Azure Storage Overview

  • An Azure storage account contains blobs, files, queues, tables, and disks.
  • Types of Storage Accounts: General-purpose (v2 and v1), BlockBlobStorage, FileStorage, and BlobStorage
  • All storage accounts are encrypted using Storage Service Encryption (SSE) for data at rest
  • Storage accounts endpoints:
    • Blob storage: https://tutorialsdojo.blob.core.windows.net
    • Table storage: https://tutorialsdojo.table.core.windows.net
    • Queue storage: https://tutorialsdojo.queue.core.windows.net
    • Azure Files: https://tutorialsdojo.file.core.windows.net
  • Access tiers are: Hot, Cool, and Archive
    • Hot
      • Highest storage costs, but lowest access costs
      • Store data that is accessed frequently
      • By default, new storage accounts are created in the hot tier
    • Cool
      • Lower storage costs, but higher access costs
      • Store data that is infrequently accessed (at least 30 days)
      • You can use a cool access tier for short-term backup.
    • Archive
      • Lowest storage costs, but the highest retrieval costs
      • Store data that is rarely accessed (at least 180 days)
      • Data needs to be stored for a long time.
  • Storage redundancy includes: Locally redundant storage (LRS), Zone-redundant storage (ZRS), Geo-redundant storage (GRS), Geo-zone-redundant storage (GZRS)
    • Locally redundant storage (LRS) 
      • A low-cost redundancy strategy
      • Your data is copied synchronously three times within the primary region
    • Zone-redundant storage (ZRS)
      • Redundancy for high availability
      • The data is copied synchronously across three Azure availability zones in the primary region
    • Geo-redundant storage (GRS)
      • Cross-regional redundancy
      • In the primary region, data is synchronously copied three times, and then asynchronously copied to the secondary region.
      • Enable read-only geo-redundant storage (RA-GRS) to access data in the secondary region.
    • Geo-zone-redundant storage (GZRS)
      • Redundancy for both high availability and maximum durability
      • Data is copied synchronously across three Azure availability zones in the primary region, then copied asynchronously to the secondary region.
      • You can also enable RA-GZRS for read access data in the secondary region
  • Moving of data into different storage account can be done automatically or manually
  • You can migrate data manually using:
    • AzCopy uses a command-line utility
    • Data Movement Library is designed for high-performance, reliable, and easy data transfer operations similar to AzCopy
    • REST API or client library lets you create a custom application to migrate your data

Types of Storage Accounts

  • General-purpose v2 accounts
    • Supports Data Lake Gen2, Blobs, Files Disks Queues Tables
    • Delivers the lowest per-gigabyte capacity prices for Azure Storage
  • General-purpose v1 accounts
    • Supports Blobs, Files, Disks, Queues, Tables
    • You can upgrade a general-purpose v1 account to a general-purpose v2 account with no downtime and without copying the data.
    • You can use general-purpose v1 accounts since the General-purpose v2 accounts and Blob storage accounts only support the Azure Resource Manager deployment model.
    • If you don’t need a large capacity for transaction-intensive or significant geo-replication bandwidth, GPv1 is a suitable choice
  • BlockBlobStorage accounts
    • Provides low, consistent latency, and higher transaction rates.
    • Upgrading a Blob storage account to a general-purpose v2 account has no downtime and you don’t need to copy the data
    • It doesn’t support hot, cool, and archive access tiers
    • You can use BlockBlobStorage for storing unstructured object data as block blobs or append blobs. 
  • FileStorage accounts
    • Only supports file shares
    • Offers IOPS bursting

Storage Account Type

Supported Services

Supported Performance Tiers

Supported Access Tiers

Replication Options

Deployment Model

Encryption

General-

purpose V2

Blob, File, Queue, Table, Disk, and Data Lake Gen2

Standard, Premium

Hot, Cool, Archive

LRS, GRS, RA-GRS, ZRS, GZRS (preview), RA-GZRS (preview)

Resource Manager

Encrypted

General-

purpose V1

Blob, File, Queue, Table, and Disk

Standard, Premium

N/A

LRS, GRS, RA-GRS

Resource Manager, Classic

Encrypted

BlockBlob

Storage

Blob (block blobs and append blobs only)

Premium

N/A

LRS, ZRS

Resource Manager

Encrypted

FileStorage

File only

Premium

N/A

LRS, ZRS

Resource Manager

Encrypted

BlobStorage

Blob (block blobs and append blobs only)

Standard

Hot, Cool, Archive

LRS, GRS, RA-GRS

Resource Manager

Encrypted

 

Security

  • To grant access in your storage account, the request must include a valid Authorization header
  • If authentication of identity is successful, then Azure Active Directory returns a token to use in authorizing the request to Azure Storage Services.
  • You can use shared key authorization to construct a connection string
  • Shared access signature allows you to have granular control on who can access your data
  • When you copy a file without the metadata for encryption, the blob content cannot be retrieved again.

Pricing

  • You are charged based on your Region, Account type, Access Tier, and Storage Capacity
  • The replication and reads/write operations also incur costs.
  • If your data isn’t running in the same region, you’re charged for data egress.

Locally Redundant Storage (LRS) vs Zone-Redundant Storage (ZRS):
https://tutorialsdojo.com/locally-redundant-storage-lrs-vs-zone-redundant-storage-zrs/

Sources:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/common/storage-account-overview?toc=/azure/storage/blobs/toc.json
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/common/storage-account-create?tabs=azure-portal

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