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Bug in Microsoft's StorSimple arrays can kill backups

Disruptive upgrade required ASAP if you care about your data ... or your job

By Simon Sharwood, 13 Sep 2016

Microsoft's warned users of its StorSimple network-attached storage devices to update them ASAP, because they might not be finishing backups.

You had one job, Microsoft … one job. Now owners of the devices have an urgent and tricky job, because Microsoft says “The update is a disruptive update (requires reboot of the appliance) and should be applied during a planned downtime.”

The mess afflicts version 10.0.10288.0 of StorSimple devices' OS, which has two problems Redmond describes as follows:

  • “Backups would fail to complete under certain conditions” but Microsoft doesn't explain those circumstances;
  • “An issue observed in earlier releases where iSCSI session was disconnected when copying large amount of data to a volume on the StorSimple Virtual Array.”

StorSimple devices are nowhere near the top of the storage sales charts, but Microsoft's doing well shipping them as an on-ramp to Azure under a buy lots of Azure, get the array for free plan. That offer's worked because StorSimple knows Azure inside out and quietly copies data from on-premises boxen into Microsoft's cloud. Or should, if it worked properly … which we now know isn't always the case.

This is not a good look for Microsoft, as StoreSimple is a rare foray into the enterprise hardware market it hopes to soon lead by powering AzureStack appliances. There's potential for data loss here, too. But it's also not the worst mistake to make: it hits a minor update to software not all users will have adopted and seems not to be something everyone needs to worry about ASAP. For the few that do need to scramble, enjoy your late night and all the fun of raking over the coals of backups past to figure out what they missed. ®

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