Here is a very brief outline of the history of the Windows Storage Server product line and a feature breakdown for each edition.
Once upon a time, right around January 2002, Microsoft saw a trend that has yet to stop: the massive growth of electronic data, far from unlimited storage space and an ecosystem of proprietary management tools. Soon after that realization, we created the Enterprise Storage Division. This division took responsibility for testing and developing the storage version of Microsoft's Windows Server Appliance Kit (SAK), which was renamed Windows-powered NAS.
In April of 2003, Windows Server 2003 was released, and it quickly became one of the most widely used server operating systems in the world. In June of 2003, Microsoft announced a new, more powerful version of our NAS platform: Windows Storage Server 2003 which was built on the Windows Server 2003 foundation.
In December of 2005, Microsoft announced a significant upgrade called Windows Storage Server 2003 R2. The release highlighted several key features, including Single Instance Storage (SIS), SMB and NFS improvements, Storage Manager for SANs, DFS Replication, an index-based full-text search engine, file-serving performance tweaks and a collection of MMC snap-ins to manage it all. It was all based on the award-winning Windows Server 2003 R2 upgrade. The release contained four editions (Express, Workgroup, Standard and Enterprise), see below for a chart outlining which features are in each edition.
Shortly after this release, in early spring of 2006, Microsoft acquired String Bean Software, which included the WinTarget iSCSI software target. We quickly repackaged the code into a new product from Microsoft called the iSCSI Target Application Pack. This could be optionally installed on Windows Storage Server and was available from our OEM partners under a separate license. The package also contained VSS and VDS providers that could be installed on application servers. The VDS providers allow application servers to carve up storage and map it to the server without having to go directly to the storage server to do the administration. Windows Storage Servers suddenly became popular for use as an a gateway to a SAN using the iSCSI Target (using the raw storage blocks on a shared SAN and serving them up as SMB or NFS file shares).
A few months later, we introduced an update to our management UI in a release called the Integrated Management Pack. This introduced a new initial configuration task interface with command-line support, a new Out of box Experience (OOBE), an updated share and storage provisioning console and a brand new Java-based Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) applet that gives Unix and Linux users a way to get a full-screen desktop of a Windows Server. The new RDP client was a really cool addition and made managing Windows Storage a snap in non-Windows environments.
At the same time as the management pack was released we came out with a new product called Windows Unified Data Storage Server 2003. This was a combination of the three previous releases; Windows Storage Server 2003 R2, the iSCSI Target, and the new management pack.
In August of 2007 we provided an update to the platform that we called the WUDSS Refresh, even though it actually applies to both WSS and WUDSS. This package contained several key features:
*WSS = Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 WUDSS = Windows Unified Data Storage Server 2003
We are working hard on the next version of Windows Storage Server and I'll be outlining that product in a future blog.
Other Links and Resources
Thanks for reading this far! Next week, I'm going to do another post about Windows Storage Server.
Scott Johnson added another post to the Storage Server blog, this time focusing on the History of the
How soon can we expect Storage Server 2008 details?
Waiting eagerly to find out what your team will unleash on the world!
Here is a free version of iSCSI Target, named iStorage Server:
It is powerful and beautiful
It would be really helpful if you would post a chart like this for Storage Server 2008 - so far I have not been able to find exactly what the differences are between versions. Thanks!
StarWind iSCSI Target is 100% FREE and has high all the enterprise level features for SMB price.
kernsafe target is "meke in China" crap :)