Azure Blob Storage: Resources and Types

Azure Blob storage is a solution for storing massive amounts of unstructured data on Azure. Blob storage offers three types of resources to organize user data.

Diagram showing the relationship between a storage account, containers, and blobs
  1. Storage Accounts: Storage accounts provide unique namespace for user’s data in azure. Anything stored in Azure account will be accessed using this namespace. This is the equivalent of a user login in a filesystem.
  2. Containers: This is a way to organize individual blobs, similar to the concept of a directory or a folder in a file system.
  3. Blobs: This is the lowest level in the blob storage hierarchy. This is the equivalent of a file in a file system. There are three types of Blobs:
    • Block Blobs: for storing text or binary data. The max size of block blobs can be 4.7 TB. They are called block blobs because the data is stored in the form manageable blocks. Each block has a block id. The size of a block is variable but max size is 100MB.
    • Append Blobs: These are quite similar to block blobs but optimized for high frequency append operations e.g. logs and virtual machines. Data can only be appended to the end of the blob. Append Blobs do not support updating or deleting data blocks already written.
    • Page Blobs: These blobs store data in pages of fixed size (512byte) optimized for random read/write operations. Max size supported in 8 TB. Page blobs serve as virtual hard disks to azure virtual machines.

Azure provides various ways to move data to Azure Blob storage, which will be discussed in a future post.


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