Azure storage explorer

What are the storage options available in Microsoft Azure?

Azure Storage Explorer provides a cloud-based storage solution that is highly available, massively scalable, durable, and secure.

Mastering Azure Storage is essential for individuals preparing for the AZ-900 certification.

This article delves into the Microsoft Azure storage explorer and explores the varied storage services available in Azure in detail.

Let’s dig in!

What is Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer?

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer allows you to link and control your accounts and resources for Azure storage services across subscriptions. You may add, remove, view, and update resources in Azure Storage, Azure Cosmos DB, and Data Lake Storage.

You may work with Storage Explorer without a cloud connection or local emulators, which reduces costs and boosts productivity and efficiency. Additionally, Azure’s industry-leading security serves as its foundation.

Azure Storage Features

Let’s examine the characteristics of Azure storage:

  • Reliability and high availability: Data is stored in multiple locations and is duplicated. Hence, your data and replicas are safe in the event of a hardware failure. Furthermore, in the event of a natural disaster, you may simply access and save your data.
  • Scalability: Depending on the needs, the storage can be greatly scaled. When demand peaks, data automatically scales up to meet the demand.
  • Security: Your data is protected because it is difficult for an intruder to access any information from your storage. Azure Storage authenticates users using a shared key model. Access to data may be restricted via a shared access signature (SAS).

How to use Azure Storage Explorer?

You can use Azure Storage Explorer to establish a connection with storage accounts or additional services. There are several methods by which you can link your Azure storage accounts to the Storage Explorer application.

It takes two permissions to gain entry to your Azure storage account: management and data. Conversely, Storage Explorer can be utilized with just the data-layer authorization. The user must be assigned a minimum of a read data role according to the data layer. 

The nature of the read/write role should be customized to the kind of data kept in the storage account. Through the data layer, one can access blobs, containers, and other data resources.

You may get a list of all your storage accounts, containers, and service endpoints by logging in as the management role.

Also Read: Free Exam Questions on Microsoft Azure AZ-900 Certification

What are the storage options available in Azure?

In Microsoft Azure, there are various storage options available to cater to different data storage and management needs.

azure storage explorer

Here are some notable storage options available in the Microsoft Azure:


The command-line tool Azcopy is made to work as efficiently as possible while transferring, installing, and copying data from and to Azure Storage services, including Blob Storage, File Storage, and Table Storage. 

Microsoft’s Azcopy development aimed to offer a dependable and effective solution for data transfer requirements inside the Azure ecosystem. 

Since its launch, Azcopy has received an array of improvements to improve performance, incorporate new functionality, and guarantee compatibility with the most recent modifications to the Azure Storage service.

Azcopy stands out among data transfer solutions with several remarkable features. Among them are:

  • Fast data transfer: Azcopy is made to maximize the speed at which data is transferred. When uploading, downloading, or copying data, it makes use of parallel processing, which leads to far faster data transmission speeds than conventional techniques.
  • Large-scale data transfer support: Azcopy can manage large-scale data transfers without experiencing any performance deterioration. it is highly suited for jobs like data migration or restoration to Azure Storage.
  • High Resilient: Azcopy is built to be resilient in the event of a failure. Whenever there is a breakdown in the data transfer process, it can pick up where it stopped. This saves time and lowers the possibility of data corruption, particularly when handling big data transfers.
  • Support for many data types: Azcopy offers flexibility according to your particular requirements by supporting a variety of data types, including files, blobs, and table data.
  • Cross-platform compatibility: Azcopy works with Linux and Windows, so users of other operating systems can take advantage of its features.

Azure Blob Storage

Azure blob storage is employed for processing the bulk amount of unstructured data in containers. This storage type is highly scalable and cost-efficient for data types that do not need frequent access. 

Blob storage can be ideally suited for the use cases such as:

  • Backing up and archiving the data relevant to the applications and VMs
  • Hosting and streaming images, audio files, and videos
  • Big data analytics
  • Caching and website content delivery 
  • Retrieving the log file objects and telemetry data for managing, debugging, or analytic activity

The Blob Storage service integrates Azure services, such as Azure Machine Learning and Azure Content Delivery Network (Azure CDN).

Some of the best ways to access the blob storage are the Azure portal, Azure storage explorer, and Azure Powershell module.

Read More: Azure Blob Storage vs Data Lake –  A Comparative Study

Azure Elastic SAN

Microsoft’s solution for workload reduction and connectivity between large-scale databases and mission-critical, performance-intensive apps is the Azure Elastic Storage Area Network (SAN). 

A completely integrated solution, Elastic SAN (preview) offers built-in cloud characteristics like high availability and makes SAN deployment, scaling, management, and configuration easier.

Elastic SANs are suited for Large-scale IO-intensive operations and top-tier databases like MariaDB and SQL.

Azure Tables

Azure tables are schema-less and NoSQL-structured cloud-based data storage. It offers scalable and cost-efficient storage solutions for retaining larger data volumes of non-relational data types that do not need complex relationships and queries. 

Tables are used to retain flexible datasets such as data from the user for web-based applications and other meta information.

The following are a few typical scenarios for Azure Table Storage:

  • Centralized log, telemetry, and monitoring data storage
  • Data storage for e-commerce systems, including catalog and shopping cart data
  • Scheduling tasks scalable and storing metadata
  • storing IoT telemetry data and sensory data
  • Keeping cloud application configuration data on file

Microsoft offers several cloud database storage options, Azure Tables being just one. Azure SQL Database, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure MySQL Database, and Azure MariaDB are some of the others. 

Azure Queue Storage

With HTTP or HTTPS, users can access massive message storage volumes with Azure Queue Storage from any location in the globe. Asynchronous messaging among application components is carried out via Azure Queues.

The following are typical use cases for Azure Queue Storage:

  • Separating apps while allowing for asynchronous communication
  • Load balancing to handle abrupt, large-scale variations in demand
  • Workloads are processed in parallel.
  • transferring asynchronous, time-consuming activities to others
  • Increased robustness of applications
  • For more complex message integration patterns, Microsoft also provides Service Bus Queues in addition to Azure Queue Storage.

Azure Disk Storage

Block-level storage akin to conventional disk drives is offered by Azure Disk Storage. Its main function is to give virtual computers high-performance data storage.

There are four types of Azure disks: Ultra Disk, Premium SSD, Standard HDD, and Standard SSD. The most economical type of HDD is standard, and it works well for applications that can tolerate latency. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Ultra Disk, which is perfect for high-performance databases and data-intensive workloads because of its exceptionally high throughput as well as sub-millisecond latency.

Moreover, managed and unmanaged disks are handed over by Azure. With managed disks, you must indicate the required disk size and type; Azure management takes care of the rest. 

Compared to unstructured disks, which necessitate creating and managing storage accounts holding the disks, they are easier to deploy and maintain. Because of their simplicity and scalability, managed disks are advised for most situations.

 Nevertheless, there are some situations where unmanaged drives might perform better.

Azure Data Lake Storage

A central repository that is extremely scalable is termed Azure Data Lake Storage (ADLS) and it allows you to keep and analyze enormous amounts of both organized and unstructured data. Large data tasks requiring fast and low-latency data access can be handled by it.

Developed on top of Azure Blob Storage, its current iteration (Gen2) inherits all of its characteristics, including global redundancy, high availability, and data tiering.

The datasets required for developing and refining machine learning models can be stored by data scientists. Data warehousing, submitting reports, data archiving, and historical analysis are additional use cases.

Azure NetApp Files

Azure Microsoft Azure provides NetApp Files, a cloud-based file storage solution that makes it possible to create and administer enterprise-grade file shares in the cloud. 

The service is based on NetApp technology and was designed to satisfy the demands of business file data workloads in terms of scalability, availability, and high performance.

Azure clients may deploy and maintain high-performance shared drives in Azure with the fully managed service offered by Azure NetApp Files. It provides functions like support for the SMB and NFS protocols, file share snapshots, and data replication between Azure regions. 

To maximize both the price and the efficiency of their file shares, customers can also select from a variety of performance tiers and storage levels.

Use cases include database file sharing, big data analytics, workloads related to media and entertainment, and high-performance computing are frequently addressed by Azure NetApp Files. 

For business clients who need to store and handle massive volumes of file data in the cloud, it offers a scalable, highly performant, and highly available option.

Levels of Storage

High-performance storage is not required for all data. To provide the most cost-effective data storage options, Azure provides various tiers for some storage products:

  • Hot: Designed for data that is regularly accessed, at least momentarily. Compared to the cool or archive tiers, it has a greater data transaction cost.
  • Cool: Designed with infrequently accessed data in mind. The minimum retention time for this tier is thirty days. It is frequently used for older content that is infrequently accessed as well as temporary backups.
  • Cold: Designed to maximize performance for rarely used data. The minimum retention period for this category is ninety days.

Previously utilized for seldom accessed data. The minimal retention rate for this tier is 180 days.

Hence, mastering Azure Storage is key for professionals to effectively navigate and leverage the capabilities offered by Azure, setting a strong foundation for success in the certification exam and practical applications within the Azure cloud environment


What distinguishes blob storage from Azure storage?

Azure Blob offers a more affordable solution, it is likely a better choice if you need to store huge volumes of data or retrieve it programmatically. When migrating or replacing traditional file servers, Azure File Storage will be helpful.

What are the four main types of storage services in Azure?

There are 4 types of storage available in Azure and they are:

  • File
  • Blob
  • Queue
  • Table

When to use Azure Tables?

You can opt for Azure tables, when you want to keep adaptable datasets, such as address books, device information, user data for web applications, and other kinds of metadata.

Is it possible to manage Azure Blob Storage and Azure Data Lake Storage using Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer?
Yes, you can manage both Azure Blob Storage and Azure Data Lake Storage with Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer. This application makes it simple to use and navigate both kinds of storage resources.


This write-up covers everything about the Microsoft Azure storage services in Azure in detail.

As a certified AZ-900 professional, you must know how to segregate the data in the respective storage type to increase the data processing efficiency.

To experience the real-time data storing techniques in Azure, take our AZ-900 hands-on labs and sandboxes.

About Pavan Gumaste

Pavan Rao is a programmer / Developer by Profession and Cloud Computing Professional by choice with in-depth knowledge in AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform. He helps the organisation figure out what to build, ensure successful delivery, and incorporate user learning to improve the strategy and product further.

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