Azure StorSimple EOL: Hybrid Cloud Management with Cloud Volumes ONTAP

Hybrid cloud management gives enterprises with vast data estates the best of both worlds: the size and agility of on-demand cloud resources and the dependability of on-premises systems.

For years, Azure StorSimple has enabled this type of hybrid deployment, but as of December 2022, both Azure StorSimple Virtual Array and Azure StorSimple Physical Array have reached end of life (EOL).

What are your plans for finding a hybrid cloud storage solution that does not rely on Azure StorSimple?

how Azure StorSimple EOL users can use NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP to support their Azure hybrid infrastructures. Cloud Volumes ONTAP may replace all of StorSimple’s functions while also providing extra benefits.

Azure End-of-Life StorSimple Solution: Cloud Volumes ONTAP Migration

NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP for Azure cloud is a hybrid deployment alternative to StorSimple. It is designed for Azure workloads that require access to cloud storage via NAS and SAN protocols.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP is installed and managed by NetApp BlueXP, which provides a unified management interface for ONTAP systems on-premises, on Azure, and in the other major public clouds, AWS and Google Cloud.

This approach to data fabric architecture provides customers with a consistent data management experience across multicloud and hybrid environments, among other features and benefits.

Data backup and recovery

Cloud Volumes ONTAP uses NetApp SnapshotTM technology to enable data preservation and point-in-time data recovery:

  • Time to create an instant snapshot copy
  • Process of creating a scheduleable
  • Updates in stages
  • Space optimisation to cut storage and transit expenses
  • Economical storage

Cloud Volumes ONTAP includes a number of storage efficiency capabilities that can help you save money on cloud data storage:

  • Provisioning that is too thin
  • Compression of data
  • Data compression
  • Duplication of data

Tiering data to low-cost object storage

Cloud Volumes ONTAP can layer infrequently utilised data between Azure disc storage and Azure Blob storage. This provides users with greater flexibility and cost savings than StorSimple’s tiering:

  • Cost-effective storage for infrequently used active data
  • Storage that is inexpensive for disaster recovery, backup, and archive data copies
  • Tiering between block and object storage that is seamless and automatic is not provided natively.
  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
  • Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s SnapMirror data replication, a critical component of a disaster recovery plan, making DR failover and failback operations easy and simple.
  • SnapMirror keeps data up to date and ready in the event of a calamity.
  • Processes for automatic and seamless failover and failback
  • Storage efficiency characteristics enable optimised DR copy storage.


Cloud Volumes Edge Cache provides a more thorough alternative to StorSimple than just utilising Cloud Volumes ONTAP alone for users who relied on StorSimple Physical Array to ensure data was as close to users as possible.

Edge caching with NetApp Global File Cache delivers data closer to consumers in dispersed and ROBO environments, reducing latency.

The central file locking feature locks files that are in use, ensuring real-time collaboration. If data is modified by one user, others cannot make modifications to the file.

By depending on a centralised cloud architecture, it eliminates the need for extra on-premises equipment.


Cloud Volumes ONTAP, like other of NetApp’s cloud data services, is accessed by BlueXP, giving customers a single-pane view to manage storage volumes on-premises, Azure, or in any other cloud.

Access all of your ONTAP storage systems, whether on-premises or in the cloud. A consistent management experience across all environments

All functionalities are accessible via API, giving developers IAC capabilities.

All of your storage actions, including as snapshots and data cloning, should be scheduled.

Access other NetApp data services such as Cloud Backup, Cloud Data Sense, and others with ease.

Added advantages

With the demise of Azure StorSimple, users now have a better opportunity to benefit from hybrid deployment than ever before. Moving to Cloud Volumes ONTAP can give hybrid setups with features that StorSimple did not have:

With Azure, a dual-node high availability design ensures the lowest possible RTO (RTO=60 sec) and RPO (RPO=0).

NetApp FlexClone® technology enables rapid environment data cloning for testing and development, as well as Kubernetes and containers platform integration and autonomous persistent volume provisioning via NetApp Trident.

SnapMirror® data replication enables smooth lift and shift data migration and replication between NetApp on-premises and cloud environments.

To ensure data security, data encryption at rest and in transit is offered out of the box.

Maintain the advantages of both the cloud and on-premises environments by implementing Cloud Volumes ONTAP as your StorSimple alternative now.

In an earlier version of this article, we offered more detailed information about StorSimple. Continue reading if you want to understand how the product was used in the past and what capabilities users will need to replace now that it is no longer available.

Find Out More About StorSimple

StorSimple Azure Enterprise Use Case StorSimple is intended to simplify hybrid storage, in which a SAN storage device is effortlessly connected with cloud services. It provides administrators with a unified interface for managing both cloud and on-premises storage. StorSimple is suitable for practically all enterprise use cases, whether it is for high performance storage for file services, application hosting, database hosting, and so on, or for cost-effective cloud storage for backup, logs, archives, and so on.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these use scenarios and see how StorSimple can help customers get the most out of their hybrid storage investment.

Tiering storage for efficient data management: One of the primary issues that businesses face is effective storage management of idle data. Backup data, monitoring logs, historical archives, and so on are nevertheless important for BC/DR purposes or to meet regulatory and compliance standards, even if they aren’t used on a daily basis.

StorSimple provides an automated storage tiering function that stores current data in high performance on-premises SSD drives, data that is used less frequently in HDDs, and archival data in Azure Cloud object storage. The data is relocated automatically based on the usage pattern and does not require user participation. When data in the cloud is accessed, it is returned to local storage without interfering with the user experience.

Data protection using snapshots: Using VSS-integrated snapshots, StorSimple devices support scheduled and on-demand backups. These snapshots aid in the recovery of essential applications in the event of data corruption or loss. Because snapshot technology is integrally integrated with VSS, the backups produced are application consistent.

These incremental snapshots are extremely cost effective. The backup takes very little time, and only the data that has changed since the last backup is examined for subsequent backups, reducing storage consumption and expenses.

Achieving storage economy: StorSimple employs thin provisioning technology, which allocates only the storage resources required to satisfy data requirements, rather than allocating the entire volume in advance. When needed, cloud storage is used to expand capacity, and the available storage seems to be more than the physical resources available.

To reduce storage footprint, StorSimple also employs deduplication and compression algorithms. Duplicate copies of data are not saved, and the system is clever enough to recognise and save only updated data. To save storage space, data is saved in a compressed format. Thin provisioning, deduplication, and compression work together to achieve storage economy when utilised for applications that handle extremely large data sets.

Business continuity and disaster recovery: StorSimple provides cloud snapshots, which save a copy of data in the cloud and can be used to build up an alternative site during disaster recovery scenarios. Cloud snapshots assist enterprises in eliminating tape-based backups and other technologies used in the implementation of an operational BC/DR procedure. The on-premises environment can also be recovered in Azure, removing the need to invest in a separate physical disaster recovery environment.

StorSimple enables enterprises to be more flexible in the IT deployment process by allowing them to easily spin up environments from snapshots: Azure data is available. Users are not constrained by the location of the data because StorSimple cloud appliances can be simply accessed by other VMs in Azure. StorSimple also avoids the need for large initial investments to increase storage capacity. It can employ cloud storage effectively as an extension of on-premise storage, transforming CAPEX to OPEX.

Azure StorSimple Deployment Options StorSimple devices are offered in three deployment modes that clients can use according on the architecture required: StorSimple Physical Array, Virtual Array, and Cloud Appliance are all available. The StorSimple Device manager service manages all devices centrally via the Azure cloud interface, giving a single pane of control for on-premises and cloud storage.

The StorSimple physical array (expires in 2022) is a hybrid storage solution that combines solid-state drives (SSDs) and hard disc drives (HDDs) and is deployed in customer data centres as part of Microsoft Azure. Supported devices can access it via the iSCSI protocol. StorSimple Physical Array has two storage controllers that are built in and set to active-passive mode. This makes sure that the device is always available. The processor and storage are shared across the controllers to facilitate failovers. The device is also seamlessly connected with Azure cloud storage for tiering cold data and cloud snapshots.

The 8000 series has two models: 8100 and 8600. The 8100 series is a 2U series device with a 15 TB local useable capacity and a total storage capacity of 200 TB including cloud storage. The 8600 is a 4U device with an Extended Bunch of Devices (EBOD) enclosure that has a local capacity of 38 TB and a total capacity of 500 TB when combined with cloud storage.

With EOL approaching, Physical Array users must choose between replacing on-premises components or migrating totally to the cloud.

StorSimple Virtual Array (support will be discontinued in December 2020): Businesses without the infrastructure to deploy a physical device can use the StorSimple Virtual array on supported virtualized platforms such as Hyper-V and VMware. It works well in small-scale settings, such as a data room in a branch office. The Virtual Array has a maximum local capacity of 6.4 TB, which can be expanded to 64 TB by utilising Cloud Storage. Volumes can be offered as iSCSI or SMB targets to other Microsoft Azure Services.

StorSimple Virtual Array: provides all of the functionality of a physical storage device, such as data tiering, snapshots, backup, and disaster recovery, without the added expenditures associated with buying and deploying a physical storage device. However, because to the smaller storage capacity when compared to physical devices, it is best suited for backup and archive data use cases, with the majority of the data being moved to cloud storage.

StorSimple Cloud Appliance (8000 series, support stops in 2022): The StorSimple cloud appliance is an optional feature for users who have purchased StorSimple Physical devices. It is launched on Azure as a single-node VM and serves the purpose of cloud backup and disaster recovery.

VMs in Azure can access the data using iSCSI links: Cloud appliances are offered in two series: 8010 and 8020. The 8020 series supports premium disc storage and can thus be used for high-performance workloads.

Conclusion: A Novel Approach to Extending Hybrid Cloud Storage Landscape

The most significant characteristics of a hybrid cloud storage solution are enterprise data management, migration, and synchronisation, as well as other capabilities such as BC/DR and storage economy. Azure StorSimple provided a solution for a while, however EOL implies users will have to find alternative alternatives.

Cloud Volumes from NetApp Enterprises can use ONTAP for Azure cloud as an option to hybrid deployment with StorSimple in hybrid architectures. It is designed for Azure workloads that require access to cloud storage via NAS and SAN protocols.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP not only replaces StorSimple’s important hybrid deployment characteristics, but also expands them with new capabilities while maintaining data security, availability, and integrity.

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