Demystifying Azure Storage: A Comprehensive Introduction for Beginners

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We have the cloud storage service managed by Microsoft, the Azure storage. It ensures high availability, durability, scalability, and redundancy in "storage" at quite a low cost. This blog explains Azure storage. You will learn various storage offerings like blobs, tables, file storage, and queues. In the end, we explain each of these services in Azure. In a nutshell, we will cover why we need "storage," compare "storage" with the database, explain azure "storage," replication, and end up with a demo. We provide complete Azure training for all Azure certifications. Naresh I Technologies also is the number one computer training institute in Hyderabad and among the top five computer training institutes in India.

So why we need "Storage?"

We can understand this through an example. Have a look at this "scenario." You have a video library website. The load distributes between the website server and the backend servers. There can be one website server or multiple website servers based on the requirement of scaling. However, we need to have multiple backend servers for sure. Hence, we cannot survive without the numerous backend server. We can store the videos in a database. However, we need to query each time, and that will consume time. The Backend servers and each of them should have access to the jobs list posted by the webserver. If we store it in one of the "backend servers," then the other servers do not access the "job list." 

Hence, we need to store the job list in a separate storage medium. And for such a case, we make use of the queue. However, the other requirement is to store the videos. We cannot store them in the database as well already discussed. And hence we "store" them in a file system. And the file system makes our task much easy. Thus, we used the above two storage medium, and they are the queue and the file systems, and they are not the database. And that proves that we desperately require the "storage."  We cannot store everything in the database, and the above case explains it all over. 

Storage Vs. Database

In the database, we store the data or the records related to each other, which might change with time and we require updating them. In the Storage, we "store" the random objects and remain the same most of the time, like videos, images, and more.  

The file systems ask for less processing, and we can easily access them. However, if we store the video in the database, we need to query the request to the database each time we need the video. Now think you do the same through the file system. You will not require that much processing as the file access is quite simple and lightweight. Moreover, the database storage is costlier than the file storage system.

Azure Storage:

It's a cloud storage solution provided by Microsoft for modern apps. They require "availability, durability, and scalability" to fulfilling the customers' requirements.

However, at first, you need a storage account.

Storage Accounts

You have to create an Azure account. Once you create an account, you can then add the data to the storage account. Make a storage account for storing around 500 TB of data over the cloud. Make use of the Blob storage account and cool and hot access tiers for cost optimization. You need some data frequently and not some data. Hence, you can store them in the hot or cool "tier" based on how "frequently" you need the data. The storage for low frequency costs less. 

There are two types of storage accounts: 

  • Blob storage

  • General-purpose

Let's have a detailed discussion on these. Let's begin with the General-purpose storage account. 

General-purpose Account

It provides space through blobs, queues, tables, and files, and all of such services are in one account. You can use the general-purpose account for storing the object data and NoSQL datastore. And you can use it to define and use queues for processing messages and set up in the cloud the files shares.

We have four storage types in Azure:

  • Table

  • Blob

  • File storage

  • Queues


It's a storage service for storing heavily structured data. It's a NoSQL data store that supports the authenticated calls from within or outside the Azure cloud. The Azure tables are the best for structural and non-relational data storage.


It is to store the unstructured data over the cloud in the form of objects/blobs. It can store text, binary data, like media files, documents, or the app installer. We also name it to object storage.


It can store the bulk of messages accessible from anywhere worldwide through authenticated calls through HTTP or HTTPS. One queue message is around 64 KB in size, and one queue can have millions of such, and it's fine till the capacity limit of the storage account.

File Storage

The file storage is an SMB file share. All the files and directories need creating in the parent share. One account can have any number of shares, and one share can have unlimited files and up to 5TB, which is the capacity limit of the file share.

Blob Storage

These are for storing the blob data. You can make use of it to select an access tier. It leverages you to decide how frequently you need the data. You can "select" the access tier that best suits your storage and that suits your budget.

We have two types of access tier. 


This comes with the lowest latency, which is possible. And hence you use it for the data that is frequently accessed. And that's why it is costly.


 It's the access tier that is low in performance than the above. It offers higher latency as the data is not that frequently accessed. And that is why you will find that it is cheaper than the hot access tier.

And both of the above are designed to ensure the highest level of availability. With that confirmed, you get assured that your file will be available 24 x 7. Though, high availability is possible only if we ensure the replication.


We have four types of replication:

Local redundant storage:

Through this, the file replicates three times inside the storage scale unit within the datacenter. And the data center is in the region where you made your account. The write ensures success only when you write all of these three replicas. And each of these replicas is in a separate fault domain and upgrade domains inside a storage scale unit.

The Zone Redundant Storage

It replicates the data asynchronously over the data centers among one or two regions other than the three replicas like the LRS. And, hence caters to us higher durability compared to LRS. The ZRS remains a durable one when the primary datacenter remains not available or cannot recover.

Geo-Redundant Storage

The Geo-redundant storage copies the data to another region miles away from the primary one. If you enable the GRS, then the data remains durable even when the whole "Region" faces an outage or disaster like flood and becomes unrecoverable.

Read Access GRS

The RA-GRS increases the availability of the storage account. It does that through read-only access in the secondary location to the data. And additionally, from the replication in two regions through the GRS.

Now you have detailed information about Azure storage. And let’s move forward and craft a demo for practical knowledge.


We will cover our demo in two parts:

Part 1: We will set up a website that loads the files to the blob storage. Once we upload the file, the file's summary gets stored in the Azure queue. It is for changing the background of the webpage once we refresh.

Step1: As already stated, our first step is to make a storage account. Follow the below instruction for doing that:

  • Click on the storage account.

  • Now tap on Add

  • Then fill in all relevant fields and then tap on create.

Step 2: And now you have created the storage account successfully. And we know that we have four types of storage services. We are leaving it on you to recall them. And you need to select one out of these four. In this, we make use of the blob and queue service in this demo. Let's first hence configure the blob service. Move to the storage account, and tap on the Blogs.

Step 3: Tap on the container for the creation of one new "container." Enter the container name. It should be unique, and you will receive an alert if it is not. Next, you need to assign the public access level. Blobs are the files. In this case, you will be able to download all that is in this container. However, if you use blob access level, any of the users with the link to this container gets access to files "within." Through, container access level, any users with the link get access to the folders and the files within the container. We are selecting the Blob access level here in our demo. Now tap on OK.

Step 4: Mention the connection string of the storage account in your code. It authenticates your code to do the required interactions with the mentioned storage account and all the services it supports. For completing this, pick the storage account. And then, pick access keys and then copy one of the connection strings. Now paste the connection string in the code, and you are ready.

Step 5: Now begin with the queue. On the storage accounts, the page picks the "queues."

Step 6: Now, we create the queue. For that, tap on the Add the Queue, provide all the details, and tap on OK. Then, replace in the code the relevant information.

Step 7: Thus, we have made the website. And now, select the file which we need to upload, and now tap on the upload.

You can now access the website and upload the files from there. 

Thus, we have successfully added the files in the container as well as the queue. You can check inside them if they have been added or not.

You need to check the blob.

Step 8: Now move to the process page inside the website to check if the queue entries, and the blob, are readable. You will find they are! Check if the video name is the same. 

Thus, we have completed part 1 of the demo. Now we need to move to part 2:


Part 2: In this section, we find the details of the file service in Azure. It's the SMB 3.0 protocol for file transfers. This service comes attached to the windows OS, and it's an external drive. Let's have a try at this on the Azure portal.

Step 1: Move to the storage account, and pick the file service.

Step 2: On the upcoming page, you need to enter the file instance and the size of the "instance" you want. Now tap on the OK.

Step 3: Now pick the file service that is yours, and tap on connect.

In the properties pane, you need to copy the link.

Now paste it in a text file such that you can distinguish the elements. 

The first point in this is the address column, then comes the user name, and then comes the password.

Now save all these details on the next page. It is the next step.

Step 4: Right-click on the My Computer icon on the desktop, and tap on the Map Network Drive.

Step 5: Now mention the first point which you copied from the text file in the folder text box and tap on the finish.

Step 6: Now, on the next step, you need to enter the username and then the password from the text file, and then tap on the OK.

Step 7: Congratulations, now your azure storage drive is all set. Use it now, and like any of the "drives" on the computer.

That completes our demo. If you want to learn the complete Azure, you can contact us anytime. 

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