Understanding Windows Azure Cloud Data Storage Solutions
Among the Windows Azure/Cloud Storage Solutions are block blobs, tables, and SQL-eachencryption-capable and each with utility features important to the enterprise and purpose.
Storage Solution: Block Blobs
Features: high availability; easy data unit manipulation
Block blobs store masses of unstructured data units (or entities of units) within one blob. So, for example, if the data is songs, images, clips, etc., these can be stored and still easily available to customers; and blocks within the blob can still be moved, ordered, reordered, inserted, reinserted, or deleted with ease.
Storage Solution: Tables
Features: high availability to all OS's and all languages; unlimited capacity
Runs inside Windows Azure, table can store large data units such as customer authentication information, order information/order history, game points of registered customers, etc., which is stored in a sortable, filterable mode. Capable of any storage amount, the table holds data that is available to all operating systems in all languages as data of pay-for-consumption use or as fee-based, ongoing use.
Storage Solution: SQL
Features: high availability; high security; low maintenance; high scalability
An SQL (Structured Query Language) storage solution is used for a library of text articles, encyclopedia entries, archived news reports, social gaming data, etc., for tens of thousands of units/users. SQLs have high availability/accessibility, but require minimal code changing and are server-side computation capable as well as co-server compatible.
Another valued feature of the SQL option is high scalability-because this multitenant database can/does move databases from machines that are heavily accessed to other machines with less action or from, say, machines incurring disaster to other machines out of the danger zone. More information for on-premise, Windows Azure center-housed, or other cloud service-hosted data storage solutions can be found at Windows Azure Cloud Storage or Storing Data in Azure.