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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks

Azure Blobs, Azure Files, Azure Disks compared

Tabular summary paraphrased from the article Deciding when to use Azure Blobs, Azure Files, or Azure Disks

Attribute Azure Blobs Azure Files Azure Disk
Description Provides an SMB interface, client libraries, and a REST interface that allows access from anywhere to stored files. Provides client libraries and a REST interface that allows unstructured data to be stored and accessed at a massive scale in block blobs. Provides client libraries and a REST interface that allows data to be persistently stored and accessed from an attached virtual hard disk.
When to use You want to "lift and shift" an application to the cloud which already uses the native file system APIs to share data between it and other applications running in Azure.

You want to store development and debugging tools that need to be accessed from many virtual machines.
You want your application to support streaming and random access scenarios. 

You want to be able to access application data from anywhere.
You want to lift and shift applications that use native file system APIs to read and write data to persistent disks.

You want to store data that is not required to be accessed from outside the virtual machine to which the disk is attached.
Durability options LRS, ZRS, GRS (and RA-GRS for higher availability) LRS, GRS
Accessibility REST APIs REST APIs

SMB 2.1 and SMB 3.0 (standard file system APIs)

Files within the VHD cannot be accessed using REST APIs
Connectivity REST APIs -- Worldwide REST APIs - Worldwide

SMB 2.1 -- Within region

SMB 3.0 -- Worldwide

Directories Flat namespace True directory objects
Case sensitivity of names Case sensitive Case insensitive, but case preserving
Capacity Up to 500 TB containers 5 TB File Share and 1 TB file within share 1 TB disk
Throughput Up to 60 MB/s per block blob Up to 60 MB/s per share Up to 60 MB/s per Disk
Object Size Up to 200 GB/block blob Up to 1TB/file
Billed capacity Based on bytes written Based on file size
Client libraries Multiple languages Multiple languages Multiple languages
Scope Exclusive to a single virtual machine Shared access across multiple virtual machines
Snapshots and Copy Yes No
Configuration Connected at startup of the virtual machine Connected after the virtual machine has started
Authentication Built-in Set up with net use
Cleanup Automatic Manual
Max 8KB IOps 500 IOps 1000 IOps
Limitations 2000 open handles quota on a single file

AD-based authentication or ACLs not supported

Default and also the maximum limit is 10,000 Managed Disks per subscription, per region and per storage type (standard, premium)

A standard storage account has a maximum total request rate of 20,000 IOPS. The total IOPS across all of your virtual machine disks in a standard storage account should not exceed this limit.

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