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The Azure Storage platform is Microsoft's cloud storage solution for modern data storage scenarios. Azure Storage offers highly available, scalable and secure storage for a variety of data objects in the cloud. Azure Storage data objects are accessible from anywhere in the world over HTTP or HTTPS via a REST API. Azure Storage Explorer provide user-interface tools for interacting with Azure Storage.
Azure Storage data services:
- Azure Blobs: scalable object store for text and binary data.
- Azure Files: Managed file shares for cloud or on-premises deployments.
- Azure Queues: A messaging store for reliable messaging between application components.
- Azure Tables: A NoSQL store for schema less storage of structured data.
- Azure Disks: Block-level storage volumes for Azure VMs. Each service is accessed through a storage account.
Storage Types Available in Azure:
Azure Blob storage is Microsoft object storage solution for the cloud. Blob storage is optimized for storing unstructured data, such as text or binary data. Blob storage is ideal for:
- Serving images or documents directly to a browser.
- Storing files for distributed access.
- Streaming video and audio.
- Storing data for backup and restore, disaster recovery, and archiving.
- Block blobs: store text and binary data. Block blobs are made up of blocks of data that can be managed individually. Block blobs can store up to about 190.7 TiB.
- Append blobs: are made up of blocks like block blobs, but are optimized for append operations. Append blobs are ideal for scenarios such as logging data from virtual machines.
- Page blobs store random access files up to 8 TiB in size. Page blobs store virtual hard drive (VHD) files and serve as disks for Azure virtual machines.
Objects in Blob storage can be accessed from anywhere using HTTP or HTTPS.
Azure Files used for network file shares that can be accessed by using the standard Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. That means that multiple VMs can share the same files with both read and write access. One thing that distinguishes Azure Files from files on a corporate file share is that you can access the files from anywhere using a URL that points to the file and includes a shared access signature (SAS) token. You can generate SAS tokens; they allow specific access to a private asset for a specific amount of time.
File shares can be used for many common scenarios:
- Many on-premises applications use file shares. This feature makes it easier to migrate those applications that share data to Azure. If you mount the file share to the same drive letter that the on-premises application uses, the part of your application that accesses the file share should work with minimal, if any, changes.
- Configuration files can be stored on a file share and accessed from multiple VMs. Tools and utilities used by multiple developers in a group can be stored on a file share, ensuring that everybody can find them, and that they use the same version.
- Logs, metrics, and crash dumps are just three examples of data that can be written to a file share and processed or analyzed later.
Azure Queue Storage is a service for storing large numbers of messages. You access messages from anywhere in the world via authenticated calls using HTTP or HTTPS. A queue message can be up to 64 KB in size. A queue may contain millions of messages, up to the total capacity limit of a storage account. Queues are commonly used to create a backlog of work to process asynchronously.
Azure Table storage stores large amounts of structured data. The service is a NoSQL datastore which accepts authenticated calls from inside and outside the Azure cloud. Azure tables are ideal for storing structured, non-relational data. Common uses of Table storage include:
- Storing TBs of structured data capable of serving web scale applications
- Storing datasets that don't require complex joins, foreign keys, or stored procedures and can be denormalized for fast access
- Quickly querying data using a clustered index
- Accessing data using the OData protocol and LINQ queries You can use
- Table storage to store and query structured, non-relational data, and your tables will scale as demand increases.
An Azure managed disk is a virtual hard disk (VHD). You can think of it like a physical disk in an on-premises server but, virtualized. Azure-managed disks are stored as page blobs, which are a random IO storage object in Azure. We call a managed disk 'managed' because it is an abstraction over page blobs, blob containers, and Azure storage accounts. With managed disks, all you have to do is provision the disk, and Azure takes care of the rest.
To ensure that your data is durable, Azure Storage stores multiple copies of your data. When you set up your storage account, you select a redundancy option.
Transfer data to and from Azure Storage.
You have several options for moving data into or out of Azure Storage. Which option you choose depends on the size of your dataset and your network bandwidth.
There is several options for migrating data into or out of Azure Storage. Which option you choose depends on the size of your dataset and your network bandwidth. Data transfer can be offline or over the network connection. Choose your solution depending on your:
- Data size - Size of the data intended for transfer,
- Transfer frequency - One-time or periodic data ingestion, and
- Network – Bandwidth available for data transfer in your environment.
- There are several native and 3rd party Tools available to migrate the data. Below are the Azure Native Migration Tools.
- Data Box, Azure Storage Explorer, Data Box Gateway and AZ-Copy.
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