Storage account overview

An Azure storage account contains all of your Azure Storage data objects: blobs, files, queues, tables, and disks. The storage account provides a unique namespace for your Azure Storage data that is accessible from anywhere in the world over HTTP or HTTPS. Data in your Azure storage account is durable and highly available, secure, and massively scalable.

To learn how to create an Azure storage account, see Create a storage account.

Types of storage accounts

Azure Storage offers several types of storage accounts. Each type supports different features and has its own pricing model. Consider these differences before you create a storage account to determine the type of account that is best for your applications.

The following table describes the types of storage accounts recommended by Microsoft for most scenarios:

Type of storage account Supported services Redundancy options Deployment model Usage
Standard general-purpose v2 Blob, File, Queue, Table, and Data Lake Storage1 LRS/GRS/RA-GRS

ZRS/GZRS/RA-GZRS2
Resource Manager3 Basic storage account type for blobs, files, queues, and tables. Recommended for most scenarios using Azure Storage.
Premium block blobs4 Block blobs only LRS

ZRS2
Resource Manager3 Storage accounts with premium performance characteristics for block blobs and append blobs. Recommended for scenarios with high transactions rates, or scenarios that use smaller objects or require consistently low storage latency.
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Premium file shares4 File shares only LRS

ZRS2
Resource Manager3 Files-only storage accounts with premium performance characteristics. Recommended for enterprise or high performance scale applications.
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Premium page blobs4 Page blobs only LRS Resource Manager3 Premium storage account type for page blobs only.
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1 Azure Data Lake Storage is a set of capabilities dedicated to big data analytics, built on Azure Blob storage. Data Lake Storage is only supported on general-purpose V2 storage accounts with a hierarchical namespace enabled. For more information on Data Lake Storage Gen2, see Introduction to Data Lake Storage Gen2.

2 Zone-redundant storage (ZRS) and geo-zone-redundant storage (GZRS/RA-GZRS) are available only for standard general-purpose v2, premium block blob, and premium file share accounts in certain regions. For more information about Azure Storage redundancy options, see Azure Storage redundancy.

3 Azure Resource Manager is the recommended deployment model for Azure resources, including storage accounts. For more information, see Resource Manager overview.

4 Storage accounts in a premium performance tier use solid state disks (SSDs) for low latency and high throughput.

Legacy storage accounts are also supported. For more information, see Legacy storage account types.

Storage account endpoints

A storage account provides a unique namespace in Azure for your data. Every object that you store in Azure Storage has an address that includes your unique account name. The combination of the account name and the Azure Storage service endpoint forms the endpoints for your storage account.

When naming your storage account, keep these rules in mind:

  • Storage account names must be between 3 and 24 characters in length and may contain numbers and lowercase letters only.
  • Your storage account name must be unique within Azure. No two storage accounts can have the same name.

The following table lists the format of the endpoint for each of the Azure Storage services.

Storage service Endpoint
Blob storage https://<storage-account>.blob.core.windows.net
Data Lake Storage Gen2 https://<storage-account>.dfs.core.windows.net
Azure Files https://<storage-account>.file.core.windows.net
Queue storage https://<storage-account>.queue.core.windows.net
Table storage https://<storage-account>.table.core.windows.net

Construct the URL for accessing an object in a storage account by appending the object's location in the storage account to the endpoint. For example, the URL for a blob will be similar to:

http://*mystorageaccount*.blob.core.windows.net/*mycontainer*/*myblob*

You can also configure your storage account to use a custom domain for blobs. For more information, see Configure a custom domain name for your Azure Storage account.

Migrating a storage account

The following table summarizes and points to guidance on moving, upgrading, or migrating a storage account:

Migration scenario Details
Move a storage account to a different subscription Azure Resource Manager provides options for moving a resource to a different subscription. For more information, see Move resources to a new resource group or subscription.
Move a storage account to a different resource group Azure Resource Manager provides options for moving a resource to a different resource group. For more information, see Move resources to a new resource group or subscription.
Move a storage account to a different region To move a storage account, create a copy of your storage account in another region. Then, move your data to that account by using AzCopy, or another tool of your choice. For more information, see Move an Azure Storage account to another region.
Upgrade to a general-purpose v2 storage account You can upgrade a general-purpose v1 storage account or Blob storage account to a general-purpose v2 account. Note that this action cannot be undone. For more information, see Upgrade to a general-purpose v2 storage account.
Migrate a classic storage account to Azure Resource Manager The Azure Resource Manager deployment model is superior to the classic deployment model in terms of functionality, scalability, and security. For more information about migrating a classic storage account to Azure Resource Manager, see Migration of storage accounts in Platform-supported migration of IaaS resources from classic to Azure Resource Manager.

Transferring data into a storage account

Microsoft provides services and utilities for importing your data from on-premises storage devices or third-party cloud storage providers. Which solution you use depends on the quantity of data you're transferring. For more information, see Azure Storage migration overview.

Storage account encryption

All data in your storage account is automatically encrypted on the service side. For more information about encryption and key management, see Azure Storage encryption for data at rest.

Storage account billing

Azure Storage bills based on your storage account usage. All objects in a storage account are billed together as a group. Storage costs are calculated according to the following factors:

  • Region refers to the geographical region in which your account is based.
  • Account type refers to the type of storage account you're using.
  • Access tier refers to the data usage pattern you've specified for your general-purpose v2 or Blob storage account.
  • Capacity refers to how much of your storage account allotment you're using to store data.
  • Redundancy determines how many copies of your data are maintained at one time, and in what locations.
  • Transactions refer to all read and write operations to Azure Storage.
  • Data egress refers to any data transferred out of an Azure region. When the data in your storage account is accessed by an application that isn't running in the same region, you're charged for data egress. For information about using resource groups to group your data and services in the same region to limit egress charges, see What is an Azure resource group?.

The Azure Storage pricing page provides detailed pricing information based on account type, storage capacity, replication, and transactions. The Data Transfers pricing details provides detailed pricing information for data egress. You can use the Azure Storage pricing calculator to help estimate your costs.

Azure services cost money. Azure Cost Management helps you set budgets and configure alerts to keep spending under control. Analyze, manage, and optimize your Azure costs with Cost Management. To learn more, see the quickstart on analyzing your costs.

Legacy storage account types

The following table describes the legacy storage account types. These account types are not recommended by Microsoft, but may be used in certain scenarios:

Type of legacy storage account Supported services Redundancy options Deployment model Usage
Standard general-purpose v1 Blob, File, Queue, Table, and Data Lake Storage LRS/GRS/RA-GRS Resource Manager, Classic General-purpose v1 accounts may not have the latest features or the lowest per-gigabyte pricing. Consider using for these scenarios:
  • Your applications require the Azure classic deployment model.
  • Your applications are transaction-intensive or use significant geo-replication bandwidth, but don't require large capacity. In this case, general-purpose v1 may be the most economical choice.
  • You use a version of the Azure Storage REST API that is earlier than 2014-02-14 or a client library with a version lower than 4.x, and you can't upgrade your application.
Standard Blob storage Blob (block blobs and append blobs only) LRS/GRS/RA-GRS Resource Manager Microsoft recommends using standard general-purpose v2 accounts instead when possible.

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