Windows Azure Blob storage

What is Blob Storage

Windows Azure Blob storage is a service for storing large amounts of unstructured data that can be accessed from anywhere in the world via HTTP or HTTPS. A single blob can be hundreds of gigabytes in size, and a single storage account can contain up to 200TB of blobs if it was created on June 8th, 2012, or later; storage accounts created prior to that date can contain up to 100TB of blobs.

Common uses of Blob storage include:

  • Serving images or documents directly to a browser
  • Storing files for distributed access
  • Streaming video and audio
  • Performing secure backup and disaster recovery
  • Storing data for analysis by an on-premises or Windows Azure-hosted service

You can use Blob storage to expose data publicly to the world or privately for internal application storage.

Concepts

The Blob service contains the following components:

Blob1

  • Storage Account: All access to Windows Azure Storage is done through a storage account.
  • Container: A container provides a grouping of a set of blobs. All blobs must be in a container. An account can contain an unlimited number of containers. A container can store an unlimited number of blobs.
  • Blob: A file of any type and size. There are two types of blobs that can be stored in Windows Azure Storage: block and page blobs. Most files are block blobs. A single block blob can be up to 200GB in size.
  • URL format: Blobs are addressable using the following URL format:
  • http://<storage account>.blob.core.windows.net/<container>/<blob>
  • The following example URL could be used to address one of the blobs in the diagram above:
    http://coreprogrammers.blob.core.windows.net/images/image1.jpg
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