In this article, we are going to see a quick overview of the storage solutions which are available in Azure. Azure storage solutions is a vast topic, we going to see a quick introduction that is sufficient for beginners. If you want to learn more about the various storage options available in Azure, please visit this link.
Data from modern applications come in different shapes(structured, semi-structured, or unstructured), sizes, and frequency, for example, e-learning platforms may have a number of distinct data sets, that are used to run the business. These platforms may have structured data, like data about the learner’s personal details and the training videos with the unstructured data. Here each data set, such as learner’s details, system logs, and training videos have different storage and operational requirements. Its the job of the data engineers to figure out the best solution to use which storage solutions to store all these data and make it fully available to the outer world.
There are some key factors data engineers needs to consider in deciding the storage solutions for our data to store.
Firstly, structure of the data, our data may be structured, semi-structured or unstructured. Structured data is data that neatly fits into rows and columns. Semi-structured data are the data like JSON files, XLM, Ymal files. Unstructured data are system logs, photos, videos, any kind of media files.
Secondly, Operational needs for the data, how the data is going to be used in real time. There will be things like how often the data is used, how quickly do we need to serve data to the end user, do the end user runs the simple queries or the complex analytical queries, do the user is located in one azure region or multiple azure regions, and more.
Azure provides number of solutions to store and operationalized data, based on these key factors.
Let’s see the database solutions to process the structured data.
Azure SQL Database
Which is a fully managed, cloud-based database that runs on the latest version of the Microsoft SQL server database engine. Optimize performance and durability with automated, AI-powered features that are always upto date.
Azure Database for MySQL
Which is a fully managed, enterprise ready community MySQL database as a service. This service will deliver high availability and elastic scaling to open-source mobile and web apps.
Azure Database for PostgreSQL
Which is a fully managed, enterprise ready PostgreSQL as service with built-in capabilities of high availability and intelligence.
Azure Database for MariaDB
Which is fully managed database as service offering that can handle mission-critical workloads with predictable performance and dynamic scalability.
VM Images with Oracle, SQL servers, etc.,
On top of this, we have the option to use the marketplace to provision a whole host of virtual machines with databases installed in them, such as Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, etc.
Let’s consider the solutions to process the unstructured data.
Storage accounts in azure provides a variety of storage solutions under one umbrella. There are currently 5 types of storage is available in azure storage account.
This can store unstructured data such as text files, media, documents, PDFs etc. also user can store their backup data. This storage is like AWS S3, the data in this storage is stored in a directory structure known as Container. The maximum size of the blob storage is 500TB.
File storage offers a fully managed cloud file store that we can access anywhere via SFTP Protocol. It is an organized storage structure that enables file sharing across the could for on-premise environments.
Disk storage for storing virtual machine disks on a azure VMs
This storage lets you store structured data in the form of key value pairs. Azure tables are easy to use and provide scalability to a massive level.
This storage service is mostly suitable for exchanging message and facilitating communication between various azure components. The messages are communicated via HTTP or HTTPs protocol.
Azure also provides the storage solutions that are specifically designed for big data analytics.
Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2
Gen2 storage solution designed for building enterprise data lakes on azure. This solution has been designed to service multiple petabytes of information while sustaining 100’s of gigabytes of throughput. This Gen2 storage built on top of the blob storage with additional features, to enhanced performance for the big data analytics and support for Hadoop compatible workload enhanced management with its hierarchical namespace, better security using parsecs, permissions on folders and files.
Azure Cosmos Database
Cosmos Database fully managed NoSQL database for modern application development. Its globally distributed, which allows us to elastically scale throughput and storage across any number of azure regions, it supports several apps to access the data, such as secure API, Cassandra, MongoDB and Gramling APIs.
It provides real-time response times for a variety of data, typical applications that benefits from cosmos DB are web mobile gaming, also IoT applications. Those applications are needed to handle massive amounts of data in real time response.
In this article, we’ve seen basic introduction of various storage solutions which are available in Azure could. I hope this article is useful for getting start with Azure storage solution. Thanks for reading. Have a good day.