Q40. What is Azure Storage?

Azure Storage or simply ‘Storage’ is one of the many Azure services. This service is a part of the Windows Azure OS and is used to store unstructured binary data, and non-relational data on the cloud.

Note that this service is not for storing relational data. For storing relational data, Azure provides SQL Database service.

You may have a question – why would anybody want to store data in a non relational way when we have SQL server, the powerful relational database management system?

With different types of new applications being used it has become necessary to create new ways to handle data. One common format is the video file which we use on a daily basis. To store video files, azure provides Blobs storage. Azure storage handles really large amounts of data. However, for some situations SQL Database still holds good.

Data stored in Azure storage can be retrieved very fast and works out cheaper.

Azure Storage provides various types of services: Blob service, Table service, and Queue service.

In the following question and answers, you will understand when to use which storage service.

Important words:

Relational database management system


A relational database is one which is based on the relational model invented by E.F. Codd. There are many relational database management systems based on this model. One such is SQL Server. The relational model is based on the principle data is related and exists in a tabular form with each table made up of rows and columns. Over a period of time this model has undergone changes but sticks to the above model with many operators being provided to manipulate the data.

Video files


We are all familiar with videos which are essentially moving pictures. A video file is designed to store these moving pictures. There are many formats which are available for use. Examples of file formats are .mpeg, .wmv. A video file is typically large in size and requires higher resources.