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Microsoft says new hybrid storage options can cut costs up to 60%

Tim Greene | July 11, 2014
Microsoft is coming out with new hardware and cloud management features for its StorSimple hybrid storage offering that promises lower costs and better data protection.

Detroit-based construction firm Walbridge has used StorSimple 7000s for three years and has saved 40% of its storage costs vs. what it would have spent over that time if it had continued buying on-prem servers, says Cynthia Weaver, the firm's assistant vice president for IT.

She's not certain the company will upgrade to Azure StorSimple but is intrigued by its ability to support disaster recovery to the cloud. Currently restoration requires a second StorSimple array to recover to. She says she'll consider Azure StorSimple the next time she replaces some of the company's remaining on-site storage.

Walbridge's strategy is to move storage to the cloud as it retires outdated gear, Weaver says. Between StorSimple and Office 365, the company now stores more data in the cloud than it does on-site and has actually reduced the size of its data center and reallocated the space to create two offices, she says.

Microsoft bought the independent startup StorSimple in November 2012, and the introduction of Azure StorSimple is the first new generation of its product since then. The Store Simple hardware capacity ranges from 15T to 40T Byte on premises with support for 200T Byte in the cloud. The previous hardware family StorSimple 7000 ranged from 4T to 20T Byte.

The virtual appliance and cloud-based management are not available for StorSimple 7000 devices.

Microsoft's StorSimple products compete against products from TwinStrata, now owned by EMC, Nasuni and Panzura, which act as storage gateways to public cloud services. Microsoft has the advantage of creating unique enhancements that come from controlling both the on-prem hardware and the cloud service.


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