Microsoft has further its push into the cloud after the US firm confirmed that it had picked up enterprise cloud computing specialist StorSimple in an undisclosed deal that will strengthen its offering for Windows Azure customers.

Silicon Valley-based StorSimple combines physical data management services, such as basic storage, backup and recovery, with cloud integration which helps its enterprise customers get the most from both. The firm says its hybrid approach can reduce costs by up to 90 percent, and that its customer base includes businesses across retail, oil and gas, manufacturing, healthcare and more.

Michael Park, corporate vice president for Microsoft’s server and tools division, said that the deal will help customers better integrate their local storage with that which is stored virtually.

“Customers faced with explosive growth in data are looking to the cloud to help them store, manage and archive that data. But, to be effective, cloud storage needs to integrate with IT’s current investments. StorSimple’s approach helps customers seamlessly integrate on-premises storage with cloud storage through intelligent automation and management,” the exec explained.

The synergies of the coming-together were further emphasised by Ursheet Parikh, co-founder and CEO of StorSimple, who revealed that most of its customer use Microsoft’s Windows Azure as their primary cloud computing solution.

“We are excited to continue to work with Microsoft and bring the combined benefits of StorSimple and Windows Azure to customers around the world,” he commented.

StorSimple has raised $31.5 million over three funding rounds, its investors include Index Ventures and Redpoint Ventures.

Microsoft’s computing rival Lenovo invested in its cloud computing prowess last month when it picked up US-based Stoneware in its first ever acquisition of a software firm.

Headline image via Flickr / Karin Dalziel