Discover All About Azure Storage Platform to Expand your Business

Marketing Team
Published on March 2, 2022

Microsoft provides a smart storage solution for every kind of business with Azure Storage. With data growing day by day, you need bigger and more developed storage to protect all your documents. Azure storage provides massive scalability, along with security, durability, and much more. Azure storage has revolutionized the cloud storage facility. It comes with Microsoft’s guaranteed, massively scalable, highly available, robust, and economical architecture. In this blog on Azure Storage, you will learn the different storage offerings from Azure such as tables, blobs, file storage, and queues.

What is Azure Storage?

The Azure Storage platform is Microsoft's cloud storage solution for modern data storage scenarios. Core storage services offer a massively scalable object store for data objects, disk storage for Azure virtual machines (VMs), a file system service for the cloud, a messaging store for reliable messaging, and a NoSQL store. For developers, Azure storage supports a variety of clients, such as .NET, Ruby, and Java for REST, and access from multiple Windows and Linux operating systems. Azure can support any business from an SMB to high tech MNC, as it is virtually limitless. It doesn't burden you with unnecessary storage space, it provides a pay-as-you-go model, where you can expand your storage space whenever you need it.  With azure storage, you can give up your headache of maintaining physical storage, and trust your provider to do all your job for you, thus it saves you a huge penny. Azure storage comes with endless flexibility, you can access it whenever and wherever you want. A different profession requires different cloud solutions, so, Azure offers different types of storage options. Let's Explore.

What are Azure Storage Types?

To access storage services, the first step is to create an account. After creating an account, you can transfer data to or from services in your storage account. Create a storage account to store up to 500 TB of data in the cloud. Azure provides two different types of services: Standard Storage which includes Blob, Table, Queue, and File storage types, and Premium Storage – Azure VM disks.

  1. Standard Storage

Blob Storage, Table Storage, File Storage, and Queue Storage are all available with a Standard Storage Account. Let's go over those in more detail.

  • Azure Blob Storage: Pictures, videos, music files, documents, raw data, and log data, as well as their meta-data, are all examples of unstructured data that can be stored in a blog. Blobs are stored in a directory like structure called a “container”.  You can store an unlimited number of blob files with a total capacity of 500 TB and apply security policies to them. Data or device backup can also be done with blob storage. Blobs are divided into three categories: block blobs, append blobs, and page blobs. Block blobs can be used to store text, images, and video data. Append blobs are comparable to block blobs, although they're more commonly utilized for functions like logging. Page blobs are therefore used in Azure VMs to store OS and data disks.
  • Azure Table Storage: The Azure Table storage service stores large amounts of structured data. It's schemaless, which means the data isn't organized in any particular way. Azure tables are ideal for storing structured, non-relational data. Datasets that don't require any joins or foreign keys can be easily stored. You can denormalize them to make access more convenient. You can scale the tables up or down depending on your needs. It has now become a part of Azure Cosmos DB. Azure table stores structured NoSQL data.
  • Azure File Storage: Azure File Storage is for legacy applications. Mounted file shares are used by Azure VMs and services to share data, while the File Service REST API is used by on-premise applications to access the files. In Azure, a File Storage share is an SMB file share. A parent share must be used to create all folders and files. A share can store an unlimited amount of files, up to the 5 TB total capacity of the file share, and an account can have an unlimited number of shares.
  • Azure Queue Storage: The Queue Storage service (comparable to Amazon's SQS) is used to exchange messages between components in the cloud or on-premise. Large quantities of messages can be stored and transmitted asynchronously through HTTP or HTTPS between independent components of applications. Queue Storage is commonly used to handle backlog messages or to exchange messages between Azure Web roles and Worker roles. A queue message can be up to 64 KB in size, and a queue can hold millions of messages, up to the storage account's overall capacity limit.

2. Premium Storage account

Microsoft's Azure Premium Storage service uses Solid State Drives (SSDs) for greater IO and throughput, which is the company's most current storage solution. Page Blobs are the only type of blob supported by premium storage.

  • Disk storage: It is a virtual hard disk (VHD) that is of two types: managed and unmanaged. Azure-managed disks are block-level storage volumes that are managed by Azure and used with Azure Virtual Machines. Managed disks are like a physical disk in an on-premises server but, virtualized. With managed disks, all you have to do is specify the disk size, the disk type, and provision the disk. Once you provision the disk, Azure handles the rest.

What are the Features of Azure Storage?

  • Durability

Data is duplicated and stored in multiple locations throughout the world. As a result, in the event of a hardware failure, your replicas and data are safe. Your data will also be safe in the event of a natural disaster, and you will be able to access it quickly. There are four ways you can make sure data is stored redundantly: Locally Redundant Storage (LRS), Zone-Redundant Storage (ZNS), Geo-redundant Storage (GRS), and Read Access Geo-Redundant Storage (RA-GRS).

  • High Availability

With such durable features, storage services will automatically be highly available. Geo-redundant storage (GRS) and Read Access Geo-Redundant Storage (RA-GRS) provide the highest level of durability, but at a higher cost. GRS is the default storage redundancy mode. If you chose GRS or RA-GRS, your data will be replicated in multiple facilities across multiple regions. Any catastrophic failure of one data center will not result in permanent data loss.

  • Scalability

Depending on the needs, the storage can be significantly scaled. The data is automatically scaled up to meet any spikes in demand. Azure Storage provides a global namespace to access data from anywhere.

  • Security

An invader finding any information in your storage is a difficult effort, thus your data is safe. For authentication security, Azure Storage uses a Shared Key mechanism. Access can be further restricted through the use of a shared access signature (SAS).  SAS is a token that can be attached to a URI to specify certain permissions for a given time period. Standard SAS stores such as Blob, Table, Queue, and File are available. It is also possible to enable anonymous access, albeit this is not encouraged.

Conclusion

The Azure storage service is a great example of well-designed architecture that can be used for a variety of purposes, including business demands. It is an obvious choice for those searching for scalable, reliable, and effectively endless space, with an SLA ranging from 99.9% to 99.99 percent. Azure Storage is used by Microsoft for its popular services such as Skype, XBOX, Bing, and SkyDrive. We covered the fundamentals of the Azure Storage service in this blog. Contact us to know more about Azure Storage.