Introduction to Microsoft Azure Cloud Storage
This article talks about Microsoft's cloud storage option for contemporary data storage scenarios and what it offers.
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The Advantages of Azure Storage
The following advantages are provided by Azure Storage services for programmers and IT specialists:
Strong and Widely Accessible: Your data will be safe if there are brief hardware failures thanks to redundancy. For further security against local disasters or natural disasters, you might choose to replicate data across data centers or geographical areas. When data is duplicated in this fashion, it is still very accessible even if there is an unplanned interruption.
Secure: The service encrypts each piece of information that is written to an Azure storage account. Thanks to Azure Storage, you have precise control over who has access to your data.
Scalable: To accommodate the data storage and performance requirements of current applications, Azure Storage is built to be enormously scalable.
Managed: Azure takes care of essential issues, upgrades, and maintenance for you.
Accessible: Anywhere in the globe can access data stored in Azure Storage using HTTP or HTTPS. In addition to an established REST API, Microsoft offers client libraries for Azure Storage in several languages, including .NET, Java, Node.js, Python, PHP, Ruby, Go, and others. Scripting in Azure PowerShell or Azure CLI is supported by Azure Storage. Additionally, you may work with your data easily visually with the Azure site and Azure Storage Explorer.
Azure Storage Data Services
These data services are available through the Azure Storage platform:
- A massively scalable object store for text and binary data in Azure Blobs. Furthermore, it offers assistance for large data analytics using Data Lake Storage Gen2.
- Azure Files: Managed file shares for cloud or on-premises deployments.
- Azure Elastic SAN (preview): A fully integrated solution that simplifies deploying, scaling, managing, and configuring a SAN in Azure.
- Azure Queues: A messaging store for reliable messaging between application components.
- Azure Tables: A NoSQL store for schemeless storage of structured data.
- Azure Disks: Block-level storage volumes for Azure VMs.
Azure NetApp Files
Enterprise line-of-business (LOB) and storage experts may operate complicated file-based applications with no code change thanks to NetApp's enterprise file storage.
Review Options for Storing Data in Azure
Azure NetApp Files are managed via NetApp accounts and can be accessed via NFS, SMB, and dual-protocol volumes. To get started, see Create a NetApp account.
Microsoft's cloud object storage service is called Azure Blob Storage. Large volumes of unstructured data that don't fit into a certain data model or specification can be stored using it because it is optimized for doing so.
Azure Blob Storage is designed for:
- Adding images or documents to the browser directly.
- Writing log files
- Streaming media such as audio or video files.
- Storing data for backup and restoring disaster recovery and archiving.
What Is Azure Blob Storage?
Azure Microsoft's cloud-based object storage solution is called Blob Storage. Large-scale unstructured data storage is where blob storage excels. Unstructured data, such as text or binary data, is data that doesn't follow a certain data model or specification.
Features of Microsoft Azure Blob Storage
Scalable Storage and Access to Unstructured Data
You can create data lakes with Azure Blob Storage to support your analytics needs, and it also offers storage so you can design robust mobile and cloud-native applications. Utilize tiered storage to reduce expenses for long-term data and flexibly scale up workloads requiring high-performance computation and machine learning.
Create Robust Cloud-Native Applications
Blob storage is designed from the ground up to meet the scalability, security, and availability requirements of developers of cloud-native, online, and mobile applications. For serverless systems like Azure Functions, use it as the foundation. Blob storage is the only cloud storage solution that offers a premium, SSD-based object storage tier for low-latency and interactive applications. In addition, blob storage supports the most well-liked development frameworks, including Java, .NET, Python, and Node.js.
Effectively Store Petabytes of Data
Using several storage layers and automated lifecycle management, you may store enormous amounts of rarely or occasionally accessed data cost-effectively. For example, use Blob storage instead of tape archives to avoid worrying about hardware generation migration.
Create Robust Data Lakes
Azure Data Lake Storage is a highly scalable and economical data lake solution for big data analytics. It helps you accelerate your time to insight by fusing the strength of a high-performance file system with enormous size and economy. Data Lake Storage, which is designed for analytics applications, expands Azure Blob Storage's capabilities.
Scale Up for HPC or Out for Billions of IoT Devices
Blob storage has the size required to enable storage for the billions of data points coming in from IoT endpoints while also meeting the demanding, high-throughput requirements of HPC applications.
Using the industry-standard Server Message Block (SMB), Network File System (NFS), and Azure Files REST APIs, you can create highly available network file sharing with Azure Files. As a result, numerous VMs can access the same files both read-only and with write access. You can also read the files using the storage client libraries or the REST interface.
You can access the files from anywhere in the globe using a URL that points to the file and includes a shared access signature (SAS) token, which is one way that Azure Files differ from files on a corporate file share. In addition, you can create SAS tokens, which grant certain access to a private asset for a particular period.
Several typical circumstances can be handled via file shares:
File shares are used by many on-premises applications. The migration of applications that share data to Azure is made simpler by this capability. The portion of your program that accesses the file share should continue to function with little modification if you mount the file share to the same drive letter that the on-premises application uses.
Multiple VMs can access configuration files that are stored on a file share. A file share can be used to keep the tools and utilities that a group of developers uses, making sure that everyone has access to the same version and can find them.
Three examples of data that can be written to a file share and later processed or analyzed are resource logs, metrics, and crash dumps.
Messages are stored and retrieved using the Azure Queue service. A queue can hold millions of messages, and queue messages can be up to 64 KB in size. In addition, asynchronously processed message lists are often stored in queues.
Consider the scenario where you want to make thumbnails for each image your customers upload, and you want them to be able to do so. You might ask your client to wait while you upload the images and make the thumbnails. Using a line would be an alternative. Write a message to the queue once the customer has completed their upload. Afterward, have an Azure Function produce the thumbnails and fetch the message from the queue. You have more control when tailoring this procedure for your needs because each component may be scaled independently.
Azure Cosmos DB now includes Azure Table Storage. Visit the Azure Table Storage overview to access the documentation for Azure Table Storage. Additionally, there is a new Azure Cosmos DB for Table offering that offers throughput-optimized tables, worldwide distribution, and automatic secondary indexes in addition to the current Azure Table Storage service. See Azure Cosmos DB for Table for more information and to test out the new premium experience.
A virtual hard disc maintained by Azure (VHD). It can be compared to a virtualized version of a real disc found in an on-premises system. Page blobs, a type of random IO storage item in Azure, are used to store discs that are maintained by Azure. Because it is an abstraction over page blobs, blob containers, and Azure storage accounts, we refer to a managed disc as being "managed." All you need to do with managed discs is provision the disc; Azure will take care of the rest.
Azure NetApp Files
An enterprise-class, high-performance, metered file storage service is Azure NetApp Files. Any workload type is supported by Azure NetApp Files, which is, by default, highly available. In addition, you may control data security, create NetApp accounts, capacity pools, and volumes, and choose service and performance levels.
Secure Access to Storage Accounts
Each request made to Azure Storage needs to be approved. There are several authorization techniques that Azure Storage offers.
- Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Integration for Blob, Queue, and Table Data
Through Azure role-based access control, Azure Storage enables authentication and permission for the Blob and Queue services (Azure RBAC). The Table service in the preview also supports authorization with Azure AD. However, for greater security and usability, it is advised to authorize requests using Azure AD. See Authorize access to data in Azure Storage for further details.
- Azure AD Authorization Over SMB for Azure Files
Through either Azure Active Directory Domain Services (Azure AD DS) or on-premises Active Directory Domain Services, Azure Files enables identity-based authorization through SMB (Server Message Block) (preview). Using Azure AD credentials, your domain-joined Windows VMs can access Azure file shares. For further details, read Planning for an Azure Files deployment and Overview of identity-based authentication support for SMB access in Azure Files.
- Authorization With Shared Key
Shared Key authorization is supported by the Azure Storage Blob, Files, Queue, and Table services. Every time a request is made by a client utilizing shared key authorization, a header signed with the storage account access key is sent. See Authorize with Shared Key for further details.
- Authorization Using Shared Access Signatures (SAS)
A string with a security token called a shared access signature (SAS) can be added to the URI of a storage resource. Constraints like access intervals and permissions are encapsulated in the security token. See Using Shared Access Signatures for further details (SAS).
- Active Directory Domain Services With Azure NetApp Files
Azure NetApp Files features such as SMB volumes, dual-protocol volumes, and NFSv4.1 Kerberos volumes are designed to be used with AD DS. For more information, see Understand Guidelines for Active Directory Domain Services site design and planning for Azure NetApp Files or learn how to Configure ADDS LDAP over TLS for Azure NetApp Files.
Published at DZone with permission of Sardar Mudassar Ali Khan. See the original article here.
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