Microsoft's newest NAS operating system, Windows Storage Server (WSS) 2003 R2, is now in the hands of its OEM partners and includes a number of new features.
With R2, WSS now includes native iSCSI target support, the ability to boot from select iSCSI SAN arrays and a bundling of Microsoft's SharePoint collaboration suite. To improve performance, the image
Microsoft sends its partners has been tuned to give users the best file-serving performance.
A more futuristic feature is native full-text indexing. While CPU-intensive, "our customers tell us that people spend too much time looking for information," says Claude Lorenson, group product manager for Microsoft's storage division.
But the feature Lorenson believes will attract the most users to WSS R2 by far is single-instance storage, which does file-level de-duplication. He says that Microsoft turned on single-instance storage on some internal file shares, and saw a capacity reduction of approximately 40%.