TimeFinder Setup Wizard, Data Relocation Utility, and SymmetrixIntegration Utilities.

TheTimeFinder suite is EMC’s back up and recovery product for its storage line.The TimeFinder modules in ResourcePak provide tight integration between TimeFinderand Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or Microsoft Exchange 2000.

Killianbelieves that the greatest benefit that EMC may derive from the Windowsplatform is Windows traditional attraction -- usability. “We plan to continueto make our products as easy to use as possible,” he says. “That’s one thing NTand Windows 2000 has promised to the industry and that’s one thing we promiseto do as well.”

Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash., www.microsoft.com
EMC Corp., Hopkinton, Mass., www.emc.com