As big data pushes storage demands higher than ever, IT leaders need new storage architectures that can provide scalability without overwhelming costs. Traditional storage technologies lack flexibility. IT teams end up pouring time, money, and energy into just maintaining the storage status quo—facilitating change meet the needs and business expectations of today’s changing data landscape is out of the question. By contrast, affordable, continuous, automated data and storage management can free you from time-consuming, error-prone tasks.

Microsoft offers several solutions to this problem, including StorSimple Cloud-integrated Storage system and the Microsoft hybrid cloud storage solution.  As the Microsoft Windows Server Team blog post “The Hybrid Cloud Storage Transformation” points out, the company offers hybrid cloud storage that integrates a StorSimple on-premises Cloud-integrated Storage (CiS) system with Windows Azure Storage:

“The StorSimple part of the solution is an enterprise iSCSI SAN storage system with internal SSDs and hard disks to store data, along with software for data deduplication, compression and tiering that reduces capacity consumption and places data on resources that are optimized to reduce cost or deliver performance. Above and beyond these features, the StorSimple system automatically accesses Windows Azure Storage to transparently extend usable capacity, and protect and archive data.” 

The Microsoft hybrid cloud storage solution provides uninterrupted, pay-as-you-grow capacity expansion in Windows Azure. Data is protected automatically by being copied to the cloud, where it can be kept for as long as needed, without the high cost of replication or the complications of working with tape backups. 

The StorSimple system manages capacity by relocating dormant, unused data to Windows Azure Storage. When end users need data that has been relocated to the cloud, it is transparently accessed and reloaded back onto the StorSimple system. Storage admins don’t need to worry about unexpectedly running out of capacity: Windows Azure Storage can be instantly allocated whenever necessary.

Do you need to comply with government regulations or corporate legal requirements around data storage? You can use the solution to set and implement data-retention policies. Worried about data integrity? Windows Azure Storage makes three copies of data and puts them in three fault domains, with an option for three additional copies in a remote Windows Azure data center. Is security a concern? Data that the solution writes to the cloud is encrypted before being uploaded, using encryption keys that you create and manage. And the solution can simultaneously support multiple storage functions:

  • Backup
  • Disaster recovery
  • Archiving
  • Capacity expansion

The Microsoft hybrid cloud storage solution addresses the problems of unstructured data growth. Corporate file sharing, large SharePoint installations, document management applications, data archiving, virtual server storage, and other environments that have sizable amounts of dormant, inactive or irregularly accessed data. To find out more about Microsoft cloud storage solutions, visit or the Microsoft Enterprise Storage page.