Storage is one of the highest consuming services in Microsoft Azure. Azure storage offers a reliable cloud storage solution for modern apps that rely on durability, availability, and scalability to meet the needs of their customers.
Microsoft offers different types of Azure storages and each one of them has a different use case scenario. There are four types of Azure storages:
- Azure Blob Storage
- Azure File Storage
- Storage Queue
- Table Storage
However, we are going to distinguish between the first two storage types – Azure Blob storage vs Azure File Storage.
Azure Blob Storage
Azure Blob storage is a highly scalable service. Blob stands for Binary Large OBjects. That is the reason, it is used for storing text and binary data, meaning any type of file can be put in Blob storage. It is meant to store unstructured data, which does not have any specific structure to it.
Blob storage is ideal for any scenario from hosting video files, documents, backup, and pretty much anything.
Azure Blob storage can be used for:
- Serving images or documents directly to a browser
- Storing files for distributed access
- Streaming video and audio
- Storing data for backup and restore, disaster recovery, and archiving
- Storing data for analysis by an on-premises or Azure-hosted service
The structure of the Blob storage is very simple. The Blob storage is separated in something called containers.
Think of the containers as a partition on your drive, which serves as an entry point for your data. Now, each container will contain one or more files. It is a flat hierarchy of files and servers.
Blob Storage Access Tiers:
Azure Storage offers multiple options for accessing block Blob data based on usage patterns. There are multiple access tiers on the Blob storage. They can be segregated into hot, cool, and archive.
Hot – Optimized for frequent access of objects. It has higher storage costs, but low transactional costs.
Cool – Optimized for storing huge data but accessed sporadically. It has low storage costs compared to the hot tier, but high transactional costs as compared to the same. Stored at least for 30 days.
Archive – It has lowest storage costs and highest transactional costs. This is ideal for long term storage. Optimized for data that can be tolerated several hours of retrieval latency and that remains in the Archive for at least 6 months.
Azure File Storage
File Storage is a service that allows you to create managed file shares for cloud or on-premises deployments.
The structure of File storage is very similar to the Blob storage. Except for the containers, you have share – as in file shares.
So, now you may be wondering what is the difference between Azure Blob Storage vs Azure File Storage?
Well, it is very simple. If you need file shares in a lift-and-shift scenario, go for file storage. Otherwise, always opt for Blob storage.
The design for Blob storage is much more delivering all kinds of services. File storage can be used for structured data which relies too much on lift and shift process.
What is best for you – Azure Blob storage or File storage?
By using Azure Blob storage, your company can store massive amounts of data inexpensively. With Azure File storage, you can provision your file shares which can be operated by other users. Generally, Azure Blob storage is a recommended choice most of the time unless you need to do lift-and-shift activities.
However, businesses must use different Azure Storage solutions for their workload deployments. If you have never done it before, this could be quite a difficult task and you will need an expert to do this.
Apps4Rent is a Microsoft-certified Tier 1 Azure CSP who will not only help you decide the right storage but will manage the entire Azure project for you. If you need to discuss anything, feel free to contact our experts right away.