Today at Storage Networking World Spring 2006, Microsoft Corp. announced further progress toward its Universal Distributed Storage commitment with the availability of Microsoft® Windows® Storage Server 2003 R2 through original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). In addition, Microsoft announced the availability of software-enabled Storage Area Network (SAN) boot of Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003 using Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) technology that was co-developed with IBM Corp. The company also highlighted new partner solutions within the Simple SAN for Windows Server Program.
On that latter item, although IBM shed its consumer PC division, they are still a big player in Windows servers. More details:
Today Microsoft announced support for software-enabled SAN boot of Windows using iSCSI and standard network interface cards (NICs), a technology co-developed by Microsoft and IBM. This implementation was piloted with IBM and will be published publicly for implementation by other Microsoft partners to develop iSCSI software-enabled boot solutions.
Lucas Mearian at Computerworld has more information on why this is a good thing.