Azure Storage – Extend your storage capability with Azure Blobs
- I have too many documents, files which are not used regularly but need to be kept for reviewing.
- I have several VMs on Azure IaaS, I need to install some additional/ private software to my VMs. Moving big installation files from local machine to VMs takes me too much time.
- I’m building web application, which contain a lot of static content (images, audio files, video files and etc.), total amount of data is un-predictable and I need a highly scalable storage solution for my application.
- I want to create network storage to share with my family members, my friends or my colleagues.
What I need from cloud storage solution?
- Scalable and economical.
- Durable & high available
- Can store all kinds of files.
- Support multiple client tools.
And my choice is Azure Blobs one of Data Management services from Microsoft Azure.
Azure Blobs – the concepts and features
|1||Storage Account||All access to Azure Storage is done through a storage account.
Azure Storage keeps up with growing of data needs, with up to 500 TB per account.
|2||Container||A container provides a grouping of a set of blobs. All blobs must be in a container. An account can contain unlimited number of containers. A container can store an unlimited number of blobs.|
|3||Blob||A file of any type and size. There are two types of blobs that can be stored in Azure Storage: block and page blobs. Most files are block blobs. A single block blob can be up to 200 GB in size. This tutorial uses block blobs. Page blobs, another blob type, can be up to 1 TB in size, and are more efficient when ranges of bytes in a file are modified frequently.|
Azure Blobs – the Redundant Storage solutions and Prices
|How it works||Total Copies||Prices
|Locally Redundant Storage (LRS)||Makes multiple synchronous copies of your data within a single datacenter||3||$0.024 per GB for first 1TB|
|Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS)||Stores three copies of data across multiple datacenters within or across regions. For block blobs only.||3||$0.03 per GB for first 1TB|
|Geographically Redundant Storage (GRS)||Same as LRS, plus multiple asynchronous copies to a second datacenter hundreds of miles away||6||$0.048 per GB for first 1TB|
|Read-Access Geographically Redundant Storage (RA-GRS)||Same as GRS, plus read access to the secondary datacenter||6||$0.061 per GB for first 1TB|
How to create Azure Blobs account?
The following image represents the simplest way is using Azure management portal to create new storage account.
Access to Azure Blobs with client utilities
You can find easily many tools which help to access to Azure Blobs from your local machine such as Azure Storage Explore, CloudBerry Explorer for Azure Blob Storage (I’m using this one for my demonstration), Azure Explore and etc.
First of all you need to know the private key which help to connect to Azure Blobs by clicking to Storage button (in left menu), select your storage account and click to Manage Access Keys button.
Add new storage account with CloudBerry Explorer.
You need to create new container if your account doesn’t contain any one. I choose No public read access as the option of access control (you can choose other option bases on your purpose).
Then you can move your files from local machine to new location or from existing storage to new one.
You also can use PowerShell to connect and manipulate files from Azure Blobs. For example let try with Get-AzureStorageAccount statement to query all your storage accounts.
In next article, I will explain and demo how to integrate an ASP.NET application with Azure Blobs.