StorSimple Virtual Array system requirements

Overview

This article describes the important system requirements for your Microsoft Azure StorSimple Virtual Array and for the storage clients accessing the array. We recommend that you review the information carefully before you deploy your StorSimple system, and then refer back to it as necessary during deployment and subsequent operation.

The system requirements include:

  • Software requirements for storage clients - describes the supported virtualization platforms, web browsers, iSCSI initiators, SMB clients, minimum virtual device requirements, and any additional requirements for those operating systems.
  • Networking requirements for the StorSimple device - provides information about the ports that need to be open in your firewall to allow for iSCSI, cloud, or management traffic.

The StorSimple system requirements information published in this article applies to StorSimple Virtual Arrays only.

Software requirements

The software requirements include the information on the supported web browsers, SMB versions, virtualization platforms and the minimum virtual device requirements.

Supported virtualization platforms

Hypervisor Version
Hyper-V Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and later
VMware ESXi 5.0, 5.5, and 6.0
(6.5 is not supported.)

Important

Do not install VMware tools on your StorSimple Virtual Array; this will result in an unsupported configuration.

Virtual device requirements

Component Requirement
Minimum number of virtual processors (cores) 4
Minimum memory (RAM) 8 GB
For a file server, 8 GB for less than 2 million files and 16 GB for 2 - 4 million files
Disk space1 OS disk - 80 GB
Data disk - 500 GB to 8 TB
Minimum number of network interface(s) 1
Internet bandwidth2 Minimum bandwidth required: 5 Mbps
Recommended bandwidth: 100 Mbps
The speed of data transfer scales with the Internet bandwidth. For example, 100 GB of data takes 2 days to transfer at 5 Mbps which could lead to backup failures because daily backups would not complete in a day. With a bandwidth of 100 Mbps, 100 GB of data can be transferred in 2.5 hours.

1 - Thin provisioned

2 - Network requirements may vary depending on the daily data change rate. For example, if a device needs to back up 10 GB or more changes during a day, then the daily backup over a 5 Mbps connection could take up to 4.25 hours (if the data could not be compressed or deduplicated).

Supported web browsers

Component Version Additional requirements/notes
Microsoft Edge Latest version
Internet Explorer Latest version Tested with Internet Explorer 11
Google Chrome Latest version Tested with Chrome 46

Supported storage clients

The following software requirements are for the iSCSI initiators that access your StorSimple Virtual Array (configured as an iSCSI server).

Supported operating systems Version required Additional requirements/notes
Windows Server 2008R2 SP1, 2012, 2012R2 StorSimple can create thinly provisioned and fully provisioned volumes. It cannot create partially provisioned volumes. StorSimple iSCSI volumes are supported for only:
  • Simple volumes on Windows basic disks.
  • Windows NTFS for formatting a volume.

The following software requirements are for the SMB clients that access your StorSimple Virtual Array (configured as a file server).

SMB Version
SMB 2.x
SMB 3.0
SMB 3.02

Important

Do not copy or store files protected by Windows Encrypting File System (EFS) to the StorSimple Virtual Array file server; this will result in an unsupported configuration.

Supported storage format

Only the Azure block blob storage is supported. Page blobs are not supported. More information about block blobs and page blobs.

Networking requirements

The following table lists the ports that need to be opened in your firewall to allow for iSCSI, SMB, cloud, or management traffic. In this table, in or inbound refers to the direction from which incoming client requests access your device. Out or outbound refers to the direction in which your StorSimple device sends data externally, beyond the deployment: for example, outbound to the Internet.

Port No.1 In or out Port scope Required Notes
TCP 80 (HTTP) Out WAN No Outbound port is used for Internet access to retrieve updates.
The outbound web proxy is user configurable.
TCP 443 (HTTPS) Out WAN Yes Outbound port is used for accessing data in the cloud.
The outbound web proxy is user configurable.
UDP 53 (DNS) Out WAN In some cases; see notes. This port is required only if you are using an Internet-based DNS server.
Note that if deploying a file server, we recommend using local DNS server.
UDP 123 (NTP) Out WAN In some cases; see notes. This port is required only if you are using an Internet-based NTP server.
Note that if deploying a file server, we recommend synchronizing time with your Active Directory domain controllers.
TCP 80 (HTTP) In LAN Yes This is the inbound port for local UI on the StorSimple device for local management.
Note that accessing the local UI over HTTP will automatically redirect to HTTPS.
TCP 443 (HTTPS) In LAN Yes This is the inbound port for local UI on the StorSimple device for local management.
TCP 3260 (iSCSI) In LAN No This port is used to access data over iSCSI.

1 No inbound ports need to be opened on the public Internet.

Important

Ensure that the firewall does not modify or decrypt any SSL traffic between the StorSimple device and Azure.

URL patterns for firewall rules

Network administrators can often configure advanced firewall rules based on the URL patterns to filter the inbound and the outbound traffic. Your virtual array and the StorSimple Device Manager service depend on other Microsoft applications such as Azure Service Bus, Azure Active Directory Access Control, storage accounts, and Microsoft Update servers. The URL patterns associated with these applications can be used to configure firewall rules. It is important to understand that the URL patterns associated with these applications can change. This in turn will require the network administrator to monitor and update firewall rules for your StorSimple as and when needed.

We recommend that you set your firewall rules for outbound traffic, based on StorSimple fixed IP addresses, liberally in most cases. However, you can use the information below to set advanced firewall rules that are needed to create secure environments.

Note

  • The device (source) IPs should always be set to all the cloud-enabled network interfaces.
  • The destination IPs should be set to Azure datacenter IP ranges.
URL pattern Component/Functionality
https://*.storsimple.windowsazure.com/*
https://*.accesscontrol.windows.net/*
https://*.servicebus.windows.net/*
https://login.windows.net
StorSimple Device Manager service
Access Control Service
Azure Service Bus
Authentication Service
http://*.backup.windowsazure.com Device registration
http://crl.microsoft.com/pki/*
http://www.microsoft.com/pki/*
Certificate revocation
https://*.core.windows.net/*
https://*.data.microsoft.com
http://*.msftncsi.com
Azure storage accounts and monitoring
http://*.windowsupdate.microsoft.com
https://*.windowsupdate.microsoft.com
http://*.update.microsoft.com
https://*.update.microsoft.com
http://*.windowsupdate.com
http://download.microsoft.com
http://wustat.windows.com
http://ntservicepack.microsoft.com
Microsoft Update servers
http://*.deploy.akamaitechnologies.com Akamai CDN
https://*.partners.extranet.microsoft.com/* Support package
http://*.data.microsoft.com Telemetry service in Windows, see the update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry

Next steps