Microsoft Azure StorSimple Virtual Array
StorSimple Virtual Array is a virtual device which can be deployed on-premises and referred on-premises virtual array or virtual appliance. I’ll shorten it as OVA, on-premises virtual array. It is a storage solution that manages storage tasks between the on-premises virtual appliance running in your hypervisor and Microsoft Azure cloud storage and helps you to diminish the storage costs. Besides, it is particularly matched for your remote or branch offices storage needs.
In fact, this is AWS Storage Gateway like Microsoft Azure Storage service and most of the feature are same. You can review my AWS Storage Gateway blog.
I want to mention further details of the StorSimple Virtual Array(OVA)
- Run in Hyper-V and/or VMware virtualization
- Available as Single Node
- Per virtual device(ova), it is up to 64 TB utilizable capacity including cloud
- Per virtual device(ova), it is up to 390 GB to 6.4 TB usable local capacity
- Supports iSCSI and SMB protocols
- Uses heat mapping to define what data shall be tiered in or out
- Share of volume size up 20 TB as tiered type and up to 2 TB as locally pinned type
- Performance depends on underlying infrastructure
- Crash consistent snapshots
- It can connect servers and users to Azure storage in very short time
- It integrates transparently
- It tiers your data to cost-effective Azure storage
- StorSimple Manager web management console is centrally used to manage data on cloud and virtual array(OVA)
- It is highly suitable for cloud based storage management, location independent backup and data protection & disaster recovery
In my opinion, Azure StorSimple Virtual Array and AWS Storage Gateway services have been the easiest way of broadening your local storage infrastructure to Cloud Based Storage. Having evaluated both of the services, I would like to state that these services can be utilized for storing the tiered data on cost-effective cloud storage and/or location independent backups.
Let’s carry on with some hands-on:
An enterprise agreement(EA) is needed to evaluate the storsimple virtual appliance(storsimple virtual array – OVA). If you have purchased just MSDN subscription, you will not be able to assess the OVA.
I presume that you have an EA and eligible to be able to exert the STORSIMPLE MANAGER as shown below. There are few pretty simple steps to configure the storsimple manager and the OVA. At first you should setup the Microsoft Azure Storsimple Manager service as depicted below.
If you are assessing the relative merits of the OVA, you can choose any available option shown above. As I am evaluating the service, I will proceed with a custom name and a location near to my region.
After the storsimple manager service is formed, you are able to generate service registration key which will be exploited to register the OVA with the service. Demo version of the key is figured below.
At next step, you will download and deploy the OVA vhd, vmdk or vhdx formatted pre-configured images.It depends on which hypervisor you have been running on-premises.
As these steps are pretty simple I won’t picture all of the stages but I am on going to share many informative web addresses at sources section!
You’ll be able to browse StorSimple Virtual Array(virtual appliance) Management Portal as soon as you deploy and run the particular image in your hypervisor.
You are able to use the OVA not only as file server but also as iSCSI server. As depicted above, it hasn’t been configured yet as this is the first login to management portal of the OVA.
Although, Device and Cloud settings must be configured, I recommend you to configure all of the sections shown below. I’ll configure the OVA as file server in this demonstration.
PS. At Cloud Settings section you will use the registration key generated earlier to register the OVA with Microsoft Azure StorSimple Manager service created at the beginning.
After the registration has been done, the OVA will be visible under the devices section on Microsoft Azure Management Portal. VSTORE1 is the host name of the OVA running in local hypervisor. There are few more steps left as mentioned below.
You will have setup an AES encrypted connection between the OVA and Microsoft Azure StorSimple Manager Service by completing device configuration step. Now, you are eligible to add share. I think, it is so simple to manage shares on Microsoft Azure StorSimple Manager management portal. The configuration done via Azure Management Portal will be reflected to the OVA running in your local hypervisor. So that, your end-user will be able to browse that share by just typing \\vstore1\ .
I have formed some shares as pictured below.
You can setup the administrator of the share when creating it.
By the way, the share administrator that you setup earlier, is able to modify the share permission by clicking properties of the shares.
Have a nice week!