You may have encountered a number of sites that claim to offer different kinds of Azure cloud services. There are those that offer Azure archive storage, data storage, and hybrid cloud storage. LiquidDataSystems.com, for example, offers cloud business intelligence and a number of other services related to Azure. What is Azure cloud data service really, its data storage options in particular? What do you really get from it?
What Azure Offers
Azure storage services come in four variants. These are the Azure Blob Storage, Azure Queue Storage, File Storage, and Azure Disk Storage.
- Azure Blob Storage is an unstructured storage solution that is mainly intended for storing files of all sizes.
- Azure Queue Storage, on the other hand, is intended for the storing of messages that are collected by third-party applications. This type of storage service makes it possible to decouple applications.
- The SMB protocol based Azure File Storage is suitable for use as a virtual storage system. When deployed, it’s as if it is mounted as an extra storage media in a virtual machine. It is the recommended type of Azure storage solution for those that need to regularly lift and shift apps into the cloud.
- Lastly, Azure Disk Storage is a premium type of service aimed at high performance I/O operations. It can be used as a server or a hard disk for a virtual machine.
All four services come with basic features such as authentication, authorization, and data encryption. Also, Azure replicates all data stored in the aforementioned data storage services not only once but twice (total of 3 replications in the selected data center). There’s also the option to create more data replications through Azure’s Geo-redundant storage tier. This geo-redundant feature produces 3 more copies of a client’s data so there is a total of 6 copies being maintained.
Azure also offers relational and non-relational database solutions. These are Azure SQL and Azure Cosmos DB, respectively. Azure SQL Database is intended for instances when data are to be stored in a transactional manner but with sophisticated search functions. Azure Cosmos DB, on the other hand, is meant for non-relational data storage with the advantage of high performance across the world.
Moreover, Azure offers database solutions for PostgreSQL and MySQL. These are relatively new services, both of which provide the conveniences of a managed database setup. They are virtually maintenance-free storage solutions that create incremental backups every 5 minutes. Azure also offers an SQL data warehousing solution, which is intended for storing large amounts of data relationally and in a structured manner. Furthermore, there’s the Azure Data Lake Store, which is optimized for the storage of large volumes of data to be used for reporting and analysis.
Choosing which Azure storage solution to get depends on what your business or organization requires. You have to carefully examine and estimate your data storage needs before deciding on a choice. If you are not sure how to do this, be sure to ask someone in the know. Don’t just rely on guides and insights shared on blogs and forums online.