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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Blob Storage and its Usage
3.
Container
4.
Types of Blobs
4.1.
Naming and Referencing
4.1.1.
Container Naming
4.1.2.
Blob Naming
4.1.3.
Metadata
4.1.4.
Snapshots
5.
Frequently Asked Questions
5.1.
What are three types of Azure storage?
5.2.
What is difference between Azure Blob storage and Data lake?
5.3.
Is data lake a blob storage?
6.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Azure Blob storage fundamentals

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Speaker
Prerita Agarwal
Data Specialist @
23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction

Microsoft provides an intelligent solution for modern-day storage problems: Azure Storage. With data growing daily, we need to upscale our storage methods as well. Azure storage offers massive scalability, security, durability, and much more. Azure Blob Storage is a cloud-based object storage solution. Massive amounts of data, such as text or binary data, can be stored in it. There are no restrictions on the types of data Azure Blob Storage can hold since it is unstructured. This article will cover all about Azure Blob Storage fundamentals, its usage, and types of blobs. Let us dive into the topic.

Blob Storage and its Usage

Microsoft Azure uses Blob Storage for the Cloud as an Object Storage Solution. Blob storage stores a large amount of unstructured data i.e. it can store any kind of data and there are no rules and regulations around it. It can store large amounts of text data, binary data, etc. Blob storage is efficient in handling simultaneous uploads, managing massive amounts of video data or ever-growing log files and most importantly it can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.

 

 

Blobs can contain encrypted messages or data in a custom format and unlike disk storage developers don’t have to manage disks as data is uploaded as blobs and Azure takes care of the rest. Microsoft Azure uses Blob Storage as a fundamental unit and all other Azure services use Blob to store data within a Storage account.

Blob Storage Usage:

  • Documents and Images can be served directly to the browser.
  • Offers instant streaming of audio and video files.
  • Can store data for backup and restore, disaster recovery, and archiving.
  • Offers distributed access to the stored files.
  • Can store up to 8TB of data for VMs.
  • Stores data for analysis by an on-premises or Azure-hosted service.
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Container

Every Blob is stored in a Container. A container is more or less like a folder where many blobs are stored. Security Regulations are defined and assigned at the container level, which further cascades it to all blobs under the same container. It is to be noted that we cannot create a container within a container and use prefixes in the blob name to differentiate and create a hierarchy if needed. A storage account contains unlimited containers that further have unlimited blobs with an upper limit of up to 500TB per storage account. 

Types of Blobs

Azure offers three types of blobs as follows:

  1. Block Blob
    1. Block of data that are managed individually.
    2. Can store text/ binary data up to 4.7TB.
    3. Used to improve upload time when blob data is uploaded into Azure.
    4. Block Blobs are used unless log files.
  2. Append Blob
    1. Made up of Blocks like Blobs and is optimized for appending files.
    2. Ideal for logging data from VMs.
  3. Page Blob
    1. Stores Random access files up to 8TB.
    2. Stores VHD files that back VMs.

Block Blob and Append Blobs are used more frequently in the case of developing applications like Youtube or Monitoring applications. Page Blobs are created by default.

Naming and Referencing

Azure has laid down some rules and regulations that one must adhere to while naming blobs and containers. This is due to the fact that container name and blob name are part of the URL when we try to access a particular file stored in a blob within a container.

Container Naming

  • The name of containers starts with a letter or a number and can contain only letters, numbers, and the character dash (-).
  • All the letters in a container name must be in lowercase.
  • Container names must be 3 to 63 characters long.

Blob Naming

  • The name of blobs contains any combination of characters.
  • Blob names must be 1 to 1024 characters long.
  • The Azure Storage emulator supports blob names up to 256 characters long.
  • The name of the blobs is case-sensitive.
  • The reserved URL characters must be escaped properly.

Metadata

As metadata, we can store a small amount of information about a container or blob. It's a name-value pair linked to the container or blob. Metadata names must follow the C# identifier name guidelines.

Snapshots

Snapshot is a read-only blob storage version. Snapshots can be used to generate a backup or checkpoint of a blob. The name of a snapshot blob includes the base blob URL as well as a date-time value indicating when the snapshot was created.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are three types of Azure storage?

  • Private: This is the default storage. Data is available to the account owner.
  • Blob: This enables public read access.
  • Container: Allows list and read access to the entire container.

What is difference between Azure Blob storage and Data lake?

Microsoft Azure Blob Storage is a general-purpose, scalable object store that can be used in a variety of storage scenarios. Azure Data Lake Storage Gen1 is an optimized repository for big data analytics. 

Is data lake a blob storage?

Yes, Azure Data Lake Store Gen2 is a superset of Azure Blob storage capabilities.

Conclusion

In this article, we have extensively discussed Azure Blob Storage Fundamentals, its usage, container, types of blobs, naming and referencing, metadata and snapshots. Having gone through this article, I am sure you must be excited to read similar blogs. Coding Ninjas has got you covered. Here are some similar blogs to redirect: How to Prepare for a Microsoft Azure Certification Exam?Microsoft AzureAWS Vs Azure Vs Google Cloud?Microsoft Azure Certification. We hope this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge, and if you wish to learn more, check out our Coding Ninjas Blog site and visit our Library. Here are some courses provided by Coding Ninjas: Basics of C++ with DSACompetitive Programming and MERN Stack Web Development. Do upvote our blog to help other ninjas grow.

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