Microsoft (MSFT) is acquiring StorSimple, a developer of storage appliances and related software sporting advanced cloud backup capabilities. Though buying an enterprise hardware firm is off the beaten path for Microsoft, the purchase ties into its efforts to pitch its Azure platform as an ideal solution for "hybrid" cloud environments that support both locally-hosted ("private") and service provider-controlled ("public") cloud infrastructures. Many top rivals, such as Amazon and Salesforce, have a much stronger public cloud tilt.
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