Microsoft Azure Storage @ BUILD 2014

We were pleased to give an update on Azure Storage at the Microsoft Build conference this year, where we spoke about What’s Coming, Best Practices and described common patterns for making efficient use of Azure Storage. We also summarized our tremendous growth this past year: we are now storing 20+ trillion objects and serving over 2 million requests/second on average.

What’s New?

All Accounts upgraded to 200 TB in capacity and latest Scalability targets

One of the changes we announced is that all storage accounts in production are now upgraded to the latest scalability targets (200TB, 20K request/second) as described here

General Availability of Read-Access Geo Redundant Storage (RA-GRS)

At this time we are pleased to announce the general availability of Microsoft Azure Read-Access Geo Redundant Storage (RA-GRS). RA-GRS allows you to have read access to your date stored in the secondary region, so you can access your data in the event of a failure in your primary storage region. Geo Redundant Storage (GRS) accounts have their data stored in two separate regions. The primary region is what is exposed by default when creating a storage account, and all updates and deletes go to that region.  All updates are then asynchronously geo-replicated to the secondary region.  Enabling RA-GRS for a storage account will allow your application to have eventually consistent read only access to the secondary region’s data in that storage account to provide higher read availability in case the primary is unavailable. For more details, see our earlier blog post on Azure Storage durability options.

Storage Emulator Updates

The release of Storage Emulator 3.0 brings support for the latest REST API version, improved parity with the cloud, and a new scriptable command line interface for starting, stopping, initializing, and clearing the emulator. Storage Emulator 3.0 can be downloaded as part of the Azure SDK 2.3 release for .NET, or as a standalone package. For help using the Storage Emulator, please refer to the MSDN Documentation.

What’s Coming?

We also spoke about a few things that are in the pipeline:

Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS)

A new redundancy level for Block Blob storage, called Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS) will be made available in the coming months. This new durability offering stores three replicas across multiple zones (facilities) within the same region or across regions (in comparison GRS stores six replicas across two regions – 3 replicas in each region). Pricing details can be found at Microsoft Azure - Innovation, Quality and Price. More details on ZRS to come.

General Availability of the Storage Import / Export Service

The Import/export service provides an efficient solution for importing large amounts of on premise data into Azure Blobs or exporting your Azure Blobs to on premise via shipping disks. This service is currently available in preview and available within US locations. With general availability, we will be announcing more locations in the next few months.

Client Library Updates coming in the next few months

  • .NET – 4.0 release of the .NET library with RTM of WindowsRT and Windows Phone support
  • Java – RTM of Java library which contains new APIs, features, and performance improvements.
  • Android – CTP of Android library
  • C++ - Second release of the Native (C++) library. This release has been updated to leverage Casablanca 2.0 and includes significant performance improvements.
  • Node.js – A new CTP release of the node.js library. This release contains numerous fixes, API enhancements, and full support for the 2013-08-15 REST version.

Finally, for anyone interested in an overview of Azure Storage please take a look at the Introduction to Microsoft Azure Storage post just published.

Windows Azure Storage Team

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