Microsoft Delivers Multipath I/O Support for Storage Devices

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Microsoft today announced broad industry support for its interoperable Multipath Input/Output (I/O) technology. Leading enterprise storage vendors including EMC, HP, Fujitisu and LSI Logic have committed to developing products that will use Multipath I/O. According to Microsoft, customers will experience increased levels of system availability and performance through load-balancing and interoperability of third-party storage products. Multipath I/O will be enabled through third-party storage solutions providers and will be supported by Windows 2000 Server and the forthcoming Windows .NET Server 2003.

“With the introduction of Microsoft’s Multipath I/O, we are building on the dependability of Windows Server. Today’s announcement is the latest evidence of Microsoft’s commitment to work with the storage industry to make Windows Server the best platform for creating, managing and deploying storage solutions and at the same time improving the experience for our customers,” said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Enterprise Storage Division at Microsoft. “With this initiative, we’re providing a common framework to improve the interoperability of hardware storage solutions while making it faster and less expensive for our partners to deliver high-quality storage solutions on the Windows Server platform.”

Multipath I/O is the ability to use more than one physical path to access a storage device, providing improved system reliability and availability via fault tolerance and/or load balancing of the I/O traffic. In the case of storage management, where the preservation of data is vital, multipath I/O provides extra support points that can protect against data loss or system failure. The introduction of Microsoft’s Multipath I/O delivers a standard and interoperable path for communication between storage products and Windows Server.

Leading enterprise storage vendors have endorsed Microsoft’s Multipath I/O by announcing their commitment to release products that utilize the technology. Supporting vendors include 3PARdata, Agilent Technologies, Egenera, EMC, Emulex, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, LSI Logic, Maranti Networks, NEC, Network Appliance, oPoet, PolyServe, QLogic, Rhapsody Networks, Seagate, Stratus Technologies Bermuda, Unisys, VERITAS, Vicom Systems and XIOtech.

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