The VDS plugfest is almost done now... The most interesting part is the new VDS 1.1 feature set, which extends storage management capabilities to iSCSI and MPIO deployments.

http://www.infostor.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?ARTICLE_ID=235991&p=23

Claude Lorenson, group product manager for storage technology in Microsoft's Windows Server Division, says that vendors will be able to earn the "Designed for Windows" logo, which will be important for the new Windows Server 2003 R2 feature, Storage Manager for SANs.

"The big driver for the storage vendors is ease of use and simplicity," says Lorenson. "SANs are typically viewed as complicated and difficult to support, so making things simpler in terms of management and deployment for Windows administrators, as opposed to a storage experts, is very important."

Other key features and functions of VDS include:
- A management protocol that allows administrators to extend or delete LUNs in storage arrays at the hardware level;
- The ability to monitor the health of LUNs in case data corruption starts to occur;
- A protocol that exposes the inner working of storage arrays to the operating system; and
- The capability to provision a SAN regardless of which vendor's product is on the back-end, providing users with more freedom in terms of the vendors they choose.

FYI - If you want to look at the VDS API, you can download to the VDS SDK 1.1 at https://www.microsoftstoragepartners.com. (you need to create a user account, but it's free).