One of the biggest questions leading up to the launch of Windows Server 2008 was whether it would get enough networking support from third-party vendors. After all, even if it turns out to be the greatest platform ever created, it won't be much help if it can't communicate with the rest of the enterprise, particularly storage.
But those fears were laid to rest this week as a host of storage and networking vendors came out in full support of the new system on their latest, cutting-edge product lines.
Emulex, for one, is throwing the weight of its LightPulse Fibre Channel HBA at both Windows and SQL Server 2008 environments. Windows users will be able to extend the Hyper-V potion of the system to virtualize SAN connections, giving each VM independent access to storage. Emulex will also support the Message-Signaled Interrupts (MSI) and MSI-Extended (MSI-X) standards to provide individual HBAs with their own set of interrupts, said to improve application performance and CPU efficiency some 30 percent.
QLogic is also stepping up to the plate, offering a set of its Fibre Channel HBAs that are optimized to take advantage of hardware-assist technology within Hyper-V.
Additional SAN management will be available from developers like Sanbolic, which is tossing its Melio and LaScala 2008 systems into the Windows ring. With the two suites, users will see simplified management of virtual machines by storing them on a common LUN and allowing shared access to data across multiple servers.
NetApp is on board as well, vowing broad Windows and SQL integration across its storage and data management systems. The mix includes NetApp's storage and migration solutions, application test and development, business continuity, consolidation and backup and recovery systems.
Enterprise environments have become so organic that no one, not even the mighty Microsoft, can exist in a vacuum. At least with formal integration agreements, there's less chance of that all-too-familiar finger-pointing if systems don't work as promised.