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Azure Blob Container File storage

    Question

  • Hi,

    I need some information related to the Azure BLOB storage.

    I have some data broken down in to multiple level of directories which we need to access from AZURE Virtual machines. So, we are planning to load the data to a disk and ship to MS for loading into Azure Blobs.

    Question 1:

    During copying the data in disk using Azure Import/ Export tool, I can see that the directory structure is maintained. There I have mentioned a Blob container name, example 'abcd' which is at the root level. The question is, when the data is loaded by MS in 'abcd' blob container, will the directory structure of the data get preserved?

    Example: My data is present in following structure: /MainDir/Dir1/Dir2/Dir3 where Dir3 contains the files. I have copied by pointing to MainDir and I have seen that in the disk it also contains a MainDir folder with the above folder structure. Data was copied pointing to container 'abcd'. After the data is loaded to the container in the blob container 'abcd' will it contain 'Dir1/Dir2/Dir3' automatically or all the files under Dir3 will be placed directly under 'abcd'?

    Question 2: Once the data is loaded to the blob container, will I be able to access this data directly from my Azure VM? Can this blob container be attached as a shared drive from where I can read/write on the files using some programming language?

    If blob containers are not capable of such thing then how can I access the data? Should I download the data first into the Azure VM and then use it?

    Is there a better way of doing it?

    Any help will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Regards,

    UBK

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 2:48 PM

Answers

  • Hi UBK,

    For Question 1,

    Yes, the directory structured is maintained while it is upload to Azure.

    For Question 2,

    Once you have the data uploaded in the Container, it will be VHD file. You can attach it just like normal Data disk to VM and access the data in the VHD file.

    You cannot share the data disk with multiple VMs. However, once you have access to data in the VM, you can make the folders as a Network Share and access them from other VMs.

    Regards,
    Manu

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 5:23 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi UBK,

    For Question 1,

    Yes, the directory structured is maintained while it is upload to Azure.

    For Question 2,

    Once you have the data uploaded in the Container, it will be VHD file. You can attach it just like normal Data disk to VM and access the data in the VHD file.

    You cannot share the data disk with multiple VMs. However, once you have access to data in the VM, you can make the folders as a Network Share and access them from other VMs.

    Regards,
    Manu

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 5:23 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi UBK,

    A couple of things to note here:

    1) Azure Blob has a flat namespace. However, prefix naming can give simulate virtual directories. So, you'll still be able to store, say a doc1 in directory dir1/dir2, by naming it dir1/dir2/doc1

    2) Azure Blobs provide REST interfaces to access blobs. And therefore you can easily access them from anywhere.

    As a side-note, check out Azure Files as well (in preview currently). It gives you true directory structure, supports SMB 2.1, and is accessible from any VM.

    There is a short and excellent article here on when to use Blobs vs Files vs Data Disks: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/dn790517.aspx

    Hope that helps.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2015 8:40 PM