Hitachi Data Systems and QLogic have collaborated with Microsoft to sell a product bundle that creates a plug-and-play storage-area network (SAN) with Windows Server 2003 management software for small and midsize enterprises.

The new SAN kits consist of QLogic 4Gbit/s and 2Gbit/s. Fibre Channel products - including switches, host bus adapters and connectors - and are installed with Hitachi TagmaStore Adaptable Modular Storage and Workgroup Modular Storage.

The kits include everything needed to connect servers to a first SAN or to extend a SAN from a data centre to a remote workgroup, HDS officials said.

The kit costs US$3,000 without the storage systems, which run from $10,000 to $30,000. For example, a SAN with 2TB of storage capacity based on Fibre Channel disks, four 4Gbit/s. host bus adapters and a switch would cost about $16,000 retail. A similar setup with four 2Gbit/s ports would cost about $14,000 retail.