Quick Start With Azure Storage

This article helps you to learn what Azure Storage is, why we use Azure Storage, and what are its categories.

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.

By default, we can create up to 100 storage accounts in a single Azure subscription. Each standard storage account can contain up to 500 TBs of the combination of blobs, queues, tables and files, and such kind of data.

Why do we use Azure Storage?

Azure Storage is a fundamental building block for all of the Azure Services. Every Azure Service directly or indirectly stores its data or uses the Azure Storage. It's safe, secure, and performance-efficient storage service in the cloud. Also, it is way simpler to change the settings.

You can also resize your servers and storage to meet your needs. Once you know your exact requirement, you can opt for pay-as-you-go or make a commitment to benefitting from the cheaper pricing.

Azure has a durable platform so it promises to never lose the client data. It keeps multiple copies of the client data that is automatically recovered while in a disaster.

Categories

Storage in Azure can be generally classified into two categories.

  1. Relational Data Storage
  2. Non-Relational Data storage
Relational Data Storage
 
Relational data can be saved in the cloud using Azure SQL Storage. Azure SQL Database is a general-purpose relational database-as-a-service (DBaaS). This kind of storage can be used when we want to store the relational data in the cloud. This is one of the PaaS offerings from Azure. We can quickly scale the size of their databases up or down as business needs change.

Non-Relational Data Storage

A non-relational data storage is a database that does not use the tabular schema of rows and columns. It enables the users to store their documents, media files, NoSQL data over the cloud that can be accessed using REST APIs.

We need a Storage account in the Azure for accessing non-relational data. It wraps all the storage options provided by the Azure like Blob storage, Queue storage, file storage, NoSQL storage. Storage account structure can be shown below.

Azure provides four types of storage options based on the data type.

Azure Storage

Blob storage

 
A Binary Large OBject (BLOB) is a collection of binary data stored as a single entity in a database. Blobs typically store images, audio, or other multimedia objects; even sometimes binary executable. It can be accessed using HTTP or HTTPS from anywhere in the world

 

Azure Storage

 

Usages of blob storage are mentioned below.
  • Serving images or documents directly to a browser.
  • Storing files for distributed access.
  • Streaming video and audio.
  • Storing data for backup, restore, disaster recovery, and archiving.
  • Storing data for analysis purposes.

Queue storage

 
Azure Queue Storage is a service for storing large numbers of messages. It can be accessed from anywhere in the world using HTTP or HTTPS. A single queue message can be up to 64 KB in size, and it can contain millions of messages. It's the same as a queue concept in a data structure. It is used to store the messages in the queue. Sender sends the message and client receives and processes it.

 Azure Storage

Accessing of Queue storage is as follows,
  • Accessed using HTTP(s) calls
  • Messages are processed once at a time.
  • Messages are locked during processing
  • It's deleted after processing

Table Storage

 
Azure Table Storage stores large amounts of structured data. It provides highly available and massively scalable storages.
 
Azure Storage
 
Advantages of Table Storage are as follows,
  • Stores Petabytes of structured data
  • Supports flexible data schema
  • Embraces a strong consistency model
  • Quickly queries the data using a clustered index

File storage

Azure Files offer fully managed file shares in the cloud. It can be accessible via the industry standard SMB protocol. It’s very useful when you need a centralized location for storing Files. It provides better scalability and performance targets.

 Azure Storage

Advantages of File Storage are as follows,
  • It migrates the existing applications to the cloud
  • It shares server data across on-premises and cloud
  • It supports SMB 3.0, including encryption and persistent handles.
  • It makes it easy to "lift and shift" applications to the cloud.

Summary

This was all about Azure Storage. In the next article, we will see how to create an Azure Storage Account and Blob Storage. Stay tuned for more Azure Storage articles.