Introduction to Azure Stack storage

Applies to: Azure Stack integrated systems and Azure Stack Development Kit

Overview

Azure Stack Storage is a set of cloud storage services consistent with the services provided by Azure Storage. These services include blobs, tables, and queues.

Azure Stack Storage services

Azure Stack Storage provides the following three services:

  • Blob storage

    Blob storage stores unstructured object data. A blob can be any type of text or binary data, such as a document, media file, or app installer.

  • Table storage

    Table storage stores structured datasets. Table storage is a NoSQL key-attribute data store, which allows for rapid development and fast access to large amounts of data.

  • Queue storage

    Queue storage provides reliable messaging for workflow processing and for communication between components of cloud services.

An Azure Stack Storage account is a secure account that gives you access to services in Azure Stack Storage. Your storage account provides the unique namespace for your storage resources. The following diagram shows the relationships between the Azure Stack Storage resources in a storage account:

Azure Stack Storage overview

Blob storage

For users with a large amount of unstructured object data to store in the cloud, blob storage offers an effective and scalable solution. Use blob storage to store content such as:

  • Documents
  • Social data such as photos, videos, music, and blogs
  • Backups of files, computers, databases, and devices
  • Images and text for web apps
  • Configuration data for cloud apps
  • Big data, such as logs and other large datasets

Every blob is organized into a container. Containers also provide a useful way to assign security policies to groups of objects. A storage account can contain any number of containers and a container can contain any number of blobs (up to the limit of storage account).

Blob storage offers three types of blobs:

  • Block blobs

    Block blobs are optimized for streaming and storing cloud objects. They're a good choice for storing documents, media files, backups, and other similar files.

  • Append blobs

    Append blobs are similar to block blobs, but are optimized for append operations. An append blob can be updated only by adding a new block to the end. Append blobs are a good choice for scenarios such as logging, where new data needs to be written only to the end of the blob.

  • Page blobs

    Page blobs are optimized for representing IaaS disks and supporting random writes up to 1 TB in size. An Azure Stack virtual machine attached IaaS disk is a VHD stored as a page blob.

Table storage

Modern apps often demand data stores with greater scalability and flexibility than previous generations of software required. Table storage offers highly available, massively scalable storage, so that your app can automatically scale to meet user demand. Table storage is Microsoft's NoSQL key/attribute storeā€”it has a schemaless design, making it different from traditional relational databases. With a schemaless data store, it's easy to adapt your data as the needs of your app evolve. Table storage is easy to use, so developers can create apps quickly.

Table storage is a key-attribute store, which means that every value in a table is stored with a typed property name. The property name is used for filtering and specifying selection criteria. A collection of properties and their values comprise an entity. Since table storage is schemaless, two entities in the same table can contain different collections of properties, and those properties can be of different types.

You can use table storage to store flexible datasets, such as user data for web apps, address books, device information, and any other type of metadata that your service requires. For today's internet-based apps, NoSQL databases like table storage offer a popular alternative to traditional relational databases.

A storage account can contain any number of tables, and a table can contain any number of entities, up to the capacity limit of the storage account.

Queue storage

In designing apps for scale, app components are often decoupled, so that they can scale independently. Queue storage provides a reliable messaging solution for asynchronous communication between app components, whether they're running in the cloud, on the desktop, on an on-premises server, or on a mobile device. Queue storage also supports managing asynchronous tasks and building process workflows.

A storage account can contain any number of queues and a queue can contain any number of messages (up to the capacity limit of the storage account). Individual messages may be up to 64 KB in size.

Next steps