Windows Azure – Storage Account

Hello everybody,

Again with another new topic, we will discuss in this article about azure storage account.

as we discussed before, when you thinking about azure infrastructure you need to implement cloud service which is the container which will hold infrastructure resources.

After that we learned how to implement a virtual Network, and as we discussed before that you must choose the physical location of the Virtual Network to be same as the cloud service.

Now lets discuss about storage account. simply when you need to prepare a physical server to be used, absolutely the server must have a disks so you can write and read data, also when you use hyper-v, all virtual hard disk (VHD) must be stored in a disk or in separate attached storage. In azure the concept is same so when you create a virtual machine for example, the VHD of the machine need to be placed some where called storage account, also if you need to take backup ( will talk about backup vault later) you need to store data in storage account. so simply the storage account is a container to store data for reading and writing.

In azure, Microsoft give you the chance to make the storage account highly available, for example if your storage account is placed on North Europe for example, and an earth quick happened in that region and Microsoft data centers goes down ! so where is your data !!!! Microsoft offer many solution for achieve high availability of your storage account.

Storage Account Replication Types:

1- Local Redundant Storage: Locally redundant storage (LRS) replicates your data within the region in which you created your storage account. To maximize durability, every request made against data in your storage account is replicated three times. These three replicas each reside in separate fault domains and upgrade domains. A fault domain (FD) is a group of nodes that represent a physical unit of failure and can be considered as nodes belonging to the same physical rack. An upgrade domain (UD) is a group of nodes that are upgraded together during the process of service upgrade (rollout). The three replicas are spread across UDs and FDs to ensure that data is available even if hardware failure impacts a single rack and when nodes are upgraded during a rollout. A request returns successfully only once it has been written to all three replicas.

2- Zone Redundant Storage : Zone-redundant storage (ZRS) replicates your data across two to three facilities, either within a single region or across two regions, providing higher durability than LRS. If your storage account has ZRS enabled, then your data is durable even in the case of failure at one of the facilities.

3- GEO Redundant Storage: Geo-redundant storage (GRS) replicates your data to a secondary region that is hundreds of miles away from the primary region. If your storage account has GRS enabled, then your data is durable even in the case of a complete regional outage or a disaster in which the primary region is not recoverable.

For a storage account with GRS enabled, an update is first committed to the primary region, where it is replicated three times. Then the update is replicated to the secondary region, where it is also replicated three times, across separate fault domains and upgrade domains.

4- Read Access Geo Redundant Storage: Read-access geo-redundant storage (RA-GRS) maximizes availability for your storage account, by providing read-only access to the data in the secondary location, in addition to the replication across two regions provided by GRS. In the event that data becomes unavailable in the primary region, your application can read data from the secondary region.

When you enable read-only access to your data in the secondary region, your data is available on a secondary endpoint, in addition to the primary endpoint for your storage account. The secondary endpoint is similar to the primary endpoint, but appends the suffix –secondary to the account name. For example, if your primary endpoint for the Blob service is, then your secondary endpoint is The access keys for your storage account are the same for both the primary and secondary endpoints.



The following table provides a quick overview of the differences between LRS, ZRS, GRS, and RA-GRS, while subsequent sections address each type of replication in more detail.

Data is replicated across multiple facilities No Yes Yes Yes
Data can be read from the secondary location as well as from the primary location No No No Yes
Number of copies of data maintained on separate nodes 3 3 6 6

Keep in mind that each storage type have a different price.

Great ! now let’s go through the implementation part:

as usual login to azure portal using, after you reach the portal choose the storage option from the left pane:


Then click on New button in the bottom of the page:


After that choose Data Services -> Storage -> Quick Create and enter the unique name of the storage account around the world, also keep in mind that the storage account name must be small letters and numbers only, choose the location of the storage account and keep in mind again to choose the location to be the same of the cloud service and virtual network, finally choose the replication type and click on Create storage Account:


Wait a minutes and the storage account will be ready:



In next article finally we will implement the virtual machines. 🙂


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Ahmad Yasin (MCSA office 365, MCSE : Messaging, Azure Certified)

Ahmad Yasin (MCSA office 365, MCSE : Messaging, Azure Certified)

Ahmad Yasin in a Microsoft Cloud Engineer and the publisher of AzureDummies blog. He also hold many certificates in office 365 and windows azure including Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions, Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions and MCSA office 365.

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