Functionalities of Azure Storage

28.01.2020
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What Azure Storage is?

Azure Storage is a cloud storage solution by Microsoft for modern data storage. It stores a scalable object, a file system service for the cloud, a messaging store for reliable messaging, and a NoSQL store.

Different features of Azure storage:

  • Durable and highly available: It ensures that your data is safe in the transient of hardware failures. One can opt replica of your data for additional protection or natural disasters. In this way, it remains highly available in the event of an unexpected outage.
  • Secure: Data is encrypted written to Azure Storage. It provides fine-grained control over who has access to your data.
  • Scalable: It is designed to be massively scalable to meet data storage and performance.
  • Manageable: Microsoft Azure helps to handle hardware maintenance, updates, and critical issues for you.
  • Accessible: Data is accessible in the world over HTTP or HTTPS. Microsoft provides libraries for Azure Storage in a variety of languages, including .NET, Java, Node.js, Python, PHP, Ruby, Go, as well as a mature REST API.

Azure Queue:

A queue is a data structure used to store the data that follows the First in-First out rule. It is a very similar concept that is used to store the messages in a queue, whereas inserted from back and retrieved front. A sender sends the messages and the client receives it. While sending the messages, the session expires. It allows communication between different parts of a Windows Azure Application whereas in simple words Queues separate Web Role instances and Worker Role Instances.

  • There is no limit in storing data in a queue.
  • If data is older than a week, the system will collect the garbage messages.
  • Queues can have metadata in the form of pairs, and they are up to 8KB in size per queue.

A queue offer semantics of ‘first in first out’; on the other hand queues in Windows Azure doesn’t guarantee that a single message can be delivered multiple times.
Processing messages from a queue is a two-stage process, which involves getting the message, and then delete the message after it has been processed.

Table Azure:

Table storage is a collection of the row like entities, each of which can contain up to 255 properties; however, unlike tables in a database, there is no schema that enforces a set of values on all the rows within a table. Table Storage is required to store large amounts of data storage that needs additional structure. It does not provide any way to represent relationships between the data, as table store structured data and sometimes called Azure Storage includes these data services:

  • Azure Blobs
  • Azure Files
  • Azure Queues
  • Azure Tables

Azure Blobs:

The word blob stands for a binary large object. Blobs include large files that are unstructured, such as images, video, music files, backup files, etc.
This Blob storage can be divided into two tiers:

  • Hot Access tier: This data is accessed frequently.
  • Cold Access tier: In this Data which is not accessed very often.

The cold access tier is cheaper than the hot access tier and as such you can store more data at a lower cost, it is also slightly less available, like 99% as opposed to the 99.9% of the hot storage tier.
Blobs are stored in scoped by Blob Containers. Each blob can be up to 50GB and has a unique string name within the container. Blobs can have metadata associated with them, which are pairs and they are up to 8KB in size per blob. The blob can be separated from the blob data bits.

Azure Files:

It enables highly available network file shares that can be accessed by using the standard Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. VMs can share the same files with both read and write access. Even you can read the files using the storage client libraries or REST Interfaces. You can access the files from anywhere in the world using URL and it includes a shared access signature (SAS) and you can generate SAS tokens.

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