Veritas is teaming with Cisco to provide businesses with a centralized point of control to make it easier to consolidate isolated storage-area networks and create virtual pools of storage resources.Veritas is teaming with\u00a0Cisco\u00a0to provide businesses with a centralized point of control to make it easier to consolidate isolated storage-area networks and create\u00a0virtual pools of storage resources.The companies this week are expected to announce the general availability of Veritas Storage Foundation for Networks on the\u00a0Cisco MDS 9000\u00a0series of switches. Veritas specializes in software that lets storage administrators manage and provision resources across heterogeneous environments. Typically, volume management and storage virtualization is done at the host level, but Veritas Storage Foundation for Networks is for managing and provisioning resources at the network level.Putting management into the network switch enables administrators to manage data across SANs built around specific applications and operating systems, says Ed Chapman, senior director of product management for Cisco's storage technology group."By having intelligence built into the network layer as well as having the ability to manage it with what they do from a host-based perspective, customers can easily move from managing silos of storage to managing their storage across different vendors," Chapman says.That means users can get more out of the storage resources they have by more easily moving data from host to host. At the same time, management headaches are reduced because SAN islands no longer have to be managed independently.Veritas Storage Foundation for Networks is licensed starting at $1,000 per port for the enterprise version.OnboardMicrosoft says iSCSI hardware from these vendors interoperates with Windows:\u2022Adaptec\u2022Advanced Digital Information\u2022ATTO Technology\u2022Cisco \u2022Crossroads Systems\u2022EqualLogic\u2022Intel\u2022Intransa\u2022LeftHand Networks\u2022McData\u2022Network Appliance\u2022Qlogic\u2022Spectra Logic\u2022Storageconnections.netMicrosoft steps upIn other storage news,\u00a0Microsoft\u00a0last week gave the newly ratified iSCSI\u00a0storage transport protocol a boost when the company announced that it was certifying hardware designed to interoperate with Windows environments. Microsoft says 14 hardware vendors, including Cisco, Intel and Network Appliance, have been certified.Also,this week\u00a0HP\u00a0is expected to fill out its storage line with a family of low-cost products aimed at small and midsize businesses, as well as for enterprise workgroups and remote offices.The StorageWorks Modular Smart Array products, which range from $3,200 to about $10,000, are designed to integrate with HP's ProLiant servers. The offerings include two direct-attached products and an entry-level SAN array that HP says provides an easy migration to network-based storage by enabling users to migrate drives from a direct-attached infrastructure to the SAN enclosure.In addition, HP says it will unveil two prepackaged integrated storage and server offerings, which start at $10,000, and storage starter kits, which start at $5,000. These are all designed to make it easier for remote offices and small businesses with little IT support to get shared storage up and running.