StorSimple Updates Cloud Storage Appliances With Multi-Cloud RAID

StorSimple on Monday said its appliances were also among the first cloud storage solutions to be certified as VMware Ready, a program under which VMware certifies products and solutions that are optimized for VMware vSphere. Those appliances last year were also the first to be certified for Windows Server 2008 R2. StorSimple, founded in mid-2009 by former Brocade and Cisco executives, offers a family of hybrid storage appliances that includes an iSCSI controller, local storage capacity on SSDs and SATA hard drives, and connection to a storage cloud.

The StorSimple appliances automatically tier storage between the appliance and the cloud. The most active data is stored on SSDs within the appliance, with less active data stored on SATA hard drives, and the least-active data stored on a cloud. The company partners with Microsoft Azure, EMC Atmos, Iron Mountain Digital Services, Amazon S3 and ATT Synaptic Storage.

Getting VMware Ready certification on top of Windows Server 2008 certification is important for customers looking at cloud storage, said Ian Howells, chief marketing officer of Santa Clara, Calif.-based StorSimple.

"In midsize or remote offices, customers are continually rolling out virtual machines," Howells said. "They have a choice of local primary and tape storage, or a massive pipeline to a centralized data center, or using StorSimple to create a hybrid cloud. And it's so important for customers to know their channel partners have a certified hybrid cloud solution for VMware and Microsoft Windows."

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The StorSimple appliances come in three versions.

The entry-level model StorSimple 1010 has a single controller and between 10 TBs and 50 TBs of capacity after deduplication and compression. The StorSimple 5010 has two controllers, between 20 TBs and 100 TBs of SATA storage, and up to 10 TBs of SSD storage. The StorSimple 7010 also has two controllers, between 40 TBs and 200 TBs of SATA storage, and up to 20 TBs of SSD storage.

In addition to automatic tiering and deduplication, the StorSimple appliances also include WAN optimization, thin provisioning, integrated AES-256 encryption, and the ability to create instant clones of the data for backing up to a cloud.

Starting this week, the StorSimple 5010 and StorSimple 7010 appliances will also include multi-cloud volume support, Howells said. "This lets customers do RAID across two separate clouds," he said. "It's similar to RAID mirroring."

The two StorSimple appliances can now handle data volumes of up to 100 TBs, compared to 2 TBs in the past, Howells said.

They also now allow the remote mounting of live cloud snapshots and cloud clones as a way of testing disaster recovery features without the need for tape. Those snapshots can also be mounted at a remote site when recovering from a disaster, and can even pull blocks of data from local backups to improve performance of the recovery. "Customers can go live at a remote location," Howells said. "It's all done via the cloud, with no need for a WAN."

The appliances also now handle cloud snapshots and cloud clones for Microsoft VSS snapshots, all VMware hosts including Linux, and Mac iSCSI initiators.

The updated StorSimple 5010 and StorSimple 7010 are slated to ship on April 15.