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Azure Data Storage

    Question

  • Can azure team give me a clear picture of comparison of windows server and azure data storage. And also what is the big difference in data storage on windows azure. I am new to the azure world.
    Monday, June 8, 2015 7:57 AM

Answers

  • Hi Jerry,

    Thank you for posting here.


    The most familiar storage offerings on the Windows Azure platform are SQL Database and Azure Queue storage. SQL Database is, essentially, SQL Server on the Azure platform; you can access it using the same access methods and tools that you would use with SQL Server. For the purposes of this article, we will only discuss the basic database storage functionality.

    Windows Azure Queue storage will be familiar to those of you who have used Microsoft Message Queue (MSMQ,) as it serves a similar purpose; durable storage for passing messages between processes.
    The most common solution in a Windows Server environment is a network file share. This could be a cluster of dedicated file servers, a Distributed File System (DFS,) or Network Attached Storage (NAS,) but as far as your application is concerned it’s just a path to the file resource that the application stores data on. The Windows Azure platform offers two specialized storage options that fill this purpose; Windows Azure Blob and Table storage.

    For the storage of temporary data on a per instance basis, Windows Azure offers local storage. This provides fast access to the physical storage on the hardware node that your application instance is running on; however it is not durable storage. If an application instance is stopped and then restarted on a different hardware node, data stored in local storage does not follow the application instance.

    When you move to the Windows Azure platform, there are some important differences between the Windows Azure platform and a Windows Server environment :

    Windows Azure is a fully distributed platform that calls for new storage offerings to meet the needs of distributed applications, as well as new thinking about how data is accessed and used.

        While you can use normal .NET file IO classes with local storage, and ODBC or ADO.NET with SQL Database, both Blob and Table storage require different access methods than you may be familiar with from a Windows Server environment background.
        Your application must gracefully handle failures when it loses a connection to data storage. Data storage instances or SQL Database servers need to be stopped and restarted on other hardware nodes for maintenance purposes, hardware may fail, etc. Applications written for the Windows Azure platform need to implement retry logic that allows them to handle such occurrences gracefully.
        Your data store or SQL Database server may be sharing a hardware node with someone else's data or SQL Database server; don't assume that you have unlimited bandwidth or processing usage when accessing your data or running stored procedures. Consider designing your data to be scaled out, or cache it in local storage for faster access.
        You have to pay monthly for the storage you use, and some storage options cost extra when accessed from outside the Windows Azure platform or when accessed over a certain number of times. Allocate only what you need to use and consider batching IO requests or caching data and periodically refreshing the cache with a worker process.

    Monday, June 8, 2015 8:53 AM
    Moderator