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Understanding Windows Azure Cloud Data Storage Solutions

By Martin Schaeferle

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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.

Learn more about Windows Azure!



Martin Schaeferle

Martin Schaeferle has taught IT professionals nationwide to develop applications using Visual Basic, Microsoft SQL Server, ASP, and XML. He has been a featured speaker at Microsoft Tech-Ed and the Microsoft NCD Channel Summit, and he specializes in developing Visual Basic database applications, COM-based components, and ASP-based Web sites. In addition to writing and presenting technical training content, Martin is also LearnNowOnline's vice president of technology.


This blog entry was originally posted July 24, 2012 by Martin Schaeferle

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