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Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Introduction of Azure Storage

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

Introduction

The term "cloud computing" refers to anything involving the delivery of hosted services through the internet. It also includes the use of cloud storage. Cloud storage is the notion of storing data on the internet. Azure also offers a cloud storage solution known as azure storage. This article will go into great detail on Azure storage.

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What is cloud storage?

Cloud storage is a notion in cloud computing in which data is kept on the internet by a cloud computing provider who maintains and manages data storage. It is provided on-demand with just-in-time capacity and pricing, removing the need to acquire and operate your own data storage infrastructure. You receive agility, global scale, durability, and data access "anytime, anywhere."

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About Azure storage

Azure Storage platform is a cloud storage service provider by Microsoft. Azure Storage provides highly available, massively scalable, durable, and secure cloud storage for many data objects. A REST API makes Azure Storage data objects available from anywhere worldwide via HTTP or HTTPS. Azure Storage also provides client libraries for developers working with .NET, Java, Python, JavaScript, and C++ to create applications or services. Developers and IT professionals can use Azure PowerShell and Azure CLI to create scripts for data management and configuration tasks.

Types of storage services provided by Azure storage

Azure storage types

Azure Blobs

Azure Blob storage is Microsoft's cloud-based object storage service. Blob storage is designed to store large volumes of unstructured data that do not follow a specific data model or specification, such as text or binary data. It is also known as object storage.

Azure Files 

Azure Files is a fully managed file-sharing solution that can be used in the cloud or on-premises. You may use Azure Files to create highly accessible network file shares that can be accessed using the standard SMB (Server Message Block) protocol. Many VMs can share duplicate files with read and write access. The files can also be read via the REST interface or the storage client libraries.

Azure Queues 

Azure Queues is a storage service that may be used to provide reliable messages between application components. Messages are stored and retrieved using the Azure Queue service. Messages in a queue can be up to 64 KB, and a queue can hold millions of messages. Queues are commonly used to store lists of messages that will be handled asynchronously.

Azure Tables 

Azure Table storage has been integrated into Azure Cosmos DB. It is used as a NoSQL store for schemaless structured data storage. The service is a NoSQL data store that supports authenticated requests from both within and outside the Azure cloud. Tables in Azure are excellent for storing organized, non-relational data.

Azure Disks

Azure Disks is the virtual hard disc (VHD) for Azure VMs. A managed disc in Azure is a virtual hard drive (VHD). Consider it to be a virtualized version of a real disc in an on-premises server. In Azure, discs are saved as page blobs, which are a type of random IO storage object. A managed disc is referred to as such since it is an abstraction over page blobs, blob containers, and Azure storage accounts.

Azure storage accounts

A storage account is an Azure Storage management unit. To access the storage services, you need to have an Azure Storage account. Azure Storage provides a variety of storage accounts. Each category has its own features and price models.

Secure access to storage accounts

The security of Azure Storage is critical. Every Azure Storage request must be authorized. The following authorization mechanisms are supported by Azure Storage:

Azure Active Directory

Azure Storage supports Azure AD authentication and authorization for the Blob and Queue services with Azure role-based access control (Azure RBAC). The Table service in preview also supports Azure AD authorization. Requests should be authorized using Azure AD for maximum security and convenience.

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Azure Active Directory authorization over SMB for Azure Files

Identity-based authorization via SMB (Server Message Block) is supported by Azure Files via Azure Active Directory Domain Services. Using Azure AD credentials, domain-joined Windows VMs may access Azure file shares.

Authorization with Shared Key

Shared Key authorization is supported by the Azure Storage Blob, Files, Queue, and Table services. Every request from a client utilizing shared key authorization includes a header that has been signed with the storage account access key.

Authorization using shared access signatures (SAS)

A string with a security token called a shared access signature (SAS). It can be added to the URL of a storage resource. Constraints like access intervals and permissions are included in the security token.

Anonymous access to containers and blobs

A container and its blobs could be accessible to everyone. Anybody can view a container or blob that has been designated as public. No authentication is necessary in this case.

Encryption in Azure Storage

There are two primary types of encryption available for azure storage services. 

At-rest encryption

Azure Storage encrypts all data before persisting it to the storage account and decrypts it before retrieval. Users may see the encryption, decryption, and key management procedures. Customers can also use Azure Key Vault to handle their own keys.

Client-side cryptography

The Azure Storage client libraries include methods for encrypting data before delivering it over the wire and decrypting the response. Azure Storage encrypts data at rest that has been encrypted by client-side encryption.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Azure storage REST API?

The REST APIs for Microsoft Azure storage services provide programmatic access to the Blob, Queue, Table, and File services on Azure or via the storage emulator in the development environment.

What do we mean by Azure storage redundancy?

Azure Storage constantly keeps several copies of your data to safeguard it against  unexpected occurrences, this is called redundancy. Redundancy guarantees that your storage account achieves its availability and durability goals even when things go wrong.

What is Azure Content Delivery Network?

The Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a CDN service provided by the Azure Cloud Platform that enables online or cloud applications to store and retrieve data across different content servers and locations. Azure CDN helps provide more bandwidth and quicker data transmission by putting content delivery or storage servers nearer to clients (in different geographical areas)

Conclusion

In this blog, we talked about Azure Storage and the types of services provided by Azure storage.

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Topics covered
1.
Introduction
2.
What is cloud storage?
3.
About Azure storage
4.
Types of storage services provided by Azure storage
4.1.
Azure Blobs
4.2.
Azure Files 
4.3.
Azure Queues 
4.4.
Azure Tables 
4.5.
Azure Disks
5.
Azure storage accounts
6.
Secure access to storage accounts
6.1.
Azure Active Directory
6.2.
Azure Active Directory authorization over SMB for Azure Files
6.3.
Authorization with Shared Key
6.4.
Authorization using shared access signatures (SAS)
6.5.
Anonymous access to containers and blobs
7.
Encryption in Azure Storage
7.1.
At-rest encryption
7.2.
Client-side cryptography
8.
Frequently Asked Questions
8.1.
What is Azure storage REST API?
8.2.
What do we mean by Azure storage redundancy?
8.3.
What is Azure Content Delivery Network?
9.
Conclusion