News

Microsoft Launches Solution To Extend StorSimple Data to Azure

Microsoft this week announced the "general availability" of StorSimple Data Manager, a solution that converts data stored by StorSimple into a format that can be used with various Azure services.

Microsoft acquired StorSimple, described as a "cloud-integrated storage" hardware appliance for backing up data, back in 2012. A StorSimple appliance would typically be used to tap public cloud datacenters to store infrequently used data while keeping the "hot" data on a local storage device.

It seems that organizations may have wanted to use the data that got stored in Microsoft's Azure cloud datacenters. However, up until now, that data was in a compressed and encrypted format that Azure doesn't use.

The new StorSimple Data Manager aims to address that issue. Despite its name, StorSimple Data Manager doesn't manage data. Rather, it converts StorSimple-saved data into Azure Blobs or Azure files in a so-called "native format." When converted to the native Azure format, the files can be used by Azure-based services such as HDInsight, Azure Machine Learning, Azure Media Services and Azure Search.

Update 2/28: StorSimple Data Manager appears to be the successor to the StorSimple Data Transformation preview Microsoft announced back on Nov. 2016. Thanks to Jim Gaynor, an analyst with independent consultancy Directions on Microsoft, for the long memory!

The data can be transformed using the "Azure Portal, .NET applications or Azure Automation," according to Microsoft's announcement. Organizations can transform all StorSimple data or just some data.

StorSimple Data Manager is currently available in seven Azure regions, but it can be used to transform data in 19 regions, Microsoft explained in this "Overview" document. That's a bit confusing since the document further advises StorSimple Data Manager users to use the same region for their source storage account (where StorSimple data are lodged) and the target storage account (where the native format data should be stored).

"You have to pay for the job, for the data converted out of the StorSimple-optimized format, and then for storage costs where the data lands," Gaynor explained via e-mail. "And that's part of why they're advising to keep your jobs in-region -- if the target storage account is in a different region than the StorSimple data source, you'll pay data egress costs to copy the data to the other region."

Microsoft actually charges StorSimple users to use StorSimple Data Manager. Using StorSimple Data Manager costs $1.50 per job and $0.005 per GB of data transformed. That's on top of the monthly costs for using the StorSimple appliance itself, as described at Microsoft's pricing page.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

Featured

  • Windows Autopilot for HoloLens 2 Hits Preview

    Windows Autopilot, Microsoft's PC self-provisioning program, is now being tested for use with the company's mixed-reality headset, the HoloLens 2.

  • Signs Point to Microsoft Charging for Use of APIs

    There are indications that Microsoft is mulling charging customers for software that uses its application programming interfaces.

  • The 2020 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    From the next major update to Windows 10 to the next generations of .NET and PowerShell, here's what's on tap from Microsoft this year.

  • Microsoft Extends Azure Hybrid Benefit Licensing to Linux

    Microsoft has expanded its Azure Hybrid Benefit licensing program to include Linux servers, particularly Red Hat Enterprise Linux or SUSE Linux Enterprise servers.