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A Look at Azure Blobs

Azure Blob storage is Microsoft’s object storage solution for the cloud. Blob storage is optimized for storing massive amounts of unstructured data, which is data that doesn’t adhere to a particular data model or definition, such as text or binary data.


In this lecture, you will learn about Azure Blob storage, which is Microsoft’s cloud solution for object storage. You will understand its optimization for storing vast quantities of unstructured data, which can include anything that does not follow a specific data model, such as text and binary data. This storage is ideal for serving images and documents online, for streaming video and audio, and for writing log files. You will explore how blob storage is utilized for various critical organizational functions like backup and recovery, disaster recovery, archival, and data analysis, which can be performed with either on-premises tools or Azure services.

The lecture will highlight that Azure Blob storage objects are accessible through HTTP/HTTPS, the Azure Storage Rest API, Azure PowerShell, Azure CLI, or an Azure Storage Client Library. A particular focus will be given to Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, which integrates a hierarchical file system with the benefits of blob storage, aimed at enterprise-level big data analytics in the cloud.

You will be introduced to three essential resources within blob storage: the storage account, the container within the account, and the blob itself that resides in the container. An understanding of the hierarchical relationship between these components will be facilitated by a diagram, enhancing your comprehension of how the system is structured.

Furthermore, the lecture will discuss the different access tiers available in Azure Blob storage, which are designed to cater to the varied access rates of stored data. The hot access tier is for data frequently accessed and comes with higher storage costs but lower access costs. The cool access tier is more cost-effective for infrequently accessed data that is stored for at least 30 days, like customer invoices. Finally, the archive access tier offers the lowest storage costs and is meant for data rarely accessed, suitable for long-term storage like backups, though it has higher access costs.

By the end of this lecture, you should remember that Azure Blob storage is tailored for unstructured data, recognize the use cases it supports, and be able to describe the different storage tiers available within the Azure ecosystem.

© 2023 Thomas J Mitchell / TomTeachesIT