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Hybrid CloudMicrosoft has announced new data storage products that it says will simplify management and cut costs in complex hybrid clouds.

The StorSimple Virtual Array and StorSimple 8000 Series Update 2 are designed to simplify the task of storing data across on-premise IT equipment and the cloud. The new additions to the StorSimple range are necessary because the range of enterprises using hybrid storage is widening, according to Microsoft.

In a beta testing exercise, aviation giant Textron claimed the new systems helped it save a million dollars a month, while car maker Mazda claimed the StorSimple additions helped it lower its overall costs by 95%.

The StorSimple Virtual Array creates a hybrid cloud storage system using a virtual machine running on Hyper-V or VMware hypervisors and can work with either a Network Attached Storage (NAS) or Storage Area Network (SAN). It integrates primary storage, data protection, archiving and disaster recovery duties into one easy system for small environments with minimal IT infrastructure and management. The addition of the StorSimple Virtual Array means users don’t need to centralize data protection and disaster recovery at the company’s main data centre but can have a simple and upgradeable system they can manage themselves with StorSimple Manager.

Meanwhile the StorSimple 8000 Series Update 2 introduces local volumes and a new high performance StorSimple Cloud Appliance. Local volumes allow the client to use primary storage without the data being tiered to Azure. This gets better performance from applications that cannot tolerate cloud latencies. A local volume is apt for on-premises workloads that have high Input-Output requirements, such as SQL Server. It’s also better for Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware virtual machines. These additions don’t stop customers from being able to use Azure for data protection and location independent disaster recovery, the vendor says.

Enterprises can now adopt a hybrid storage strategy based with StorSimple, said Mike Neil, Microsoft’s corporate VP for Cloud and Enterprise. “It will transform their businesses by cutting costs, simplifying IT and helping increase IT agility in support of business goals,” he said.

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