StorSimple Intros New Appliances Combining Local, Cloud Storage

StorSimple is selling a new series of storage appliances featuring local capacity of up to 100 TBs integrated with cloud-based primary, archive, backup, and disaster recovery capabilities.

The new appliances address customer concerns related to integration, security, WAN bottlenecks, data availability, and customer lock-in when it comes to cloud storage, said Ursheet Parikh, co-founder and chief executive officer of Santa Clara, Calif.-based StorSimple.

"Our appliances are not vanilla gateways to cloud storage," Parikh said. "They have SSDs and hard drives in the box. They do dedupe, auto-tiering, and snapshots. And they are integrated with cloud storage management."

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The new line from StorSimple includes four appliances ranging in terms of on-premise capacity from 10 TBs to 100 TBs, after the data is deduped and compressed. That is up to four times the maximum of the company's previous appliance line, Parikh said.

StorSimple has also added enterprise features such as NVRAM (non-volatile RAM) and a larger controller, he said. They also serve as full-featured iSCSI SAN appliances.

"The channel now has the option of selling an iSCSI SAN with cloud integration," he said. "So customers can use the appliance as a local primary storage SAN, and do backups to the cloud. Or they can specify which volumes stay local and which are stored in the cloud."

Another new StorSimple feature, CloudSnaps, puts data snapshots on the cloud that can be used to quickly recover data even if the application that produced the data is not available, Parikh said.

"Customers can recover 100 TBs of data in one day, or 10 TBs in a couple of hours," he said. "With traditional cloud backups, all the data is converted to a proprietary format before being backed up. To recover that data, you need to rebuild the application first. With CloudSnaps, cloud copies of the data look like the original data."

The StorSimple appliances also let data be recovered to the original customer site or, in a disaster, to be recovered in a remote site, Parikh said. Additionally, it allows data from one cloud to be backed up to another cloud, he said.

"If the customer experiences a disaster, they can use any device for disaster recovery, or they can recover operations to the cloud," he said.

Next: Channel Sales Of The StorSimple Appliances

Parikh said that a StorSimple solution for 50 TBs of customer production data and related backup could cost about $70,000, including all the necessary software, compared to about $375,000 for a competing solution including dedupe and other software and a tape backup system. With an estimated 20 percent extra to cover three years of maintenance for both systems, plus about $25,000 in cloud storage costs, Parikh estimated the StorSimple solution would cost a total of $187,000 vs. $600,000 for a traditional solution.

Solution providers could expect a margin of 30 percent for the hardware sale as well as 25 percent of annual cloud storage fees with StorSimple, he said. This is in addition to good margins on their capacity licenses and support services, he said.

StorSimple's channel partners are primarily traditional solution providers who sell VMware, servers, and storage, Parikh said. "Many are regional storage VARs who have not been in the cloud before, or large VARs who haven't looked at storage before," he said.