Microsoft StorSimple Virtual Array Now Available

Microsoft's StorSimple Virtual Array product, a hybrid storage solution, was commercially released this week.

StorSimple Virtual Array is a software product that adds data recovery and disaster recovery support for organizations. It's particularly designed to add support for remote offices and branch offices that lack management infrastructure. Its roles include "integrated primary storage, data protection, archiving, and disaster recovery," per Microsoft's announcement.

The storage is called "integrated" because StorSimple Virtual Array can use both public cloud infrastructure and local disks to store data. Typically, the more frequently used data get stored locally, while other data get archived in a cloud-based datacenter. This approach is also referred to as "hybrid" storage.

StorSimple Virtual Array can be used as a file server for the sharing of local or departmental files. As a file server, Microsoft recommends using a network attached storage (NAS) approach for the local storage. Alternatively, StorSimple Virtual Array can store small SQL databases or user home folders. If that's the case, then Microsoft recommends using iSCSI for the local storage, per this Microsoft Azure blog post.

The solution, which runs in a virtual machine (either Hyper-V or VMware ESXi), reached the "general availability" stage following a December preview release. Organizations with Microsoft Azure Enterprise Agreements are eligible to use the Store Simple Virtual Array product.

Microsoft describes StorSimple Virtual Array as simplifying hybrid storage management. A StorSimple Virtual Array can manage "up to 64TB of data in the cloud," according to the Azure blog post. Organizations can centrally manage various StorSimple Virtual Arrays across branch offices using the Azure management portal.

Microsoft is also selling a solution that protects hybrid storage workloads managed by StorSimple products. The company's Update 2 for StorSimple appliances lets organizations leverage Microsoft's Azure Site Recovery service for that purpose.

"Azure Site Recovery provides planned, unplanned and test failovers. StorSimple now works with each of these scenarios," Microsoft announced this week.

The addition of the Azure Site Recovery service lets organizations run disaster recovery drills. They can also leverage the service for temporary dev-test purposes.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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