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What Are Blobs?


What Are Blobs?
Implement Azure Storage Blobs and Azure Files
Implement Storage Tables
8m 50s
Implement Azure Storage Queues
Manage Access
Monitor Storage
Implement SQL Databases
What Are Blobs?
1h 18m

Course Description

This course teaches you how to work with Azure Storage and its associated services.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, you'll have gained a firm understanding of the key components that comprise the Azure Storage platform. Ideally, you will achieve the following learning objectives:

  • How to comprehend the various components of Azure storage services.
  • How to implement and configure Azure storage services. 
  • How to manage access and monitor your implementation. 

Intended Audience

This course is intended for individuals who wish to pursue the Azure 70-532 certification.


You should have work experience with Azure and general cloud computing knowledge.

This Course Includes

  • 1 hour and 17 minutes of high-definition video.
  • Expert-led instruction and exploration of important concepts surrounding Azure storage services.

What You Will Learn

  • An introduction to Azure storage services.
  • How to implement Azure storage blobs and Azure files.
  • How to implement storage tables.
  • How to implement storage queues.
  • How to manage access and monitor storage.
  • How to implement SQL databases.  

Hello, and welcome back. Let's start by looking at the Blob sub-service. We'll cover core Blob concepts, including how Blobs fit within the storage account, as well as how containers allow us to develop effective hierarchies. We'll then describe the three types of Blob available.

Blob storage can store any type of text or binary data, such as documents, pictures, videos, backups. You can think of it as a file system in the cloud, as your Blobs latest, or unstructured data in the cloud, as objects or Blobs. And Blobs are available in two tiers, hot, which is optimized for storing data that is accessed frequently, and cool, which is optimized for storing data that is infrequently accessed and long lived.

Later in this course, we'll be covering several different areas including how to read, write and copy Blobs, cover the different types of Blobs, see how to access blobs securely, how to configure a content delivery network, or CDN, with custom domains, and how to design and scale Blob storage.

This diagram will illustrate how Blobs fit within the storage hierarchy. We first create a storage account, within which we can create multiple containers to organize our data. The storage account can store up to 500 terabytes of shared data across all sub-services. Within each container, you can then store multiple Blobs. In this case, we've created a storage for movies. We have then created containers for different movie genres, for example, scifi, comedy, action, romance, and we can then use this to store videos that fit into these genres.

An Azure storage account provides a unique high level address that you can store and access a set of Azure storage types. When you create a storage account, the name selected, which must be globally unique, is then used within the URL to access the stored data. In this example, we created an account called Movie Storage Account, and this generates the URL, https://moviesstorage.blob.core.windows.net, to access Blobs. There are corresponding URLs, from tables, queues and files.

A container allows you to subdivide Blobs into categories. You can create an unlimited number of these, but you are restricted to using lowercase names. Note that these only operate at the single level, so you cannot create real sub-folders of these containers. However, when uploading Blobs, you can specify folder names to be used, but these are virtual, and they're only a means of helping to further organize the names of the blobs, rather than offering a real extra storage level. The container names are used to generate the URL used to access the Blobs by simply appending forward slash and the container name for the URL, for the storage account in use. In the example, we append forward slash and scifi. Once we have the storage and the containers, we can then upload Blobs, commonly known as files, to Azure.

The most common type of Blob is a Block Blob, designed to hold any type of a binary or text file. However, there are two other options, the Append Blob is optimized for data, which you intend to add to, for example, it might be used for a log file. The Page Blob type is used for very large files of data, such as an entire disk, it's optimized for very frequent reads and writes, as you would do if you were working with data on a stored drive. The Blob names are used to generate the URL, used to access the blobs by simply appending forward slash and the Blob name to the URL for the container. In the example, we append forward slash and totalrecall.avi.

In this demo, we'll demonstrate how create the storage account and container, directly within the Azure portal. So let's go now to Azure. I'm here in the Azure portal, let's start by clicking New on the top left on the menu. And we can select Data and Storage, and then we're going to select Storage Account. We can now select from the various options available, when creating a new storage account. Let's give it a name, first of all, so I'm going to call this one cablobstorage, for the purposes of this demo, we'll select the classic deployment model, as the newer resource manager model is not covered by the certification path at this time. We'll specify Standard as our Performance option, leave Replication as it is for now, and we'll go ahead and select the appropriate Resource group, and now we can click Create. And now our Blob storage is created, let's go to Cloud Blob Storage. And let's go ahead and we can view the keys by selecting Keys from the menu under General. And here are the keys that we can use to access the account.

So now let's try and see if we can create a container. So click on the Blob section, under Services here, and we can see we don't have any containers yet, so let's click Add at the top. And we can specify a name, and we'll specify the name as scifi. And we'll leave it as private for now. And now we can see our container, and our URL, and that's all we need to do to create a new Blob container, now we can proceed on to the next section, where we'll cover files in the context of Azure.

About the Author

Isaac has been using Microsoft Azure for several years now, working across the various aspects of the service for a variety of customers and systems. He’s a Microsoft MVP and a Microsoft Azure Insider, as well as a proponent of functional programming, in particular F#. As a software developer by trade, he’s a big fan of platform services that allow developers to focus on delivering business value.