Today I am excited to announce that we have reached a definitive agreement to acquire StorSimple, a leader in an emerging category known as Cloud-integrated Storage (CiS).

We know that many of you – our customers - are faced with an explosion in data and the resulting cost to store, manage and archive this data is ballooning. This is why cloud storage solutions are so compelling - they provide increased flexibility, almost unlimited scalability, and the improved economics you need. But to realize those benefits, cloud storage needs to be integrated into the enterprise IT infrastructure and application environment.  This is where CiS and StorSimple come in.

CiS is a rapidly emerging category of storage solutions that consolidate the management of primary data, backup disaster recovery and archival data, and deliver seamless integration between on premise and cloud environments. This seamless integration and orchestration enables new levels of speed, simplicity and reliability for backup and disaster recovery (DR) while reducing costs for both primary data and data protection.

You may have heard us talk about the “Cloud OS” over the last few months - the Cloud OS is our vision to deliver a consistent, intelligent and automated platform of compute, network and storage across a company’s datacenter, a service provider’s datacenter and the Windows Azure public cloud.  With Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure at its core, and System Center 2012 providing automation, orchestration and management capabilities, the Cloud OS helps customers transform their data centers for the future.

StorSimple’s approach of seamless integration of on-premises storage with cloud storage is clearly aligned with our Cloud OS vision. Their innovative solutions enable IT organizations to reduce the cost of storing data for backup, DR and archival and ensure fast recovery through a single console. Customers looking to embrace cloud storage and realize its benefits today can learn more about this announcement and StorSimple here: www.StorSimple.com.

As you know, there are a number of robust storage options already available that integrate with Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure and we will continue to work with our broad ecosystem of partners to deliver a variety of innovative storage solutions – both on-premises and cloud integrated.

By working together Microsoft and StorSimple can help you with the storage challenges you face today and continue to provide platforms and technologies on which our partners can innovate and extend.  Obviously, we are in the early stages of this acquisition – but the possibilities are exciting – and we look forward to sharing more about our plans in the future.

      - Michael Park, Corporate Vice President, Server and Tools Division, Microsoft