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Categories: Azure HPE Microsoft Netapp VMware

#Microsoft is prepping something to do with virtual storage appliances spanning on-premises storage and #Azure and will reveal all in April. This story starts with an early January postannouncing that #SoftNAS can now offer its virtual NAS devices across on-premises storage and Azure. That post piqued The Register’s interest, because we are aware of no other virtual storage vendor that can play that way in #Azure. SoftNAS is not a storage industry titan but we figured that if Microsoft sees value in virtual storage from a minnow, perhaps it is also open to the idea of working with more established storage players. Our inquiries about Redmond’s intentions in this field did not yield a solid answer, but elicited a promise that Microsoft will have something to say on the matter in April. What might that something be? Virtual storage is a nascent field: #VMware last week claimed leadership in the market with a US$300m run rate, and even that figure was rubbery because it included #hyperconverged kit. In any case, we can discount the idea of VSAN stretching out into Azure, because Microsoft is unlikely to nourish a competitor in that way. This leaves us with Microsoft’s cloudy allies and therefore to #HPE, which has the Left Hand virtual storage appliance and a stated commitment to love Azure forever. Also, let’s not forget Microsoft’s work with #NetApp to better virtualize #FreeBSD, as NetApp’s Data #ONTAP is a heavily customised BSD. And NetApp has ONTAP Edge, the virtual version of ONTAP. Whatever’s coming down the pike, the mere fact that Azure is already capable of becoming part of a hybrid virtual NAS shows storage is sure to be challenged by all manner of cloudy concoctions. ®

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