Microsoft will augment its own Azure cloud service after acquiring StorSimple, a company that provides appliances that back up enterprise data to cloud storage services.

"StorSimple's approach of seamless integration of on-premise storage with cloud storage is clearly aligned with our Cloud OS vision," said Michael Park, Microsoft corporate vice president in the server and tools division. StorSimple's products "enable IT organisations to reduce the cost of storing data for backup, disaster recovery and archival."

StorSimple's appliances and associated software allow organisations to run hybrid storage systems, an approach called Cloud-integrated Storage (CiS) that combines in-house storage with cloud storage services. StorSimple's service uses both Microsoft's Azure service and third-party cloud providers running VMware's cloud platform. The software is run by either a web console or with a snap-in to the Microsoft Management Console (MMC).

StorSimple's products have been used across a number of industries, including retail, manufacturing, health care and financial services.

Microsoft did not state when the acquisition would be finalised nor how StorSimple products would be incorporated into Microsoft's own product lines.