In September, Microsoft announced a planned mid-2005 release for DPS, a direct-to-disk backup solution aimed at the SMB market. The software is currently in private beta testing.
One potential market for DPS -- which marks the software giant's first full-blown entry into backup -- is in building off-the-shelf backup appliance systems, which would automatically and continuously back up Windows-based servers within an enterprise.
"Hardware vendors such as Dell and HP will likely provide this capability as an appliance," a recent Gartner analysis of DPS noted.
However, the vendors themselves have yet to commit to any firm time frame for such plans.
"We're currently in evaluation mode [on appliance plans]," Dell EMEA head of enterprise products Andy Rhodes told ZDNet Australia . Rhodes added that there were "no immediate plans" to build any devices directly based on DPS.
Other storage hardware vendors, including HP, Iomega and Sun, have pledged their support for the DPS concept, but are also yet to announce any concrete plans.
Gartner is predicting that DPS will ship at least one quarter late, potentially pushing the product into 2006, so vendors may have plenty of time to change their minds before its release.