StorSimple 8k wish list (updated 3/28/2016)

Having done several StorSimple installation and data migration for enterprise clients, I came across a number of features that would be nice to have in the next StorSimple software update. I will be dating each item. These requests apply to the StorSimple 8k series (8100 and 8600 models).

  • 3/28/2016Resolve the issue of high latency IO’s seeming to block/impede low latency IO’s
  • 3/28/2016: More visibility into the device tiering metrics. Simply put, a storage admin needs to know when a StorSimple device is ‘full’ and is tiering off blocks from the primary data set to Azure. This knowledge is critical to avoid the situation described above. A metric of the amount of space available before the device is full, is even better to help provide predictability before reaching that point.
  • 3/28/2016: ‘Cloud Pinned Volume’ feature would be very helpful. This should allow the StorSimple storage admin to provision an iSCSI volume that resides always in Azure and does not affect the device heat map.
  • 5/1/2015: Need a way to backup and restore a StorSimple array configuration. This was an available feature on the 5k and 7k series arrays but is currently missing in the 8k series arrays. I’m; however; working on Powershell scripts to do just that.
  • 5/1/2015: Need a way to browse a comprehensive backup catalog and be able to perform a granular restore at the file level. This has been requested by several customers. As it stands today, to recover a single file from a cloud snapshot, we must:
    • Know what volume it’s on. This information is not always available, particularly in situations where the file system is presented to client computers under a virtual directory structure such as that provided by F5 ARX
    • Clone the entire volume in the Azure Management Interface. This incurs unnecessary time and egress Azure bandwidth costs. It negatively impacts RTO (Recovery Time Objective)
    • Manually locate and copy over the file(s) to be recovered in Windows Explorer on the Windows file server.
    • Manually do post recovery cleanup, which includes offlining the cloned iSCSI volume on the Windows file server, offlining the cloned volume in Azure StorSimple Management Interface, and deleting the cloned volume.
  • 5/1/2015: SVA is too slow. The StorSimple Virtual Array is currently too slow. Several clients have voiced a concern about that. SVA is spun up as an A3 VM in Azure, which has 4 processor cores and 7 GB memory.
    • 3/29/2016: With the release of SVA 8020 using SSD storage, we see better performance. However, SVA remains a DR option mainly or for workloads that require low IO.
  • 5/1/2015: SVA has 1 network interface. This is a problem because it means both network and iSCSI traffic are mixed and run on the same virtual NIC. It also means we have no path redundancy, fault tolerance, or load balancing.
  • 5/1/2015: Need high availability for SVA. SVA is currently a single point of failure. Need to be able to use something like Azure Availability Set support to make the SVA highly available.
  • 5/1/2015: Need SVA to support more than 30 TB maximum. Currently an SVA has a 30 TB maximum storage capacity, which means if we’re to support volume recovery in Azure, we must have volumes under 30 TB in size.
  • 5/7/2015: Need clarity on deduplication/compression in the 8k series, both the on-prem and Azure tiers. This is not a request to estimate or predict disk space savings due to dedup/compression. This is a request to show actual dedup/compression ratios in already installed systems.

Wishes that came true !

  •  5/1/2015: Need a way to gracefully power down a StorSimple array. This may be trivial, but there’s no where on the physical array to gracefully shut it down. No where in Azure to power it down, no where in Powershell (both the limited set of commands that run on the array and the StorSimple commands in the Azure PS module version 0.8.16. The only way to power it down now is to turn off each of the 2 power supply units on the back of the array.
    ==> solution: using the software, shutdown both controller 0 and controller 1. This can be done from the Azure Management Interface:
    Under the device node, click Maintenance on top/right, then Manage Controllers at the bottom center:Shutdown01Then pick Shut Down Controller from the Select Action drop down menu.Shutdown02
    This can also be done from the device Powershell/serial interface using the Stop-HCSController cmdlet:
    Stop-HcsController -ControllerId Controller0
    Stop-HcsController -ControllerId Controller1
  • 5/1/2015: Need to be able to spin up and use StorSimple Virtual Arrays in Azure without the requirement to have a physical array. Again this feature has been requested by several clients.
    This is now an available feature as the OVA (On-Premise Virtual Array) which came out with StorSimple Software version 2.0 release



2 responses

  1. mc

    Have any of your wishes been granted since you last wrote the wishlist?
    Just had an 8k land on me, looking to deploy soon so will need to know the ins & outs… cheers

    July 28, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    • Not yet. There’s a major software upgrade in the works. Many believe it will be (automatically) available this month (August 2015).
      Your array comes with deployment services paid for by Microsoft. Please email me for details (

      August 5, 2015 at 5:16 am

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