Microsoft Buys StorSimple
October 17, 2012

Microsoft Acquires Leader In Cloud-integrated Storage

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Everyone is moving to the cloud these days, and Microsoft is no exception. Of course, they´ve been “in the cloud” for some time now with their Azure infrastructure, but yesterday the Redmond company took their offerings one step further, opening up opportunities for a new kind of customer. In addition to offering a cloud-based platform with Azure, Microsoft now plans to persuade large enterprises to store their data in the cloud, thanks to their latest acquisition: StorSimple.

Microsoft announced the deal yesterday without disclosing any financial details, saying they wanted to “help customers more efficiently embrace hybrid cloud computing.”

“Customers faced with explosive growth in data are looking to the cloud to help them store, manage and archive that data,” explained Michael Park, corporate vice president of servers and tools at Microsoft in the press release.

“But, to be effective, cloud storage needs to integrate with IT´s current investments. StorSimple´s approach helps customers seamlessly integrate on-premises storage with cloud storage through intelligent automation and management.”

The 3-year old StorSimple began shipping their racks to customers this spring. StorSimple´s approach to cloud storage is a simple one. Customers buy the racks and backup all of their data to them, leaving the primary copy onsite. These racks then automatically archive the data and send a copy to the cloud, not only creating a redundant backup but also moving this backup offsite. Therefore, in the case of disaster, it´s very likely a company will still have complete access to their data.

Mike Volpi, an investor with Index Ventures, has been working as an advisor to StorSimple since the beginning. He explains StorSimple´s operation to Venture Beat this way: “The StorSimple device sits in between the cloud storage infrastructure and its applications, and makes it look like they are talking to a local disk.”

While in the cloud, StorSimple works with several other cloud-based services, such as Amazon, Google, Rackspace and even Microsoft´s Azure. According to StorSimple, bringing their technology and hardware to Microsoft´s team made sense, considering their customer´s choices in cloud services.

“Most StorSimple customers are mainstream IT organizations that have chosen Windows Azure as their primary cloud. We are excited to continue to work with Microsoft and bring the combined benefits of StorSimple and Windows Azure to customers around the world,” said Ursheet Parikh, co-founder and CEO, StorSimple in the press release.

With this acquisition, Microsoft will be able to offer customers an end-to-end solution with hardware and software combined without having to partner with a third party.

“They saw it was working very well and was helping Azure gain market traction,” said Volpi, speaking to Venture Beat.

StorSimple offer racks ranging from 2 TB to 20 TB of Usable Local Hard Drive Capacity. These racks start near $40,000 and are compatible with both VMWare and Microsoft´s HyperV hypervisor.

As a part of the acquisition, StorSimple will take on the Microsoft name and will remain in the Bay Area rather than moving further north to Washington.