Tag Archives: Azure Storage Services

#Azure : Storage Explorer

When you move from traditional datacenter to the cloud, you know the limitation very well. In the cloud, you don’t much worry about the underlying infrastructure management. In the context of virtual machine, you don’t play with hypervisor at all. But once you look at the storage, you feel that management tool is required to manage the storage pool. To help you in this area, you have few options from Microsoft but at the same time you may find multiple offerings from the Microsoft Partners. Microsoft natively provide following options for storage management.

  • Microsoft Azure Portal
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Server Explorer
  • Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer comes with full-fledged functionalities and support all major operating systems such as Windows, Linux and OSX. It is a thick client application that you need to download and install on your system.

To download this tool, go to the “Azure Storage Explorer” page and download the storage explorer by selecting right operating system based on your need.

Once download completes, install this tool in your system.

To install, run StorageExplorer.exe on your system. Accept the agreement and click on Next.

Select the installation directory and click on Next.

Go with default setting and click on Next as it will create a short cut in the Start Menu.

It will take few seconds to compete the installation.

Once done, click on Next to open the Storage Explorer wizard.

First time, it will take few seconds to load the wizard.

Once loaded successfully, you will get an option to connect your storage account or service. Click on “Sign in” to continue.

In my case, I would like to manage entire storage portfolio of my Azure subscription. But you can use specific storage accounts or provide access to others on a specific storage accounts using different methods.

Login using your Microsoft Azure subscription account.

Go to the Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer and select “Manage Accounts” option and then click on either “All subscriptions” or any specific subscription and then finally click on apply.

Once connected, you will be able to see all your storage accounts.

Now, you can play with it. You can use storage explorer for following activities.

Blob storage

  • View, delete, and copy blobs and folders
  • Upload and download blobs while maintaining data integrity
  • Manage snapshots for blobs

Queue storage

  • Peek most recent 32 messages
  • View, add, and dequeue messages
  • Clear queue

Table storage

  • Query entities with OData or query builder
  • Add, edit, and delete entities
  • Import and export tables and query results

File storage

  • Navigate files through directories
  • Upload, download, delete, and copy files and directories
  • View and edit file properties

Azure Cosmos DB storage

  • Create, manage and delete databases and collections
  • Generate, edit, delete and filter documents
  • Manage stored procedure, triggers and user-defined functions

Azure Data Lake storage

  • Navigate ADLS resources across multiple ADL accounts
  • Upload, download files and folders
  • Copy folders or files to the clipboard
  • Delete files and folders

Above mentioned activities are just an overview that you can see when opening Microsoft Azure Store Explorer web page but you can do many more things with storage explorer. Therefore, explore this explorer as much as possible.

#Azure : Step-by-step Microsoft Azure Storage

Microsoft Azure storage offers variety of services that can be used to fulfill most of the business needs. Configuration and selection of services differs based on the storage requirements. I have covered most of the services and configuration options in the following post:

Storage Accounts

Storage services

Storage replication

In this blogpost, I am going to cover step-by-step process for creating storage accounts, configuring required storage services and selecting right storage replication methodology to fulfill your business needs.

Login to Azure Portal. Create a new resource group or use existing one based on your requirements.

Select “+ Create a resource” to create storage account.

Select “Storage” from the Azure market place and then select “Storage account – blob, file, table, queue”.

In the “Create storage account” panel, enter the unique name for the storage account. This name should be in all lowercase without any space or special characters.

By default deployment model is set to “Resource manager”, if you choose “Classic” under deployment model then you will not be able to select the kind of the storage account and as well as many new features that comes with general purpose v2 storage account.

When you go with default deployment model “Resource Manager”, you can select one of the following account kind:

Storage (general purpose v1)

StorageV2 (general purpose v2)

Blob storage

Select the performance tier based on your requirements.

Standard performance tier provides, four replication methodologies. Select most suitable replication options based on data availability requirements.

If you select premium performance tier then only you have one replication option i.e. LRS, and default access tier will be Hot. In premium storage, there is no option for cold access tier.

All four replication methodology is very specific to location. In few locations, you don’t have option to go with ZRS.

In “Resource Manager” deployment model, you have an option to select virtual network. In general, we don’t enable this option (by default it is disabled) but if you have any specific requirement based on your data confidentiality then you can define the virtual network / subnet so that the services running under specified network subnet can only use this storage account.

Once done with the configuration, click on create to create a storage account with specified storage services. I hope, it gives you a clearer picture about storage configuration in Microsoft Azure. Please feel free to share your experience by leaving a comment in the comment box section.