Microsoft's Windows Datacenter Server has been about more than technology features since its launch in late 2000. Fittingly, the tightly controlled support program that makes Datacenter Server so different from other Microsoft server operating systems is getting a complete overhaul for the Windows Server 2003 launch. Microsoft unveiled details of the program Wednesday, including the new name, the "Windows Datacenter High Availability Program."
Microsoft launched Windows 2000 Datacenter Server along with the Windows Datacenter Program in September 2000, about six months after the launch of the other versions of Windows 2000. In addition to being far more scalable than any previous Microsoft server operating system, Datacenter was only sold by OEMs as part of complete, Microsoft-approved configurations. Each OEM had to offer 24x7 support for Datacenter and all the system components under the Windows Datacenter Program.
The approach was designed to provide standardized, stable configurations and to overcome data-center administrators' mistrust of Microsoft by having enterprise-trusted partners such as Compaq, IBM and Unisys sell the platform. The Datacenter Program also created a single point of contact for a customer in case of a problem anywhere in the configuration, from storage subsystem to operating system. The one-call approach is important for Microsoft in its efforts to use Datacenter Server to go after business traditionally won by Unix vendors, who typically provide a complete stack.
News source: Bink