DataCore waves the flag for Windows 2003

But brings a long spoon to dinner

DataCore has reaffirmed its ties to Microsoft, releasing version 5.2 of its SANsymphony storage management software which makes use of new storage-related features in Windows Server 2003.

"It means we can run on and serve to Windows 2003," says Chris Lentz, DataCore's European technical product marketing manager. He says the advantage for DataCore is it does not have to do any client-side code: everything simply talks to the application programming interfaces that Microsoft has provided.

The key storage APIs are multi-path I/O (MPIO), virtual disk service (VDS) and volume shadow-copy services (VSS).They allow applications to request storage according to the quality of service needed, and have it provided from pools managed by SANsymphony, Lentz adds.

Some have criticised DataCore for its reliance on Wintel platforms. Other vendors prefer Linux on Intel, for example FalconStor and IBM, while Brocade and Cisco have developed application-capable intelligent SAN switches.

Lentz responds to the latter by pointing out that as soon as you add functionality to a commodity switch, you drive up its cost and complexity. "You'll never get the price/performance of an Intel device," he says. "We've transformed the Wintel platform into the fastest storage controller around"

On the Windows side, DataCore's European operations veep Francis Glorie ackowledges that Microsoft has a history of replicating or taking over complementary software, but believes it will be some time before Redmond can match SANsymphony.

"It carries all the risks and fears of dealing with Microsoft," he says. "But we are in a very good position. Yes, eventually they'll do it all, but we can benefit for a good time in between and then maybe sell up at the end." ®

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