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Microsoft's StorSimple: A first look at the 8000 series

Jonathan Hassell | Sept. 4, 2014
Melding on-premises, cloud storage.

One problem that the emergence of Big Data and the Internet of Things has highlighted for all of us in IT: There is data everywhere. On desktops, on servers, in databases, in logs, on phones and tablets, in your pants drawer -- you cannot escape it. Its corollary: The volume of data will continue to grow -- and data needs space. Data needs disk capacity.

Other than exhausting your budget on spinning disks, where can you as an administrator turn to increase capacity inexpensively and, perhaps most importantly, quickly? Why, the cloud, of course! Or at least that is what Microsoft would like you to believe, as it brings to market its new StorSimple 8000 series of storage appliances.

At its core, the newest revision of the StorSimple products aims to make the boundary between storage on your own premises and storage in the cloud invisible. StorSimple has been around for a while, but Microsoft purchased the product line in 2012. The main change here from the pre-Microsoft version is the refreshed hardware and the Azure integration.

Many of the difficulties and challenges in building storage solutions and administering storage arrays and services come from two different issues:

  • How you address that storage and make it available to all your resources across networks
  • How you grow and expand that storage when the original storage is consumed and no capacity is left

StorSimple aims to solve both of those problems. I've had a chance to review the device and its positioning, and I'm impressed with it from a technical perspective. I'm less sure of its overall value proposition. But let's dig into the details a little more and see what these new arrays have to offer.

About the 8000 Series devices
The new StorSimple arrays -- dubbed the Microsoft Azure StorSimple 8100 and the Microsoft Azure StorSimple 8600 -- come replete with the following hardware, which, as you will note, is static and cannot be changed or enhanced later:

StorSimple 8000 Series compared


Microsoft Azure StorSimple 8100

Microsoft Azure StorSimple 8600


Usable internal storage

Between 15TB and 40TB, depending on the level of compression achieved and other factors

Between 40TB and 100TB, depending on the level of compression achieved and other factors


Available solid state disk storage



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