Microsoft has unveiled the multipath input/output (I/O) interoperable standard for communication between third party-developed storage products and Windows Server.
Multipath I/O is the ability to use more than one physical path to access a storage device, and provides users with extra support points that can protect against data loss or system failure, according to Microsoft enterprise storage division senior VP Bob Muglia.
What this translates into is improved system reliability and availability via fault tolerance and/or load balancing of the I/O traffic, Muglia said.
“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,” Muglia explained.
Customers of third-party product vendors will have greater choice in putting together their storage systems because they can incorporate products from multiple vendors into a single, interoperable storage infrastructure.
Among the vendors to announce support for the initiative are LSI Logic, Agilent Technologies , Hitachi, EMC Corporation, Fujitsu, NEC , Veritas Software, Unisys and Seagate Technology.
LSI Logic also announced that its Fibre Channel enabling DSM and driver are now ready for storage vendors and OEM system builders who choose to participate in the MPIO program.
Device Specific Module (DSM) is the LSI Logic software enabler that ties together the Fibre Channel infrastructure and contains the information specific to the company’s devices necessary to interact with the higher-level MPIO software Microsoft provides.
“By introducing a Multipath I/O and set of drivers for the Windows platform and gaining early commitments from companies such as LSI Logic, we offer an even greater value proposition to our customers,” Microsoft enterprise storage division corporate VP Charles Stevens added.