We are excited to announce that with the Update 1 release, StorSimple 8000 series is now available in Azure Government , and supports other cloud providers and Zone Redundant Storage(ZRS) for backend cloud storage. Update 1 also includes a migration tool kit enabling customers to upgrade from 5000/7000 series devices, as well as enhancements to the initial device setup and update experience.
Availability in Azure Government
StorSimple 8000 series is now generally available in Azure Government, which is a physical and network-isolated instance of Microsoft Azure, operated by screened U.S. persons with all data, applications and hardware residing in the continental United States, and committed to meeting rigorous compliance requirements and government policies.
Customers can run a commandlet to set the cloud platform on their StorSimple device to Azure Government, prior to registering their device on the Azure Government Portal. By setting this option, all data, including tiered data, backups as well as StorSimple Virtual Appliances, will be stored in the Azure Government cloud, and management of the same done though the Azure Government Portal. Setting this option also enables the FIPS mode of operation on the StorSimple device.
We are pleased to announce that the StorSimple 8000 series cryptographic modules have completed validation to the Federal Information Processing Standard – FIPS 140-2, which is of great importance for the US Federal and Canadian governments as well as other customers that have FIPS 140-2 requirements for the use of cryptography to protect sensitive data. For reference, the FIPS 140-2 validation certificates are posted here: http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/STM/cmvp/documents/140-1/140val-all.htm
StorSimple 8000 series has also completed certifications for HIPAA(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability), CSA(Cloud Security Alliance) and DPA(Data Protection Act) compliance.
Vendor lock in remains one of the top concerns for companies looking to move workloads to the cloud. With Update 1, when creating a new volume container for their StorSimple 8000 series device, customers now also have the option to select or create a storage account with Amazon S3, Amazon S3 with RRS, OpenStack or HP Cloud as cloud service provider, besides Azure.
Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS)
StorSimple now supports Azure storage accounts created with the ‘Zone Redundant’ replication option. Zone-redundant storage replicates your data across two to three facilities, either within a single region or across two regions, providing higher durability than Locally Redundant Storage (LRS), at a lower cost point per unit of storage than the Geo-Redundant Storage (GRS) offering. More information on Azure Storage Redundancy Options is available as part of Azure documentation here.
Migration from 5000/7000 series
The Migration Tool Kit enables customers to upgrade from a StorSimple 5000/7000 series to a StorSimple 8000 series device, and take advantage of its improved feature offerings, while maintaining their data in-place.
Enhanced initial deployment and update experience
The device installation and update experiences have been enhanced with Update 1. The setup wizard now provides instant feedback to users if their network configuration and firewall settings are incorrect and additional diagnostic commandlets have been provided to help troubleshoot any issues with the networking setup of the device.
Update to latest Microsoft Azure Storage API
The Azure Storage Service API version currently used by StorSimple 8000 series devices will be deprecated on December 9, 2015, as per the announcement on removal of Storage Service versions. Update 1 contains an upgrade to the latest version of the Storage service APIs. It is critical that the customers apply Update1 prior to December 9, 2015, failing which their StorSimple devices could cease functioning correctly after this date.
Note: You may not find a new release immediately available when you scan for updates, as the rollout is typically phased. Scan again for updates in a few days, as this will become available soon.