An Overview of Azure Storage (Part 2)

Archive Storage

Archive Storage offers the lowest storage costs of all Azure storage. Its retrieval costs, however, are higher when compared to Hot and Cool storage. The archive tier of storage is designed for data that can tolerate several hours of latency when being retrieved. It’s also meant for data that will remain in the archive tier for at least 180 days.

Data blobs in Archive Storage are offline and they cannot be read, copied, overwritten, or modified. While you cannot take snapshots of blobs that are stored in Archive Storage,  you can delete data blobs, list them, retrieve blob properties/metadata, and change the tier of them.

Archive Storage is typically used for things like long-term backups and data archiving. It can also be used for secondary backups as well. It also is useful for compliance data or archival data that needs to be kept around for a long time, while hardly ever being accessed (e.g., security camera footage).

Queue Storage

Azure Queue Storage is a solution for storing large numbers of messages that might need to be accessible from anywhere in the world via HTTP or HTTPS. Each queue message can be no larger than 64 KB. A queue, itself, can contain millions of messages — and it can host as many messages as it takes to fill the capacity of the storage account hosting the data.

Queue Storage is typically used to create a backlog of work that will be processed asynchronously. It’s also used to pass messages from Azure web roles to Azure worker roles.

Table Storage

In the context of this primer, Table Storage refers to the original Azure Table Storage offering, included in Azure Storage. It does not refer to the premium Azure Cosmos DB-based offering.

Azure Table Storage provides a storage solution for structured NoSQL data in Azure. It offers a key/attribute store, along with a schemaless design. Because it’s schemaless, you can easily adapt your data as your needs evolve. The cost of Table Storage is generally lower than traditional SQL.

Table Storage can be used to store flexible datasets (e.g., user data, address books, etc.). A table can store any number of items, and a storage account can host an unlimited number of tables, up to the capacity limit of the storage account.

The offering accepts authenticated calls that can originate from both inside and outside of Azure. Azure tables are often used to store massive amounts of data to support web-scale applications for querying data using a clustered index.

Wrap-Up

As you can see, there is a storage offering in Azure for virtually all storage requirements.

  • Azure Blob Storage is perfect for storing large amounts of unstructured data such as text data and binary data.
  • Azure Disk Storage is used by virtual machines to store the OS and any other data that’s necessary. With three performance tiers (Standard HDD, Standard SSD, and Premium SSD), there is a solution for all requirements.
  • Azure File Storage can serve as a replacement for traditional file shares and facilitates lift and shift migrations of applications to the cloud. This solution can also be used to deploy cached file storage for remote offices.
  • Archive Storage can build backup requirements and long-term archive solutions. This storage option is designed for data that can tolerate several hours of latency when being retrieved and is meant for data that will remain in the archive tier for at least 180 days.
  • Azure Queue Storage is a solution for storing large numbers of messages that might need to be accessible from anywhere in the world via HTTP or HTTPS.
  • Azure Table Storage can provide a storage solution for structured NoSQL data in Azure and can be used to store flexible datasets.

Developing an effective storage strategy is a fundamental key to drive a digital transformation. Learn more about designing and implementing an Azure storage strategy and leverage our multi-cloud learning platform to accelerate your digital strategy.

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Written by

Thomas Mitchell

Tom is not only a Cloud Platform & Infrastructure MCSE but also an IT industry veteran with 20+ years of experience in multiple technologies. An Active Directory specialist, Tom has never met an AD problem that he couldn't solve. He also speaks Microsoft Exchange fluently.


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