Azure BLOB Storage 🤠

Prerequisite Knowledge

 
Before we start with the understanding of Blob Storage, we should have:
  • Basic knowledge of cloud computing
  • Basic knowledge of Microsoft Azure

Background

 
I would like to explainwhat Azure storage is before we jump to the topic of Azure Blob storage.
 
Azure Storage
  • In simple words it is Microsoft’s cloud storage. It has wide varieties of different types of cloud storage depending upon the data object to store. We can store text, binary data, files/documents, messaging contents, NoSQL etc.
  • Benefits - Azure cloud storage is highly available, secure, tremendous scalable, accessible over HTTP/HTTPS etc.
  • Azure Blobs, Azure Files, Azure Queues and Azure tables are the different services coming under the Azure storage services.

Introduction

  • As I stated above, Azure Blob storage is one of type of service which comes under Azure storage.
  • Microsoft Azure Blob storage is used to store the unstructured data like text or binary information.
Unstructured data
 
Data which doesn’t hold any data models or definitions.
  • Azure cloud provides ability to scale up this storage as need with cost effective features.
  • Data stored in the Blob storage can be accessible via its URL over HTTP or HTTPS.
  • We can fetch the objects from Blob storage using Azure storage REST API, Azure CLI, Azure PowerShell and by using Azure storage client library which are available in different languages like .NET, Java, Node.JS, Python, PHP and Ruby.
Resources
  • We need to have one storage account. This is needed to create storage and this account will be responsible to manage and configure it. This account provides a unique namespace in Azure for our data.
  • A container in the account – this is like a directory of files in file server. One storage account can consist of one or more container. This container is organizing a set of BLOBs.
  • A blob in the container – Our BLOB will be one entity in the container instance.
  • The below picture is captured from Microsoft which explains the relationship between these three resources -
Azure BLOB Storage
 

Types of Azure Blob storage

  • Block blobs – It stores the data objects like text and binary up to 4.7 TB. The objects are stored in blocks. We can manage individual blocks.
  • Append blobs – This type of storage is like block blobs but optimized for append activities. This is ideal to use when we need to append the information/data to the existing data like logging.
  • Page blobs – It is like virtual hard drive files. It will serve as disks in virtual machines. It stored the random-access files up to 8 TB.

When to use Azure Blob?

  • To store the text and binary data
  • Streaming video and audio information
  • To store the data of backups, disaster recovery
  • To store the data of archiving
  • Access the images over the browser

Solutions to migrate data to BLOB storage

  • By using AzCopy – It is command line tool used to migrate data to BLOB storage.
  • By using .NET library - Azure Storage Data Movement library is a .NET library for moving data between Azure Storage services.
  • Azure Data Factory – This is service in Azure and can use to migrate data to BLOB storage.
  • By using virtual file system driver – Blobfuse
  • For large data sets migration using Azure cloud Azure Data Box service
  • Import/Export for large data using Azure Import/Export service

Conclusion

 
In this article we have learned the what Azure Blob storage is, the purpose of Azure blob storage, when it is recommended to use and services to migrate data to BLOB storage.

Recommended Ebook

The Developer’s Guide to Microsoft Azure - Second Edition

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