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Table of contents
1.
Introduction 
2.
Premium SSD
3.
New Standard SSD
4.
Standard HDD
5.
Standard SSD Disks Have Advantages
6.
Virtual machines
6.1.
Virtual machine disks
6.2.
In Azure, there are several different types of discs.
7.
Performance
8.
High-quality and readily available
9.
Frequently asked questions
9.1.
What is the storage capacity of an Azure virtual machine?
9.2.
What is a data disc in an Azure virtual machine?
9.3.
In Azure, what is the difference between SSD and HDD?
9.4.
What's the difference between a blob and a file regarding storage?
9.5.
Is it possible to alter the disc type in an Azure virtual machine?
10.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Azure VM Storage

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Introduction 

This post will concentrate on the fundamentals of Azure VM Storage. If you haven't heard, Microsoft now offers Standard HDD Storage, Standard SSD Storage, and Premium SSD Storage for your Azure Virtual Machines. Standard HDD Storage is based on the traditional hard drive concept. In contrast, Standard SSD and Premium SSD Storage are based on Solid State Storage but have slightly different performance characteristics.

Premium SSD

  • They are designed for enterprise workloads that require a lot of IO. Consistent performance, minimal latency, and high availability are provided.
     
  • SQL Server, Oracle, Dynamics, Exchange Server, MySQL, Cassandra, MongoDB, SAP Business Suite, and other production workloads are among the most demanding enterprise workloads.
     
  • 7,500 IOPS provisioned
     
  • 250 MBPS provisioned
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New Standard SSD

  • They are designed for low IOPS workloads to deliver consistent performance. When compared to HDD Disks, it provides superior availability and latency.
     
  • Web servers, application servers with low IOPS, enterprise applications rarely utilised, and Dev/Test servers.
     
  • Up to 500 IOPS
     
  • Up to 60 MBPS

Standard HDD

  • Optimised for low-cost, infrequent access mass storage. Performance is subject to some variation.
     
  • Backup storage
     
  • Up to 500 IOPS
     
  • Up to 60 MBPS

Standard SSD Disks Have Advantages

Standard SSD Disks were created to enhance the performance and reliability of standard discs. This new disc option combines Premium SSD Disks and Standard HDD Disks to create a cost-effective solution for applications such as web servers that do not require high IOPS. To save money, many of these workloads now use HDD-based drives.

HDD discs, on the other hand, are often slower and less dependable than SSD-based discs. In principle, all laaS workloads should use SSD-based drives to benefit from the technology's improved performance, reliability, and overall smoother operations. Standard SSD Disk is our response, and the new disc type is specifically developed to satisfy specified workload requirements at the lowest possible cost.

Virtual machines

All Azure Virtual Machine SKUs are compatible with standard SSD Disks. Standard SSD Disks can be used with any Azure VM series, including A-series, N-series, D-series, and any other Azure VM series. With the launch of Standard SSD, we are enabling a wide range of workloads that previously relied on HDD-based drives to migrate to SSD-based discs and benefit from the consistent performance, increased availability, and overall improved experience that SSDs provide.

Virtual machine disks

  • Operating system disc: Each virtual machine in Azure will have its operating system disc.
     
  • temporary disc is included in each virtual machine—the quick disc stores applications and processes for a brief period.
     
  • data disc is a VHD associated with a virtual machine and used to store application data or other data that must be kept.

In Azure, there are several different types of discs.

  • ​​Unmanaged discs: These are the discs that VMs have traditionally used. When we build the disc, we may create and specify the storage account. The SA (20 000 IOPS) scalability targets are not met.
     
  • Managed discs are in charge of creating and managing storage accounts. We don't have to worry about the storage account's scalability limitations. For new VMs, Microsoft usually advises us to use Azure Managed Disks.

Performance

Standard SSD discs are designed to have single-digit millisecond latencies for most IO activities. Also, comparable to HDD discs, the following disc sizes are meant to give up to 500 IOPS and 60 MBPS throughput. Depending on traffic patterns, the actual IOPS and Throughput may vary. Standard SSD disks will deliver more consistent performance than low-latency HDD discs.
On the other hand, Premium SSD discs outperform Standard SSD discs in terms of latencies, IOPS/throughput, and even provisioned disc performance consistency and are the recommended disc type for all other production applications.

Standard SSD Disks, like existing Premium SSD Disks, have a 256KB IO Unit size. It is considered 1 I/O unit if the sent data is less than 256 KB. I/Os with larger sizes is counted as multiple 256 KB I/Os. A 1,100 KB I/O, for example, is counted as five I/O units.

High-quality and readily available

Standard SSD disks are based on the same Azure Disks architecture that has continuously provided exceptional disc availability and durability. Azure Disks are designed to have a 99.999 per cent uptime. Like other Managed Disks, Standard SSD discs will provide Local Redundant Storage (LRS). With LRS, the platform has continuously achieved enterprise-grade durability for IaaS disks, with an industry-leading ZERO per cent Annualized Failure Rate.

Frequently asked questions

What is the storage capacity of an Azure virtual machine?

The maximum capacity of each data disc is 32,767 gibibytes (GiB). The number of data discs you can attach to the virtual machine and the type of storage you can use to host the discs is determined by the virtual machine's size.

What is a data disc in an Azure virtual machine?

In Azure, VMs use discs to hold an operating system, programmes, and data. A Windows operating system drive and a temporary disc are required for all virtual machines. The operating system disc and the image are stored in an Azure storage account as virtual hard discs (VHDs).

In Azure, what is the difference between SSD and HDD?

Standard SSD Disks are a low-cost storage option designed for workloads that require consistent performance at lower IOPS. The new Azure Standard SSD Disks store data on Solid State Drives (SSDs) like our existing Premium Storage Disks. Our standard HDD discs, on the other hand, store data on hard disc drives (HDD).

What's the difference between a blob and a file regarding storage?

Azure Blob Storage is an object store for storing large volumes of unstructured data. In contrast, Azure File Storage is a fully managed distributed file system based on the SMB protocol that, once mounted, appears to be a standard hard drive.

Is it possible to alter the disc type in an Azure virtual machine?

Select Disks from the menu in the VM's pane. Choose the disc you'd like to convert. Choose Size + Performance from the drop-down option. Replace the old disc type with the desired one in the Account type field.

Conclusion

I hope this article clarified all of the essential aspects of Azure VM Storage. Premium SSD Disks, Standard SSD Disks, and Standard HDD Disks are the three types of persistent discs available for usage with Azure Virtual Machines, each designed for distinct workload requirements.

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