Dell Computer (NASDAQ: DELL) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced on Wednesday the availability of a unified, networked storage system for file and application data for businesses of all sizes.

The companies say the Dell PowerVault NX1950 with Microsoft Windows Unified Data Storage Server 2003 goes beyond traditional network-attached storage solutions, the companies said, offering performance at affordable pricing.

Network storage solutions are typically large and expensive, reserved for large corporations or governments.

At Dell and Microsoft, we’ve listened to our customers and designed a system for a market segment that historically has been under-served and overcharged, said Darren Thomas, a Dell general manager. Dell and Microsoft share a vision of redefining the economics of the storage industry through simplicity, affordability and capability.

The PowerVault includes single or two-node cluster configurations featuring a redundant SAS-based back-end storage array, scaling up to 45 drives.

Windows Unified Data Storage Server 2003 is a new Microsoft storage platform providing an advanced file server and IP SAN (iSCSI) capabilities, as well as unified management tools for easy deployment and maintenance in heterogeneous environments.

The system starts at $17,000, and are available now, the company said.

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