Windows Azure Storage – Second Important Component of Windows Azure

Data is used by applications in many different ways. Or to say, application performs with the data in many different ways. Windows Azure storage provides various options for the applications to store data on Windows Azure.

Blobs (Binary Large Object) are the simplest way to store data in Windows Azure storage. Blobs stores data inform of text or binary data in it. From the image below, each container has one or more blob which varies in size upto a terabyte. Blob can also have a metadata associated with it which may contain information related to the files/data. For example, it may have the information about an image like, where the image was taken, to which album the image belongs to and so on.

windows azure storage

The most important aspect of Blob is that it provides the fundamental storage for Windows Azure drives. It is a mechanism using which, a role of Windows Azure can interact with persistent storage as if it was a local file system.

Windows Azure storage provides Tables (not the relational tables!) to let application work with the data in an efficient way. The data is stored in a group of entities which contains properties. Application can query a table’s data using the defined syntax. Scalability, in terms spreading data across multiple systems, is the biggest advantage in this situation. A Windows Azure table can contain billions of entities which can store terabytes of data.

Queue is another option in Windows Azure storage, primarily used to provide a way for a web role instance to communicate with worker role instance. Any request by a Web role instance can be written in a query along with the work to be done. There is a worker role instance which is waiting on the queue which reads the message and performs the task. The output may be returned in a queue or in some other way.

In Windows Azure, the data is replicated three times so that application is not affected even if a copy is lost. Windows Azure storage provides excellent consistency so that the application can read the data which is just written in the storage. A backup copy of data is stored somewhere on servers by Windows Azure. This version can be used in a case the data center which is having the main copy is unavailable.

REST conventions are used to identify and use the data stored in the storage. Blobs, Tables & Queues are named using the URI’s and are accessed using the standard HTTP protocol. Applications that use the traditional relational tables can use SQL Azure.

Contact us today or call us on 1-877-RISHABH (1-877-747-4224) to learn more about Microsoft Windows Azure cloud computing services.

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