Microsoft targets new workloads and smaller enterprises with expanded StorSimple offerings


by Mike Neil, Corporate Vice President, Cloud + Enterprise

Today’s enterprises are embracing digital transformation through the cloud, enabling them to be more agile and respond to business challenges more quickly. The cloud is helping to drive greater innovation throughout the enterprise and it can ultimately lead to new revenue streams and enhanced competitive advantage for our customers. However, a byproduct of this rapid transformation is massive amounts of business data that is experiencing double digit increase every year. This explosion in data has resulted in rising storage costs, and increased complexity of storage and data management within large, medium and small enterprises.  It has also created significant challenges for IT in scaling efficiently to support the growing demands of the business.

StorSimple is a hybrid cloud storage solution that is built on Microsoft’s vision to help enterprises move faster, save money, and integrate on-premises applications and data with the cloud. With StorSimple, customers have reduced their storage costs, eliminated infrastructure sprawl, simplified data management, and increased IT agility to help transform their businesses.  According to Textron, one of the world’s largest aviation, defense, and intelligence products companies, StorSimple is saving them $1M per month in storage costs. Mazda, the well-known automobile manufacturer, has been able to benefit from StorSimple’s integrated architecture for primary storage, data protection, and disaster recovery capabilities while lowering their overall storage costs by 95 percent.

I am excited to announce new, ground-breaking StorSimple technologies: The StorSimple Virtual Array and StorSimple 8000 Series Update 2.  These new capabilities enable the deployment of StorSimple hybrid cloud storage for more workloads, on-premises and in the cloud, and in a broader set of enterprise environments.

The StorSimple Virtual Array provides hybrid cloud storage using a virtual machine that can be run on Hyper-V or VMware hypervisors and supports either a Network Attached Storage (NAS) or Storage Area Network (SAN) configuration. The StorSimple Virtual Array also delivers integrated primary storage, data protection, archiving, and disaster recovery capabilities in a single, easy to deploy solution designed for small environments where there is minimal IT infrastructure and management. With the StorSimple Virtual Array, customers no longer need to centralize data protection and disaster recovery at the main data center. Instead, the StorSimple Virtual Array allows customers to have a highly scalable, consistent, and cost-effective approach to managing data growth and data protection across all their environments, including remote and branch offices. The StorSimple Virtual Array is managed by the StorSimple Manager, which provides a single point of management along with other StorSimple solutions. StorSimple Virtual Array is available for public preview globally. You can get started with the StorSimple Virtual Array here.

StorSimple 8000 Series Update 2 introduces local volumes and a new StorSimple Cloud Appliance that delivers higher performance. Local volumes enable primary storage to be stored within the local tier of the StorSimple 8000 series physical array or the StorSimple Virtual Array, without the data being tiered to Azure to provide the performance needed for applications that cannot tolerate cloud latencies. A local volume is ideal for on-premises workloads that have high IO requirements, such as SQL Server, and storage for Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware virtual machines. For such applications, customers can continue to leverage Azure for data protection and location independent disaster recovery.

The new StorSimple Cloud Appliance is an even more powerful version of the existing StorSimple Cloud Appliance. The new StorSimple Cloud Appliance runs as a virtual machine in Azure and unlike the previous version, uses Premium Storage (SSD) for its local storage tier. Therefore, the new StorSimple Cloud Appliance provides higher storage performance for a wider range of cloud-based applications that can use enterprise data backed up in Azure by StorSimple. As customers struggle to implement robust disaster recovery processes that meet compliance and regulatory needs, the StorSimple Cloud Appliance can be used to test and validate disaster recovery and even perform disaster recovery in the cloud. Further, to help automate disaster recovery of virtual machines, we are also introducing automation scripts that integrate workflows between Azure Site Recovery and StorSimple 8000 series. Customers can now protect and orchestrate the recovery of virtual machines and their data volumes that are hosted on StorSimple in Azure. This new capability further illustrates Microsoft’s unique ability and commitment to deliver integrated solutions to solve complex customer problems.

We’re very excited to see the results that customers like Textron and Mazda have been able to achieve with StorSimple.  With today’s announcements, more enterprises can adopt hybrid storage strategy based on StorSimple to help transform their businesses – by reducing costs, simplifying IT processes and helping increase IT agility in support of business goals.

I encourage you to check out this video featuring Mike Schutz, General Manager of Cloud and Platform Marketing, for more information on what these updates can bring to your business.

Also please go to http://www.microsoft.com/storsimple to learn more about our new announcements around StorSimple Virtual Array and StorSimple 8000 Series Update 2, and request a demo so that you can see how StorSimple hybrid cloud storage can seamlessly help you adopt the cloud for your enterprise IT needs.

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