StorSimple Deep Dive 1 – An Enterprise iSCSI SAN

In my last post I did an introduction to Cloud Integrated Storage, the value proposition and how we address this at Microsoft. I figured for the next few posts I’d get into a bit of detail about StorSimple, which is the way we provide Cloud Integrated Storage to customers. This is a company that Microsoft acquired in October last year with much of the core team based out of Mountain View, CA. I was lucky enough to get over there in my second week in the role and meet the team, was great to get in there and hear how the solution came about and some of the success they have already had. This including a soothing ale with Marc Farley, who is currently writing a book on Cloud Integrated Storage.

StorSimple is a highly available, enterprise class iSCSI SAN. It is Flash optimised with redundant controllers, disks configured at RAID10 and hot spares….things you’d expect from your enterprise SAN.


We currently provide between 2TB of useable capacity to 20TB of useable capacity on premise, at this stage, which is flash optimised, deduplicated and compressed….meaning you will be able to realise much more capacity both on premise and within Azure; generally anything from 3x to 20x space savings. There are soft limits on the amount of Azure capacity we can address and this ranges from 100TB on the 2TB appliance all the way to 500TB on the 20TB appliance.

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I think it is great that Microsoft is embracing open standards with StorSimple. It is certified for and supports both Windows and VMware (VSS and vStorage APIs for Data Protection respectively are utilised) and it is still an open system that not only can connect to Azure, but still supports connectivity to Atmos, OpenStack, HP, AWS and other cloud providers. This is a big part of StorSimple’s DNA and, prior to acquisition, it was not only the Azure go to solution for Cloud Integrated Storage, it was the AWS go to solution. That said why would you want to use anything but Azure…but more on that in a future post.


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