StorSimple launched a line of cloud storage appliances that are optimized for Microsoft products, including SharePoint, Exchange and Windows 2008.
StorSimple unveiled a line of cloud storage appliances that are optimized
for Microsoft applications, file servers and virtual machine libraries, the company
said Dec. 6.
The appliances are deployed on premises within the data center and stores
data locally on SSDs (solid-state drives) and in the cloud to offer hybrid
while maintaining or improving performance, the company said.
Companies need to "think like Bing and Google search algorithms"
and not treat all content the same, but weigh each piece differently so that
the most important content is accessible first, said Ursheet Parikh, CEO
StorSimple classifies all content to determine whether it is a working copy
or an older version, Ian Howells, chief marketing officer of StorSimple, told
eWEEK. It keeps all working copies on the local drives and automatically
migrates all other content onto the cloud, he said.
The appliances automatically deduplicates content, which reduces total
storage required, said Howells. Each block is then ranked using StorSimple's "BlockRank"
algorithm to determine the company's "working set" of files that are "necessary
for every day operations," he said.
With only a quarter of the data being stored locally and a deduplication
ratio of 10, StorSimple dramatically reduces the amount of data that needs to
be stored locally and moved over the WAN, the company said.
According to Howells, content is growing at rates of 50 to 60 percent each
year and rapidly becomes redundant as a new version of the file is created each
time a change is made. The author needs rapid access to the working set, so
keeping that data locally on the appliance ensures that information is
available instantly, he said. The remainder of the "less used data,"
which can make up nearly 75 percent of the business's data, can be moved to the
cloud without impacting application performance, he said.
It's not just maintaining performance, as StorSimple claims the appliances
help reduce backup and restore times, time to rebuild indexes, and upload times
for large files. The amount of time required for SharePoint backups drop 99
percent to 27 seconds using the appliance, from 68 minutes on a standard SharePoint
backup, said Howells. Restores are almost as speedy, at 38 seconds instead of 68
minutes, according to StorSimple's benchmarks.
The appliances come in three models: 1010, 5010 and 7010. The StorSimple
1010 is a 1U server that acts as a cloud storage controller, keeping all the
data on the cloud. The 1010 is capable of handling up to 50TB of data. The
StorSimple 5010 and 7010 are 2U appliances that are hybrid storage controllers,
utilizing both local storage and the cloud to offer tiered storage, the company
said. The 5010 can handle up to 100TB of data, and the 7010 has a maximum
capacity of 200TB.
The StorSimple line differs from competitors like Cirtas and Nasuni because
the appliances are optimized specifically for SharePoint, Exchange, Windows
Server 2008 and File Services, said Howells. The appliances also support cloud
storage providers such as Amazon, AT&T, EMC,
and Microsoft Azure, according to Howells.
With tiered storage, data is stored according to its BlockRank, said Howells.
In a SharePoint deployment, the database is always stored on the solid-state
drive; the log files are on the SAS drive; and the rest of the content, such as
images, text, video and audio, can be spread over SSD,
SAS or the cloud, depending on whether it's being used.
The appliance also provides businesses with redundant disaster recovery
using the data stored on the cloud, said Howells. And there is instant storage
provisioning as well as data encryption on the cloud, he said. "This gives
enterprises the best of both worlds-SSD
performance and the elasticity of the cloud," said Parikh.
The company launched the StorSimple appliances at the Gartner
conference in Las Vegas.