1. Home
  2. Training Library
  3. Microsoft Azure
  4. Courses
  5. Introduction to Azure Storage Solutions


Start course
1h 13m

This course provides an introductory tour of Azure Storage Solutions such as its SQL offerings (SQL DB and third-party offerings of MySQL), managed NoSQL databases (DocumentDB and MongoDB), managed Redis Cache service, Azure Backup (backup-as-a-service), Site Recovery (for handling disaster recovery) and StorSimple (a hybrid cloud storage solution).

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what SQL DB is and how to get started using it
  • Learn the options offered by Azure for managed MySQL
  • Understand what DocumentDB and MongoDB are and how to get started using them
  • Learn what Redis Cache is and some cases of when you would use it
  • Get an understanding of what Azure Search provides
  • Learn how Azure Backup can solve common backup needs
  • Understand what role Site Recovery can play in disaster recovery
  • Learn how StorSimple can extend your on-premise storage capacity

Intended Audience

  • This course is for developers or IT professionals looking for an introduction to Azure’s Storage Solutions


  • Some familiarity with the Azure platform is helpful, but not required


  • Course Introduction
    • Overview
  • Azure SQL Database
    • What is Azure SQL Database?
    • Understanding the service tiers
    • Create a SQL Database
    • What is a Data Throughput Unit (DTU)?
    • Scaling Azure SQL
  • MySQL
    • Options for Using MySQL in Azure
  • Azure CosmosDB DocumentDB API
    • What is DocumentDB?
  • Azure CosmosDB MongoDB API
    • Options for Using MongoDB in Azure
    • How does DocumentDB compare to MongoDB?
  • Azure Redis Cache
    • What is Azure Redis Cache?
    • Common scenarios for using Redis Cache
    • Understanding the service tiers
    • How does Redis work?
    • Create and manage a Redis Cache
    • Scaling Azure Redis Cache
  • Azure Search
    • What is Azure Search?
    • Indexes and Search Features
    • How do you use the Search Service?
    • Create a Search Service and Index
  • Azure Backup
    • What is Azure Backup?
    • Backup Scenarios
    • Import/Export Service
    • What is the Import/Export Service?
    • Why would you use Import/Export?
  • Site Recovery
    • What is Site Recovery?
    • Workload recovery scenarios
  • StorSimple
    • What is StorSimple?
    • How does StorSimple work?
  • Course Summary
    • Conclusion and Wrap-Up

Welcome back, we are now to the last product we want to cover: StorSimple
What is StorSimple?
StorSimple is a hybrid cloud storage solution.
In 2012, Microsoft purchased a startup company named StorSimple that made hybrid cloud storage appliances. The name is now used for the line of hybrid cloud storage appliances Microsoft offers.
The appliances use either iSCSi or SMB protocols - so they appear as either drives or file shares on the local network.
They have a 99.9% availability SLA.
The appliances are available as either a physical SAN device or a virtual appliance you install on Hyper-V.
Both of the devices provide tiering to the cloud.
Tiering refers categorizing data by how often it is used (hot, cool and cold).
For the physical SAN device this means the hot data (which is the data most used) is kept on faster SSD storage, while the cool data (which is still being accessed but not as often as the hot) is moved to magnetic disk storage on the device.
If the data is determined to be cold, then it is moved to Azure and only retrieved on demand.
The virtual appliance is similar but only has two tiers since it is running in a virtual machine it keeps active (hot and cool) data locally and then sends the cold data to Azure storage.
StorSimple looks like any other drive or file share on your network.
All the data, whether it is hot, cool or cold appears as though it is on the device.
When the data is classified as cold the appliance will dedupe, compress, encrypt and then send to Azure for storage.
If a user wants to access cold data, the appliance knows it is in Azure and pulls it back to the appliance at that time.
StorSimple can help you with your disaster recovery when it comes to drive volumes or drive shares.
The appliances can do incremental backups that are then moved to the cloud, which eliminates the need to have tape backups in order to keep off-site copies.
Complete volume restores can be done from the backups stored in Azure or item level recovery can be accomplished from the backups as well.
The devices can also be configured to failover to a new virtual array.
When the failover occurs all the data on the new virtual array will appear as cold, and the data will be brought down as it gets accessed.
Once you have StorSimple devices setup, you configure and connect things from the Device Manager in the Portal.
The Device Manager is the central location for managing you devices, including backups, failovers, managing volumes and shares, viewing summaries of the service and individual devices and many other things related to managing SimpleStor devices.
I don't have a demo for this product, so I'll give you some links so you can go learn more about this really cool hybrid cloud storage product.
That wraps up our product tour of Azure Storage Solutions.

About the Author

Jason Haley is an independent consultant who focuses on Azure and Angular. He has over 20+ years’ experience architecting, designing, developing and delivering software solutions using mostly Microsoft technologies. Jason recently achieved his MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure certification in May 2017 (by passing all of the 70-532, 70-533 and 70-534 exams). He is also a Microsoft Azure MVP and leads the North Boston Azure User Group. He frequently speaks at community events on topics relating to Azure.