The Storage Story Behind Azure Compute

Microsoft’s Azure is one of the leading cloud service technologies, rivaled only by Amazon Web Services. The Redmond-based giant has invested a lot in its Azure technology over the years and built datacenters around the globe to ensure it is at the forefront of the cloud revolution and the number one choice for enterprises.

How Cloud is Empowering Businesses

The concept of cloud has always been there. But it was only eight to nine years ago when the full potential of this concept began churning out good results. It was because computational power had increased exponentially and internet connections such as 4G were becoming the standard that it became possible to deliver data anywhere.

The concept of cloud is similar to the real-world object of the same name that we have in the skies. It hovers over us. This umbrella concept is what defines cloud technology. The ability to take your data and applications wherever you go. So when you are away from home or primary device, the data is still accessible from any device in the world.

Cloud providers offer a range of services that are not just limited to storing data. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, organizations are seeking to tap into such on-demand compute potential to meet their business needs. Using the cloud to power application functionality reduces the cost of hardware significantly; it can be scaled according to requirements.

Azure’s Cloud Storage Services

As we discussed, one of the key attractions of using cloud services is how they provide an on-demand solution for your needs and do so cost-effectively. Instead of incurring capital expenses, companies need to incur operating costs as they continue to pay for only how much they need.

Data is one of the most significant assets of a company. Whether it is internal data or data meant for an application to function, Azure can host both, and provide services based on what you need.
Data redundancy is a key attribute of storage. It provides reliability in the event of a hardware failure; data remains available at all times.

Additionally, cloud services provide what they call managed services. What that means is that you, as a customer, do not worry about maintaining your application through constant patches; Azure takes care of that for you. It will automatically handle all the critical problems. It does not require continuous monitoring of health and traffic. It brings us to another useful feature of managed cloud service is scalability. Apps can experience unexpected traffic, while under normal circumstances an infrastructure would crumble with all the weight, Azure can scale its storage up or down with the virtual machine.

Azure offers its Managed Disk service under Standard Managed Disks and Premium Managed Disks packages.
Standard Managed Disks offer Hard Disk Drive (HDD) based storage for workloads with are less sensitive to performance variability. Premium Managed Disks plan, on the other hand, utilizes Solid State Drives (SSD), to cater to I/O intensive workloads. SSD, in comparison, means that you get significantly high throughput and low latency.

For comparison, a Standard Managed Disk plan with 32GB disk space costs $1.54 per month, whereas, Premium Managed Disk plan with 32GB disk space costs $4.81. But with the latter, you get 120 IOPs per disk and 25 MB/second throughput per disk.

Azure also offers other storage based services, including Blob Storage, Archive Storage, Files Storage, Queue Storage, Data Lake Store, Data Box, and Storage Explorer. That accounts for a fraction of what Azure offers. As Artificial Intelligence is one of the prominent spaces that require a significant amount of computing power, Azure is ready to provide its computing power for Machine Learning based image recognition, speech recognition, language recognition, and more.

It entirely depends on what your business needs are. Azure’s pay-for-what-you-use centric packages are an attractive proposition that give it an edge over competitors.