StorSimple – What is it?

This blog is aimed at someone who may have heard about StorSimple but has yet to dive into the detail. The info below will give you a breif overview of what StorSimple is and the problems addressed.

When we think about data storage today we often think of different storage devices with different capabilities depending on the data we want to store. We know that primary storage, or, the best storage we have, should hold our running virtual machines, software and applications. Archival storage is slower and if we’re honest, less cared for. Then we have backups, replication and offline media.

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IT staff must manually move data or configure data to move between these different layers and manage each separate entity. What everyone wants is the following;

  • A single storage device that can accommodate different data storage requirements.
  • A storage device that can provide performance where needed and cost-effective storage for archival purposes.
  • A storage device that will dynamically grow with the business, offering plenty of room for expansion.
  • Simple data protection and disaster recovery functionality.
  • Lower storage costs both for on-premises and in the cloud.

StorSimple is the answer. StorSimple is a storage solution that recognises the working set, which is data that is actively being used in a frequent manner. All other data filters down to a slower tier but is still able to be quickly called upon using finger-printing. Finger-printing is a term for a ghosted file icon used to represent something that is mapped to a location but sits elsewhere.

Storage can be provided both on-premises and in Microsoft Azure. The example in the image below is the 8100 series and the virtual array protecting Hyper-V hosts on-prem and IaaS VMs in Azure;

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The virtual array can be used to protect virtual instances on premises in either VMWare or Hyper-V environments too. The on-premises options are as follows;

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Azure StorSimple provides seamless cloud integration without the need to modify any applications. Both ISCSI and SMB protocols are supported to present local and tiered volumes. Automated offsite data protection is enabled to replicate virtual instance snapshots which offers a highly efficient, location independent disaster recovery solution. Intelligent Deduplication, compression and encryption is easily configured to span all data, in all tiers on all platforms.

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The cost of the virtual appliance is pro-rated daily and starts once it has been activated through Azure. The subscription meter will stop when the device is deactivated from the Azure portal. Simply turning a device off does not stop the meter; it must be deactivated.

The StorSimple Data Manager allows you to seamlessly access StorSimple data in the cloud. This service provides APIs to extract data from StorSimple and present it to other Azure services in formats that can be readily consumed. The formats supported initially are Azure blobs, Azure Files and Azure Media Services assets. This enables you to easily wire up workflows where you can use data stored on StorSimple 8000 series devices with Azure Media Services, Azure HDInsight, Azure Machine Learning and Azure Search.

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*All pricing examples based on North Europe (Amsterdam). Note that StorSimple services are only available in the larger West Europe and North Europe data sites and not UK South or UK West.

How do we get one?

The SVA 1200 can be acquired and downloaded for free by all Azure customers. After the appliance is registered with the service, the daily meter will apply.

The Microsoft Azure StorSimple 8000 series hybrid storage arrays can only be purchased through the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. To acquire StorSimple hardware, the customer must commit to StorSimple subscription usage until their next Enterprise Agreement anniversary or expiry of the Enterprise Agreement.


On the anniversary of their Enterprise Agreement, a customer can purchase a StorSimple 8100 Subscription Plan for one year at the daily rate of £32.68. 365 days × £32.68 daily rate = £11,926.14. This will give the customer entitlement to use the appliance for one year, and the hardware will be sent at no additional cost.

If the customer wants to get an appliance mid-term, they can purchase the plan for the remaining months. On the Enterprise Agreement anniversary date, the customer has a choice to renew the plan or switch to pay-as-you-go. If the customer does not purchase the subscription plan, Azure meter will go against Azure Monetary commit or overage. The price is the same whether with the plan or with pay-as-you-go. Pay-as-you-go offers the flexibility of stopping at any time.

StorSimple permanently transfers physical hardware devices to the customer. The customer does not need to return the hardware if they discontinue the service.

The StorSimple Cloud Appliances (SCA 8010/8020) can only be installed as companion devices to 8000-series physical devices. A customer must acquire and register a physical appliance to use a StorSimple Cloud Appliance.

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