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Azure Storage Services

Azure Storage Services offers robust cloud storage in a variety of different flavors to meet any type of modern data storage requirement. Core storage consists of data services such as Azure Blobs, Azure Files, Azure Queues, Azure Tables, and Azure Disks. Storage services in Azure are available by way of a storage account. In addition to the core services are several more granularized offerings to cover all use cases. Azure storage is Durable and highly available, secure, scalable, managed, and accessible.

Azure Blob Storage

Azure Blob Storage Fundamentals
Azure Blob storage is an object storage solution for the cloud. This type of storage is meant for storing massive amounts of unstructured data. Unstructured data can be things like text or binary data and it doesn’t adhere to a particular data model or definition. You might use Blob Storage for these types of storage tasks:

  • Serving images or static files to a web browser.
  • Storing files for distributed access.
  • Storing for Streaming media purposes.
  • Writing to log files.
  • Storing data for recovery and backup, disaster recovery, and archiving.
  • Storing data for analysis by Azure-hosted services or an on-premises solution.

Azure File Storage

azure file storage
Azure File Storage offers fully managed file shares in the cloud that are accessible via Server Message Block (SMB) protocol or Network File System (NFS) protocol. Azure Files can be mounted at the same time by cloud or on-premises deployments. SMB shares are reachable from Windows, Linux, and macOS clients. NFS shares can be accessed from Linux or macOS clients. SMB Azure file shares can be cached on Windows Servers with Azure File Sync for quick access and minimal latency. File storage is good for:

  • Replace or supplement on-premises file servers
  • "Lift and shift" applications

  • Simplify cloud development

    • Shared application settings

    • Diagnostic share

    • Dev/Test/Debug

  • Containerization
  • Create a file share accessible on a UNC path.
  • Provide an SMB file share and secure access.

Azure Disk Storage

azure disk storage
Azure-managed disks are block-level storage volumes that are managed by Azure and used in combination with Azure VMs. Managed disks can be thought of like a physical disk in an On-Prem server but, virtualized. To get started with a managed disk, you have to specify the disk size, the disk type, and provision the disk. Once the disk is provisioned, Azure handles the rest. Key points of Azure Disk Storage:

  • Highly durable and available
  • Simple and scalable VM deployment
  • Integration with availability sets
  • Integration with Availability Zones
  • Azure Backup support
  • Azure Disk Backup
  • Granular access control
  • Upload your vhd
  • Server-side encryption
  • Azure Disk Encryption
  • Storage for Azure VMs is hosted in Azure Disk Storage

Azure Table Storage

Azure Table Storage
Azure Table storage is a cloud service that stores structured NoSQL data in the cloud, providing a key/attribute store with a schemaless design. Schemaless storage has grown in popularity since it’s easy to adapt your data as the needs of your application evolve. Table storage data access is typically fast and efficient for all kinds of applications and is often lower in cost than traditional SQL for similar volumes of data.

  • Store Terabyes of structured data capable of serving web scale applications
  • Store datasets that don’t need complex joins, foreign keys, or stored procedures
  • Quickly query data using a clustered index
  • Access data using LINQ queries with WCF Data Service .NET Libraries

Azure Queue Storage

azure queue storage
Azure Queue Storage can be used for storing large numbers of messages. Accessing messages is done via authenticated calls using HTTP or HTTPS from anywhere in the world. Queue messages can be up to 64 Kilobytes in size. A queue can contain millions of messages, limited only by the capacity of a storage account. Queues are perfect for creating a backlog of work that can be processed asynchronously.

Azure Portal Storage Services

The storage services available in the Azure Portal are listed here.

azure portal storage services

  • Storage accounts – An Azure storage account contains all of your Azure Storage data objects such as blobs, files, queues, and tables. This is the most current version of storage account in Azure.
  • Storage accounts (classic) – Classic storage accounts are created using the REST API stack while the newer storage accounts are created Azure Resource Manager API’s.
  • Recovery Services vaults – Azure Recovery Services vault consists of Azure Backup and Site Recovery that provide the ability to protect data outside of your own data center.
  • StorSimple Device Managers – Microsoft Azure StorSimple provides a web-based user interface that enables administrators to centrally manage datacenter and cloud storage.
  • Data Lake Storage Gen1 – Azure Data Lake Storage Gen1 is a repository for big data analytic workloads.
  • Storage Explorer – Azure Storage Explorer provides a graphical environment to browse and perform actions against Azure Storage accounts.
  • StorSimple Data Managers – The StorSimple Data Manager makes it possible to access and use the StorSimple format data in the cloud.
  • Storage Sync Services – Allows the synchronization of On-Prem file servers with Azure Files supported by Storage Accounts.
  • Azure Stack Edge / Data Box Gateway – Work together to enable data transfers to Azure, while retaining local access to files.
  • Azure Stack Edge – Artificial Intelligence edge computing device that connects to Azure services. It is a Hardware-as-a-Service that is managed from the cloud.
  • Azure Data Box Gateway – Carries out the network storage functions of Azure Data Box Edge. It is a software virtual appliance component in the Azure Data Box Edge.
  • Azure Data Box – Transfer terabytes of data into and out of Azure.
  • Azure NetApp Files – Azure NetApp Files is a bare-metal cloud file storage and data management service built on NetApp’s industry ONTAP technology.
  • Data Shares – Share data with customers and partners via a data share account.
  • Data Share Invitations – An invitation from Azure with a subject titled as “Azure Data Share invitation from”.
  • HPC caches – an Azure cloud service that provides low-latency file access to support high-performance computing workloads running in Microsoft Azure.

Learn More About Azure Storage Services

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