Silk extends its Azure high end base down to mid-market

Silk has moved its Azure storage acceleration technology down to the mid-market by using a mid-range class of Azure SSD storage and a new licensing scheme.

The concept is to provide apps running in Azure that need faster storage IO than Azure’s basic block storage instances can provide. This is done by using Azure ephemeral disks created on the local virtual machine (VM) storage and not saved to the remote Azure Storage. Silk deploys Microsoft Azure VMs into its customers’ subscriptions and deploys its software on top of those VMs.

Silk founder and CEO Dani Golan said: “With this new release, we’re excited that our platform has matured enough to be able to expand our market reach and help even more organizations bring their mission-critical workloads to the cloud.”

Azure ephemeral disks are much faster than standard block storage but don’t provide any data services. Silk’s SW provides services such as active:active high availability, real-time data reduction, thin-provisioning, zero-footprint clones, deduplication, data replication and snapshots.

The release makes it possible to run smaller workloads and deployments on Silk, and users should still see the the performance improvements, data services, and snapshots, etc, that Silk’s existing customers get.

For mid-market customers Silk is using Azure Premium SSD v2 Disk Storage. Why Microsoft is calling its Azure Premium SSD v2 “Disk Storage” when an SSD is not a disk is beyond B&F. Leaving that aside, the Premium SSD v2 storage provides between 1GiB and 64 TiB of capacity, 3,000 to 80,000 IOPS, and 125 to 1,200 MBps bandwidth. They are billed hourly based on the provisioned capacity, IOPS, and MBps.

The new offering offers better resiliency, consistency and durability than Azure’s Premium SSD v2. Silk’s customers use storage capacity in virtual structures called Silk Data Pods (SPDs). Silk is offering small capacity SPDs built on Azure Premium SSDs, and also a new Express Pack at a lower licensing price. This provides a simple entry point for medium-sized companies, as well as for secondary systems of larger enterprises, to run on Silk. 

Silk is also providing SAML-based Single Sign-On, SAML standing for Security Assertion Markup Language, and some general performance enhancements.

Aung Oo, GM Azure Storage Engineering at Microsoft, said: “Silk’s unique architecture enables it to build on the cloud-leading capabilities that Azure Premium SSD v2 Disk Storage can provide, delivering to our joint customers extreme levels of performance, availability and scale.”

The new Silk offering is now available on both the Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud marketplaces. You can sign up for a demo here.