Microsoft Azure Storage – Part 1

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What is Azure Storage?

Azure Storage play an important role in the Microsoft Azure
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) strategy for storage.

Azure Storage enables storage and retrieval of large amounts of unstructured data. You can store content files such as documents and media in the Blob service, use the Table service for NoSQL data, use the Queue service for reliable messages, and use the File service for Server Message Block (SMB) file share

Why to use Azure Storage?

1. Massively Scalable

Azure Storage is massively scalable cloud storage service, so you can store and process hundreds of terabytes of data to support the big data scenarios required by scientific, financial analysis and media applications.

Azure Storage currently stores tens of trillions of unique customer objects, and handles millions of requests per second on average.

2. Azure Storage is elastic

Azure Storage is elastic, so you can design applications for a large global audience, and scale those applications as needed.

As the demands on your application grow, Azure Storage automatically allocates the appropriate resources to meet them.

3. Accessible from anywhere in the world

Azure Storage is accessible from anywhere in the world, from any type of application, whether it’s running in the cloud, on the desktop, on an on-premises server, or on a mobile or tablet device.

Azure Storage also provides the storage foundation for Azure Virtual Machines.

Azure Storage services

Azure storage provides the following four services: Blob storage, Table storage, Queue storage, and File storage.

Storage Services
Storage Services

1. Blob Storage

Stores unstructured object data. A blob can be any type of text or binary data, such as a document, media file, or application installer.

2. File Storage

Azure File storage is a service that offers file shares in the cloud using the standard Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol. On-premises applications can access file data in a share via the File service REST API.

3 .Table Storage

Stores structured data sets. Table storage is a NoSQL key-attribute data store, which allows for rapid development and fast access to large quantities of data.

4. Queue Storage

Queue storage delivers asynchronous messaging for communication between application components, whether they are running in the cloud, on the desktop, on an on-premises server, or on a mobile device.

How data is stored using Storage Service?

Following image in short shows how data is stored using azure storage service.

Azure Storage Concept

1. Create storage account

You get option to store data in Blobs, Table, Queues and Files. An Azure storage account provides a unique namespace to store and access your Azure Storage data objects. There are two types of storage accounts. 

General-purpose Storage Accounts

A general-purpose storage account gives you access to Azure Storage services such as Tables, Queues, Files, Blobs and Azure virtual machine disks. There are two type of general purpose accounts.

Standard storage: Allows you to store Tables, Queues, Files, Blobs and Azure virtual machine disks.
Premium storage: supports only Azure virtual machine disks with input/output (I/O)-intensive workloads.

Blob Storage Accounts

A Blob storage account is a specialized storage account for storing your unstructured data as blobs (objects) in Azure Storage. There are two types Blob Storage that can be specified based on your data access pattern.

Hot access: Indicates that the objects in the storage account will be more frequently accessed. This allows you to store data at a lower access cost.
Cool access: Indicates that the objects in the storage account will be less frequently accessed. This allows you to store data at a lower data storage cost.

2. Steps to use Storage Account

i. In order to store data in blobs create containers first, within each container you can upload files (images, videos etc.).

ii. To store data in NoSQL format, create table using APIs, then create entities within. Or you can use azure management studio to create data table from CSV, XML or relational database.

iii. To store data in queues, create queues first from portal and then create new message within.

iv. To store data in file storage, first need to create file share and directory structure in portal and then upload files within.

In order to use storage service you need to create storage account.

Navigate to new (+) -> Storage -> Storage Account -> Provide the details of storage account and click on create button.

Create new storage account
Create new storage account

Once storage account is created you can see the same in the list of all resources, if you open it you will able to see different storage services available for you to consume as stated above.

Storage Services in Storage Account
Storage Services in Storage Account


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