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Tech News: Microsoft’s Recent Launch of a Storage Option for Azure to Assist Enterprises and Developers

Microsoft recently introduced Azure Archive Blob Storage, a new storage option for its Azure cloud computing platform. This is going to considerably assist developers by providing them a cheaper alternative for storing large amounts of archival data such as logs, camera footages, audio recordings, documents and images for long term. This new tier of storage will be joined with the existing hot and cool blob storage tier on Azure.

While the archival storage is cheaper, data retrieval costs are higher. Also, data stored in the archived tier is not immediately available for retrieval. For less than 50 GB of data, it can take up to 15 hours for data retrieval. Microsoft guarantees availability of about 99 percent with the new archive tier with data being automatically encrypted at rest.

Developers can experiment with this new tier, all with the permission for access. Since this feature has been made available as preview, Microsoft does not endorse it for production workloads until it is available as a general feature.

Along with launching the storage option, Microsoft has also introduced blob-level tiering. With this option, you can change what tier your data resides by easily changing the access tier of a blob with a single command.

There are many competitors of Microsoft who have offered their own versions of archival storage. Microsoft’s archival option, however, differentiates blob storage from file storage making the comparison somewhat esoteric. It is noteworthy that Amazon Glacier from some years has been providing archival storage and Google’s Near and Coldline storage options are in the similar line with Azure’s Cool and Archival tiers. With Coldline, however, data can still be retrieved in a matter of a few seconds.

With this launch, enterprises and developers would be facilitated with lower-cost cloud storage solution for data that is accessed less frequently. Organizations usually place the critical data on expensive, high-performance storage arrays and then move it down as it becomes less frequently accessed over time.

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