Microsoft moves into data storage industry

Microsoft is not the first company that comes to mind when you talk about storage, but the software giant is hoping to change that perception with the upcoming launch of of its data protection manager (DPM).

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By  Caroline Denslow Published  July 17, 2005

Microsoft is not the first company that comes to mind when you talk about storage, but the software giant is hoping to change that perception with the upcoming launch of of its data protection manager (DPM). DPM is a data backup and recovery solution that lets companies save information onto hard disks as opposed to tape systems. Microsoft plans to release the software in late September or early October, but a public beta version of DPM has been available since April, which has been distributed to 100,000 customers and downloaded 50,000 times, it claimed. Microsoft is rallying its channel partners for the upcoming launch and is integrating DPM into its advanced infrastructure partner programme (AIPP), which includes training and certification, and tools to help extol both the technology and business benefits of using DPM. Pricing for DPM will also be very competitive, with its entry-level version — consisting of one backup server and licenses to protect up to three file servers — costing an estimated price of US$950. Microsoft claims that with DPM and an accompanying server computer, it will cost customers less than US$5,000 to protect 1Tbytes of data, compared with competing systems that cost US$50,000. “This is a great opportunity, not only for smaller companies to get real protection for their valuable business data, but for the resellers out there as well,” said Microsoft’s Ben Matheson, group product manager in the management division. Once it is available in the market, it will compete directly with the recently merged Symatec-Veritas’ Backup Exec, but Symantec chief executive John Thompson said he’s not concerned. “We welcome them,” Thompson said at a press conference. “Beating up on Microsoft is going to be a hell of a lot of fun.”

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