The move is designed to advance Microsoft's Cloud OS vision and enable its customers to better leverage hybrid cloud computing, the two companies said.
StorSimple, which opened three and a half years ago and began shipping appliances this spring, is among a relatively new breed of companies to offer an appliance that stores data onsite while replicating or mirroring it to an offsite, public cloud storage provider.
Among other companies selling cloud-connected appliances are Nasuni and TwinStrata.
Cloud-connected appliances are particularly popular with businesses that have branch offices because the technology allows data to be accessed quickly at a branch while being stored locally for corporate and disaster recovery purposes.
StorSimple uses encryption to protect data that's sent over the Internet to cloud providers such as Microsoft's Windows Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Rackspace. StorSimple addresses WAN bandwidth issues by using data reduction technologies such as compression and de-duplication to eliminate multiple copies of data.
StorSimple's appliances have capacities ranging from 2TB to 20TB and a starting price of around $40,000. They are certified for use with VMware and Microsoft's HyperV hypervisor.
StorSimple said its approach of integrating on-premises storage with cloud storage is well aligned to Microsoft's vision of a Cloud OS, "a consistent platform spanning a customer's data center, a service provider's data center and Windows Azure."
"Customers faced with explosive growth in data are looking to the cloud to help them store, manage and archive that data. But, to be effective, cloud storage needs to integrate with IT's current investments," Michael Park, corporate vice president Microsoft's Server and Tools Division, said in a statement. "StorSimple's approach helps customers seamlessly integrate on-premises storage with cloud storage through intelligent automation and management."
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.