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InfoQ Homepage News Azure Elastic Storage Area Network Solution Generally Available in the Cloud

Azure Elastic Storage Area Network Solution Generally Available in the Cloud

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Microsoft recently announced the general availability (GA) of its iSCSI-based Azure Elastic SAN, a fully-managed and cloud-native storage area network (SAN) offering.

The cloud solution was publicly previewed in October 2022 and received several updates later. With the GA release, the company included new features that enable the investigation of performance and capacity metrics through Azure Monitor Metrics and the prevention of incidents caused by misconfigurations with the assistance of Azure Policy.  In addition, the company raised several performance limits.

Performance limits Azure Elastic SAN (Source: Microsoft Azure Blob Storage blog)

According to a company blog post, Azure Elastic SAN allows customers to drive higher storage throughput over compute network bandwidth with the internet Small Computer Systems Interface (iSCSI) protocol. This helps them to optimize various database workloads, like SQL Servers. SQL Server deployments on Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) occasionally require overprovisioning a VM to reach the target VM-level disk throughput, which can be avoided using Azure Elastic SAN.

Furthermore, customers can leverage Azure Elastic SAN to migrate their on-premises SANs to the cloud by replicating the familiar resource hierarchy and allowing dynamic provisioning of IOPS and throughput at the Elastic SAN resource level. They can subsequently enable the management of security policies at the workload level.

Azure Elastic SAN vs On-premises SAN (Source: Microsoft Learn)

Microsoft partnered with Cirrus Data Solutions to make its Cirrus Migrate Cloud available in the Azure marketplace for migrating Azure Elastic SAN from on-premises SAN.

Aidin Finn, an Azure MVP, questions the purpose of the service in a tweet on X:

So, #Azure Elastic SAN is GA < The real question is: "what part of Azure was this created to support internally?" That's what I wonder when I see these kinds of resources.

With Svyatoslav Pidgorny, responding in a tweet:

Maybe none. Looks like something for the "we stay on-premises because SAN" folks. You want complexity? Here you are!

While Mike points out in a tweet:

It is a great way to enable disposable compute while retaining reliable persistent storage.

Containers have this issue, but even VM environments too. A long standing example would be a SQL database drive or log drive.

Lastly, more details are available on the documentation landing page. In addition, with the GA release, Azure Elastic SAN is available in more regions.

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