The cloud pushes Microsoft into data centre hardware

By Tim Stammers, Senior Analyst, IT Infrastructure

Microsoft has announced its intention to buy StorSimple, a startup seller of enterprise storage systems, for an undisclosed price.

The move reflects Microsoft’s determination to be a cloud leader, and shows that its promise to become a “devices and services company” extends well beyond its forthcoming Surface tablet, and into data centre hardware.

StorSimple sells sophisticated midrange storage systems, which store data in public clouds, such as Microsoft’s own Azure cloud, as well as on customers’ premises. This is a new style of storage that is being pioneered by a handful of suppliers, most of which are startups, and none of which has yet seen spectacular sales growth.

Microsoft, however, clearly agrees with Ovum that wider enterprise use of public storage clouds will happen in time. It has taken the plunge into data centre hardware so that it can direct the …