Azure Archive Storage

  • Store rarely accessed data which are held for a period of 180 days.
  • Snapshots are not applicable to archive storage.

Features

  • It supports 2 rehydrate priorities: High and Standard
    • Standard (Default) – rehydration request may take up to 15 hours.
    • High – rehydration request may finish in under 1 hour for objects under 10 GB in size.
  • Long-term backup, secondary backup, and archival datasets
  • Lowest storage costs but the highest data rehydrate and access costs
  • To read data in archive storage, you need to change the blob tier to hot or cold first.
  • Compliance and archival data that must be preserved and are hardly ever accessed.
  • Archive storage only supports block blobs
  • If a blob is in the archive tier, it can’t be overwritten, unlike in hot or cool tier
  • Archive storage cannot be set as a default account access tier
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  • Archive storage is initially available in selected regions.
  • Blob index tags can be read, set, or modified while in the archive.
  • You can only copy archive blobs within the same storage account.
  • Encrypted data transfer to the cloud using HTTPS, and using 256-bit AES keys to automatically protect the data at rest.

Use Cases

  • It is mainly used in long-term backup retention
  • If you need to minimize your cost, use Archive Storage to create a low cost, content archiving solution.
  • Archive storage provides secure, globally compliant storage for sensitive data.
  • You can also use Archive storage if you have a large amount of data that needs to be preserved.

Pricing

  • Blobs are stored for at least 180 days in the archive tier. Deleting or rehydrating archived blobs before the minimum number of days will incur early deletion fees.
  • Charges on data access increases as the tier gets cooler. For data in the cool and archive access tier, you’re charged a per-gigabyte data access charge for reads.

Validate Your Knowledge

Question 1

Question Type: Multiple-choice

An organization’s patient management system migrated its application that handles patient records to Azure. Due to compliance requirements, you need to store terabytes worth of records for more than 10 years. The records are rarely accessed and can accommodate a delay in retrieval.

What storage solution would best fit the requirements?

  1. Store the records to Azure Blob Storage – Cold Tier
  2. Store the records in a virtual machine
  3. Store the records to Azure Blob Storage – Archive Tier
  4. Store the records to Azure Blob Storage – Hot Tier

Correct Answer: 3

Azure storage offers different access tiers, which allow you to store blob object data in the most cost-effective manner. The available access tiers include:

Hot – Optimized for storing data that is accessed frequently.

Cool – Optimized for storing data that is infrequently accessed and stored for at least 30 days.

Archive – Optimized for storing data that is rarely accessed and stored for at least 180 days with flexible latency requirements (on the order of hours).

The following considerations apply to the different access tiers:

– Only the hot and cool access tiers can be set at the account level. The archive access tier isn’t available at the account level.

– Hot, cool, and archive tiers can be set at the blob level during upload or after upload.

– Data in the cool access tier can tolerate slightly lower availability, but still requires high durability, retrieval latency, and throughput characteristics similar to hot data. For cool data, a slightly lower availability service-level agreement (SLA) and higher access costs compared to hot data are acceptable trade-offs for lower storage costs.

– Archive storage stores data offline and offers the lowest storage costs but also the highest data rehydrate and access costs

Archive tier is optimized for data that can tolerate several hours of retrieval latency and that will remain in the archive tier for at least 180 days. The archive tier is the most cost-effective option for storing data. However, accessing that data is more expensive than accessing data in the hot or cool tiers. Rehydration is the term for retrieving files from the archive tier.

Hence, the correct answer is: Store the records to Azure Blob Storage – Archive Tier

The option that says: Store the patient records to Azure Blob Storage – Cold tier is incorrect. Although this access tier is optimized for infrequent access and can store data for at least 30 days, this storage type still costs higher than the archive tier. Take note that the scenario states that a delay in retrieval is not an issue.

The option that says: Store the records in a virtual machine is incorrect because data disks have a higher per GB costs compared to Azure Blobs. Also, you have to maintain your own virtual machine, perform backups, and OS patching which will add to the costs.

The option that says:  Store the records to Azure Blob Storage – Hot Tier is incorrect because this access tier is optimized for frequent access and has higher storage costs compared with cool and archive tiers. Take note that the scenario is asking for a cost-effective solution to store infrequently access objects.

References: 
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/storage/archive/
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/blobs/storage-blob-storage-tiers?tabs=azure-portal

Note: This question was extracted from our AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Practice Exams.

For more Azure practice exam questions with detailed explanations, check out the Tutorials Dojo Portal:

Microsoft Azure Practice Exams Tutorials Dojo

Sources:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/blobs/storage-blob-storage-tiers?tabs=azure-portal
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/blobs/storage-blob-rehydration?tabs=azure-portal
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/storage/archive/

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