Cloud Data Storage 101: Everything You Need to Know

Cloud Data Storage 101: Everything You Need to Know

The cloud is an essential technology for any business. After all, the sheer flexibility and numerous benefits of the cloud cannot be overlooked, as businesses look towards the cloud to take care of many of their different needs.

One of those needs is data storage. Traditionally, data storage would take up lots of hardware space and would be a hassle to take care of on-site, but cloud solutions have provided a new way for data to be stored for a fraction of the price and hassle. Microsoft Azure provides a number of storage solutions for your business to consider, to ensure that you have.

In this article, we’re going to go over the ins and outs of Azure cloud storage, from all of the types of storage that Azure has to offer, to how and why you should get started with Azure cloud storage within your business.

Azure Storage Services

Azure Blobs

Azure Blobs lets you store large amounts of unstructured data, known as binary large objects (or blobs).

With Azure Blobs, you can store all of that data in a very cost-effective manner with full scalability and integration with Azure Data Lakes. Azure Blobs can accommodate full scalability for these large numbers of data points, meaning that it’s one of the best ways to ensure that your data is both safe and stored in an efficient manner.

Azure Files

Azure Files gives you a fully managed file share that can be used from anywhere in the world. Working to replace or supplement network-attached storage (NAS) devices, Azure Files lets you fileshare over the cloud with ease.

Being fully managed, you don’t need to worry about managing hardware and software — all of that is handled for you. To access the files, you simply need to go to the path on your computer, like any other network drive.

Azure Files are also fully reliable and resilient, built to be up and running whenever, meaning that local power outages and network issues won’t be a problem.

Azure Elastic SAN

With Azure Electric SAN (Storage Area Network),  you can easily replace your on-prem SAN system and move to the cloud. With this, you have access to a much more versatile, scalable system.

Using Azure Elastic SAN lets you access your SAN from anywhere, meaning that your organisation ultimately becomes more flexible and you can create a more versatile working environment — while also saving costs.

Azure Queues

Azure Queues lets you store your organisation’s messages within the cloud, and allows you to access them anywhere using HTTP or HTTPS.

With Azure Queues, you can have queues of millions of messages, and can create a backlog of work to process asynchronously — meaning you can store all of the messages within your organisation with ease to use within workflows or applications.

Azure Tables

Using Azure Tables, you can store flexible datasets in the cloud with ease. Being a NoSQL datastore, you can use Azure Tables to store structured, non-relational data.

One of the key benefits of Azure Tables is that it’s schemeless, meaning that it can be easily adapted to whatever you need, ultimately giving you more flexibility.

Azure Managed Disks

Azure Managed Disks are storage volumes that are used with Azure Virtual Machines. They work like a physical disk but exist virtually within the cloud — meaning that they’re accessible from anywhere.

They’re far easier than having to get a physical disk, as you just need to specify the disk size and type to get started, meaning that you can be as flexible as you’d like. You can utilise SSDs and HDDs of different sizes and varieties, and scale based on what you require the most.

Why Choose Azure for Storage?

The cloud is simply far more efficient, safe, cost-effective, and better for any organisation than on-premise. Instead of having to invest in hardware and maintenance, as well as having to find the space for an on-prem system, Azure takes care of all of that for you — and you only have to pay for what you need.

Azure is also simply a great platform for cloud storage. It gives you high-quality virtualisation options with great scalability and security, meaning you can be assured of having a convenient, high-quality solution that lets you take advantage of all of the benefits of the cloud.

How to Select an Azure Storage Solution

With so many solutions available, selecting an Azure Storage Solution might seem daunting. However, there are a few questions that you can use to work out what the best option for your organisation is —

  • Do you need disk storage to support IaaS Virtual Machines? You’ll need Azure Managed Disks.
  • Do you need downloadable images, documents, or other media as part of your workloads? The best option is Azure Blob Storage.
  • Will you need a location to install logs and analytics? Azure Blob Storage lets you store logs and analytics.
  • Will you need to provide a location for backup and disaster recovery? Blob storage provides backup and disaster recovery capabilities.
  • Will you need to provide a fileshare? You’ll need Azure Files.

Using these questions, you can work out some of the things you’ll need to consider for the Azure Storage solution you go with. However, if you need the extra helping hand in working out what you need, reach out to us today.

How We Can Help

The cloud is important for any modern business, and ensuring that you’re aware of the options available to you for any cloud solution is vital. This includes cloud storage, which will let you store your data in a more convenient, cost-effective, and secure way.

If you’re looking to get started with Azure Storage but don’t know where to start, reach out for our support now. We’ll be able to help you work out exactly what you need, to ensure that your storage solution works for your organisation.

Contact us and see how we can help you.