Microsoft has updated its StorSimple appliance-based data protection service for its Azure public cloud with a virtual appliance that can be used to add value to data in the cloud, as well as a higher-capacity, on-premise appliance with standby virtual machines for disaster recovery.
The expansion of the Microsoft StorSimple offering, based on technology Microsoft got with its 2012 acquisition of StorSimple, makes it easier for users of Microsoft's Azure public cloud to do big data analytics and other value-added solutions, said Mike Schutz, Microsoft general manager for cloud platform products marketing.
"It aligns extremely well with our vision of how cloud computing will be used for many years," Schutz told CRN. "That vision is the hybrid cloud. A SAN on premise tiered to Azure for snapshots and archiving."
The new offering, termed Microsoft Azure StorSimple, features an on-premise hardware appliance for handling backups and restores locally at high speed while integrating with the Azure public cloud for cloud-based primary, archive, backup and disaster recovery capabilities.
Microsoft's acquisition of StorSimple led to a boom in the number of customers implementing the technology, said Jeff Eiben, executive vice president of business development at River Port Technology. The Pittsburg-based solution provider is a Microsoft partner that also counted StorSimple as a vendor before it was acquired.
"We saw a lot more activity but not a lot of change in the StorSimple solution after the acquisition," Eiben told CRN. "A lot of people came to the StorSimple table because of Microsoft. Unit volume rose significantly. It worked out well."
Microsoft this week unveiled the StorSimple Virtual Appliance, a version of the StorSimple appliance that runs as a virtual machine in the Azure cloud.
"Customers can use the StorSimple Virtual Appliance to get to data without using the hardware appliance for things like test-dev and data analysis," Schutz said. "They can also use it for disaster recovery."
The StorSimple Virtual Appliance is an option to the Microsoft Azure StorSimple solution. Customers pay for the option as needed, with pricing based on the use of the data and the amount of data accessed, Schutz said.
Eiben called the StorSimple Virtual Appliance a significant addition to the StorSimple solution.
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