Microsoft, McData Draft Data Center Blueprint

Software giant Microsoft and storage specialist McData will partner to provide enterprise customers with a data center blueprint.

The collaboration’s end result will take the form of a a set of recommendations, standards and tested configurations for a corporate data center’s IT infrastruture.

The guidelines, dubbed Microsoft Systems Architecture (MSA), will, of course advocate the products and services of Microsoft and its partners. In the case of McData, this means its Sphereon 3000 series fabric switches, which connect servers to storage devices on corporate networks.

“McDATA and Microsoft share a common vision of providing customers with tested, supported solutions that deliver the highest evels of availability, scalability, security and manageability,” said Mike Gustafson, a senior vice president with Broomfield, Colo.-based McData.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but inclusion in Microsoft’s preferred list can only improve McData’s enterprise prospects.

The alliance with Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, is the second piece of good news for McData in the new year. Earlier, the company said fourth-quarter sales would exceed earlier forecasts.

Others storage players, including EMC , also previewed stronger-than-expected earnings, an encouraging sign that the market may be ready to rebound in 2003. McData is an EMC spinout company.

At the same time, however, a new threat is arising from Cisco Systems. The networking giant said this week that IBM would begin selling its new storage system switch.

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