StorSimple extends portfolio of cloud-connected storage appliances

The products can connect to multiple public clouds at the same time

StorSimple has introduced four cloud-connected storage appliances that offer better performance and more local capacity, the company said on Tuesday.

Integrated on-premise and cloud-based storage is a growing product category with a number vendors vying for attention. Just like with many other cloud-based services, increased simplicity is one of the purported advantages.

"Our goal is to have an appliance that somebody can put in place and integrate with the cloud very quickly, that has encryption and takes care of WAN bandwidth issues using data reduction technologies like de-duplication and compression," said Marc Farley, senior director of community and customer programs.

With those features and integration with multiple cloud services -- including ones offered by Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Rackspace -- the company hopes it can break down a lot of the barriers preventing enterprises from using the cloud for storage.

Customers can combine disparate storage systems for primary storage, archival, backup and disaster recovery in the cloud, according to Farley.

The new arrivals in StorSimple's product portfolio are the 5020, 5520, 7020 and 7520 appliances, which offer local capacities between 2TB and 20TB. With the help of data reduction the effective local capacity goes up by a factor of two to five, according to a spec sheet on StorSimple's website.

StorSimple's support for multiple clouds is one of its most important features. Users can send data from different applications to different clouds simultaneously, Farley said.

"We started doing most of our work with Windows Azure and Amazon Web Services, and just for what its worth, the Windows Azure cloud is very good for storage," said Farley.

The company is not in the business of consulting with enterprises on what cloud they should pick, but in sales situations it may help people determine which one is the best fit for their environment, according to Farley.

So far, about 10 percent of StorSimple's users have taken advantage of the ability to use multiple clouds.

"It's still new functionality. But people have started to get their feet wet," said Farley, who thinks more enterprises will use multiple clouds in the future.

StorSimple 5020 and 7020 have already achieved VMware Ready certification and the 5520 and 7520 are expected to achieve the same before the end the second quarter. Being certified by VMware is an important step for StorSimple.

"It helps immeasurably ... Being on the hardware compatibility list with VMware is huge for VMware administrators. A lot of them won't work with products that aren't on it," said Farley.

The company's products are also certified for Microsoft's Hyper-V.

All four appliances are shipping, and pricing starts at US$40,000.

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