A Detailed Overview Of Blob Storage

This article will help you learn about the creation of an Azure Blob Storage.

Introduction

This article will help you learn the process of creation of an Azure Blob Storage.

This article will cover the following.

  • Explanation about Azure Storage
  • Brief concepts of Blob
  • Types of Blob Storage
  • Creating Blob Storage in Azure portal

Before reading this article, please go through some important articles mentioned below,

Azure Storage

Azure Storage is one of the cloud computing PaaS (Platform as a Service) services provided by the Microsoft Azure team. It provides cloud storage that is highly available, secure, durable, scalable, and redundant. It is massively scalable and elastic. It can store and process hundreds of terabytes of data or you can store the small amounts of data required for a small business website.

Here, we will see how to create a Storage Account.

Azure Storage Types

A storage account is a container that has a group of Azure Storage services together (Azure Blobs, Azure Files, Azure Queues, and Azure Tables). The following illustration shows a storage account containing several data services.

A Detailed Overview About Blob Storage

Azure Storage is a fundamental building block for all of the Azure Services. We can manage them as a group. Once you create the account, we can create any data service inside it and once you delete the account, all the data will be deleted. A storage account can be created in Azure resources. An Azure subscription may contain multiple resource groups, where each group contains one or more storage accounts. Within Azure, there are two types of storage accounts, five types of storage, four levels of data redundancy, and three tiers for storing files.

What is Blob?

Blob is a service for storing large amounts of unstructured data that can be accessed from anywhere in the world via HTTP or HTTPS." Blob stands for " Binary Large Object ". It's designed to store large amounts of unstructured text or binary data like virtual hard disks, videos, images or even log files. The data can be exposed to the public or stored privately. It scales up or down as your needs change. We no longer manage it, we only pay for what we use.

Why do we use Blob?

  • Store any type of unstructured data that includes images, videos, audio, documents and backups at exabyte scale. It handles trillions of stored objects, with millions of average requests per second, for customers around the world.
  • Blob has Strong Consistency. When an object is changed, it is verified everywhere for superior data integrity, ensuring you always have access to the latest version.
  • We can have the flexibility to perform the edits in storage, which can improve your application performance and reduce bandwidth consumption.
  • We have many different types of blobs for our flexibility. Automatically we configure geo-replication options in a single menu, to easily empower global and local access.
  • One infrastructure but access world wide. With regions around the world, it is ideal for streaming and storing media, whether it is live broadcast events or long-term archive of petabytes of movies and television shows. We can perform secure backup and disaster recovery

Blob Service Hierarchy

Every blob service has the the following components,

A Detailed Overview About Blob Storage
  • Storage Account
    This storage account can be either a General Storage account (V1 or V2) or a Blob Storage Account.

  • Container
    A container contains a group of blobs in which there can exist an unlimited amount of blobs. A mandatory requirement of a container is that its name should always be lowercase.

  • Blob
    A blob is a file of any size and type.

What is a Container?

A container is a basic structural element for your storage account. It organizes a set of blobs, similar to a directory in a file system. Normally, a storage account can have an unlimited number of containers, and a container can store an unlimited number of blobs. So we first create a storage account then create a container and store our files.

Types of Blob

We specify the blob type when we create the blob. Once the blob has been created, we cannot change its type, and it can be updated only by using operations appropriate for that blob type, i.e., writing a block or list of blocks to a block blob, appending blocks to a append blob, and writing pages to a page blob.

Blobs can be further sub-categorized into three types,

  • Block Blobs
    The most common use-cases for blob storage will involve Block Blobs. These blobs are ideal for storing documents and text or binary media files. 50,000 blocks of up to 100 MB each can be stored in a single block blob which totals a size more than 4750 GB or 4.75 TB. (50000*100MB). It stores text and binary data, up to about 4.7 TB. The block blobs means that a large file may be broken up into blocks, then may be uploaded or downloaded separately, in any sequence and then re-associated with each other, in the proper sequence. Each block within a blob is identified by a Block ID. With a block blob, you can upload multiple blocks in parallel to decrease upload time.

  • Append blobs
    Append blobs are similar to Block blobs, but support appending operations and are designed for log files. When you modify an append blob, blocks are added to the end of the blob only, via the append block operation. The different between append blobs from block blobs is storage capacity. This blob can only store up to 4MB of data, unlike 100MB in block blobs. Therefore, append blocks are limited to the storage capacity.

  • Page Blobs
    Page blobs are designed for frequent read/write operations. It can store about 8 TB of data. It writes a range of pages to an existing page blob available. It will not create a new blob. Within Azure, there are two-page blob categories like Standard, used for virtual machines with an average amount of read/write operations, and Premium, used for virtual machines for intensive read/write operations.

Differentiate blob storage types

Block Blob Page Blob Append Blob
Collections of blocks and each Block is identifiable by a Block ID Collection of pages that are optimized for random read write operations. Optimized for Append operations
Used for streaming Sequential Data like Video Used for non-Sequential Read and Write. Used for activities like Logging
Each Block can be up to 4 MB A page can be up to 512 bytes Each Block can be up to 4 MB
Up to 50,000 Blocks can be created. No limitations on the number of Pages created Up to 50,000 Blocks can be created.
Maximum Size 195 GB Maximum size 1TB Maximum size of 195 GB
Multiple clients writing to the same blob is not possible Multiple clients writing to the same blob is not possible Multiple clients writing to the same blob is possible
 

Create the Blob Storage in Azure Portal

Prerequisites

  • Microsoft Azure Account.

Follow the below steps to create an Azure Storage Account.

Step 1

Log in here. Please go through the article mentioned below for creating a Storage account mentioned below.

After creating the storage account, navigate to the blobs.

A Detailed Overview About Blob Storage
 
Step 2
 
Create Container
  • Click on the + Container button.
A Detailed Overview About Blob Storage
  • Enter the storage name and public access. Let's see each, one by one.
A Detailed Overview About Blob Storage
  • Container Name

A container name must be a valid DNS name

    1. Container names must start with a letter or number, and can contain only letters, numbers, and the dash (-) character.
    2. Every dash (-) character must be immediately preceded and followed by a letter or number; consecutive dashes are not permitted in container names.
    3. All letters in a container name must be lowercase.
    4. Container names must be from 3 through 63 characters long.
  • Public access Level

By default, a container and any blobs may be accessed only by the owner of the storage account. To give anonymous users read permissions to a container and its blobs, you can set the container permissions to allow public acces. We can configure a container with the following permissions:

    • Private
      This is default for all new containers. The container and its blobs can be accessed only by the storage account owner

    • Blob
      Blobs within the container can be read by an anonymous user, but container data is not available.

    • Container
      All container and blob data can be read by anonymous request.
Then choose the container name and public access level and click on ok:
 
A Detailed Overview About Blob Storage
  • Container is created.
A Detailed Overview About Blob Storage
 
Step 4 - Create Blob
 
Here is the dashboard of Azure Blob Storage. Since this container is new, it won't yet contain any blobs. Now Select the Upload button to upload a blob to the container
  • Browse your local file system to find a file to upload as a block blob, and select Upload.
A Detailed Overview About Blob Storage
  • Click on the "Advanced" tab.
A Detailed Overview About Blob Storage

    • Authentication type -Azure Storage supports authentication for the Blob services. Use shared access signatures (SAS) to grant fine-grained access to resources in your storage account
    • Blob Type – Choose your blob type
    • Block Size – Its starts from 64 KB to 100 MB
    • Upload to the folder – Here, you can upload folder.
  • Blob getting uploaded
A Detailed Overview About Blob Storage
 
Step 5
  • Upload the Image
A Detailed Overview About Blob Storage
  • Blob dashboard Overview - It contains the image URL, type, size etc. Copy the URL and paste it on the address tab
A Detailed Overview About Blob Storage
  • Snapshots - You can create a snapshot of a blob. A snapshot is a read-only version of a blob that's taken at a point in time. Once a snapshot has been created, it can be read, copied, or deleted, but not modified. Snapshots provide a way to back up a blob as it appears at a moment in time.
A Detailed Overview About Blob Storage
  • Click on create snapshot to create the snapshot
A Detailed Overview About Blob Storage
  • Edit Blob – To edit the Blob
  • Generate SAS – A shared access signature (SAS) is a URI that grants restricted access rights to Azure Storage resources. We can give permission to read, write, create, delete. And then, we can also enable the start and expiry date and time for the access rights. Then, we can able to choose the protocol what we need and to set the signing Key (key 1 or Key 2)
A Detailed Overview About Blob Storage

Output

Copy the URL from blob Overview and paste it on the address tab

A Detailed Overview About Blob Storage
 

Summary

I hope you understood how to create an Azure Blob Storage in Azure Portal. Stay tuned for more Azure Storage.