Reflecting on 2023—Azure Storage | Microsoft Azure Blog


The starting of a brand new 12 months usually prompts reflection together with planning for the longer term. At the forefront of our priorities lies the dedication to reinforce the Azure platform and its ecosystem, gas groundbreaking AI options, and facilitate seamless migrations to the cloud. We obtain this by means of purpose-built storage options tailor-made to satisfy the distinctive calls for of your workloads.

2023 was an emblematic 12 months of progress for storage and information companies with AI on the prime of thoughts for a lot of prospects. Azure prospects’ general information property continued to develop, powered by the emergence of latest workloads and entry patterns. Notable Azure Storage figures embody:

  • The storage platform now processes greater than 1 quadrillion (that’s 1000 trillion!) transactions a month with over 100 exabytes of information learn and written every month. Both numbers had been sharply larger in comparison with the start of 2023.
  • Premium SSD v2 disks, our new general-purpose block storage tailor-made for SQL, NoSQL databases, and SAP grew capability by 100 occasions.
  • The whole transactions of Premium Files, our file providing for Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) and SAP, grew by greater than 100% 12 months over 12 months (YoY).

In 2023, developments and investments had been made in 5 strategic areas aligning with buyer workload patterns, cloud computing traits, and the evolution of AI.

Focused improvements for brand spanking new workloads

We’ve made developments in providing end-to-end options with distinctive storage capabilities, tailor-made to assist prospects deliver new workloads to Azure, with out the necessity to retrofit them.

As prospects modernize functions with Kubernetes, we have now noticed prospects’ workloads shifting from “stateless” to “stateful” workloads. Azure Container Storage is customized to satisfy the wants of internet hosting stateful workloads the place storage is tightly built-in with containers and gives excellent information administration, lifecycle administration, price-performance, and scale. Azure Container Storage is the {industry}’s first platform-managed container-native storage service within the public cloud. It gives a path to handle persistent volumes and the backend storage choices utterly through the Kubernetes native expertise.

Microsoft’s Azure Elastic SAN is a completely managed storage space community (SAN) service that simplifies deploying, scaling, managing, and configuring a SAN within the cloud. It is designed to deal with prospects’ challenges in service administration relating to migrating a large-scale SAN equipment to cloud. We are the primary out there in offering a completely managed SAN providing on cloud, with built-in cloud scale and excessive availability choices. It adopts a SAN-like hierarchy, provisioning sources on the top-level useful resource, dynamically sharing sources throughout the workloads, managing safety insurance policies on the workload degree. In addition, it permits prospects to deliver new information intensive workloads to Azure VMware Solution utilizing Elastic SAN to serve the storage wants. Elastic SAN and Azure Container Storage, in public preview, showcase a paradigm shift by simplifying service administration, objective constructed for cloud native storage situations. General availability is deliberate for the upcoming months.

AI is main a recent wave of innovation powered by information. Azure Blob Storage stands on the forefront of this information explosion, offering wonderful efficiency and excessive bandwidth entry for all AI coaching wants. Azure Premium Block Blob, typically out there since 2019, gives extraordinarily low latency at aggressive pricing for AI and machine studying (ML), IoT and streaming analytics, and interactive workloads. We additionally launched Azure Managed Lustre in July which gives a completely managed distributed parallel file system tailor-made for top efficiency computing (HPC) and AI coaching workloads.

OneLake (which is the storage layer for Microsoft Fabric) is powered by the size, efficiency, and wealthy capabilities of Azure Data Lake Storage (ADLS). ADLS has been a recreation changer for analytics with differentiated storage options together with native file system capabilities that allow atomic meta information operations, leading to a major efficiency enhance, particularly when used with Azure Premium Block Blob. Multi-protocol entry is one other distinctive functionality that permits prospects to work with their information utilizing quite a lot of entry protocols (together with REST, SFTP and NFS v3) eliminating information silos, pricey information motion, and duplication.

Optimizations for mission crucial workloads

We proceed so as to add differentiated capabilities to allow enterprises to optimize their mission crucial workloads hosted on Azure.  

With the overall availability of Premium SSD v2, we have now been actively onboarding options centered on mission crucial information. Gigaom highlighted the superior efficiency and diminished whole value of possession of SQL Server 2019 working on Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) with Premium SSD v2. Similar advantages apply to different database workloads like PostgreSQL. We will proceed enhancing Premium SSD v2 capabilities and increase regional protection within the upcoming 12 months.

Azure Blob Storage powers data-intensive mission crucial workloads globally, together with a number of the largest AI mannequin coaching and inferencing. Cloud-native firms host exabytes of consumer-generated information and depend on the platform’s scale-out capabilities. Major retailers retailer trillions of person actions to energy advice engines and stock techniques. The Cold storage tier, launched in 2023, permits cost-efficient retention of this information.

Enterprises migrate Windows Server workloads to the cloud for modernization, supported by enhanced Azure Files and Azure File Sync capabilities. The preview of Microsoft Entra ID (beforehand named as Azure Active Directory assist for Azure Files REST API) permits fashionable functions to make use of identity-based authentication and authorization for accessing SMB file shares. Azure Files gives complete authentication assist, together with on-premises AD and Microsoft Entra ID for each Kerberos and REST. Unique to Azure, we additionally supply Microsoft Entra ID Kerberos authentication enabling seamless migration from on-premises Windows servers to Azure which retains your information and permissions intact whereas eliminating complicated area be part of setups within the cloud. Enterprises migrating mission-critical functions comparable to SAP and Oracle depend on Azure NetApp Files (ANF) to satisfy their efficiency and information safety necessities.  In strategic partnership with NetApp, we launched the general public preview of ANF giant volumes as much as 500 TiB, addressing the wants of workloads that require bigger capability underneath a single namespace, comparable to HPC in Electronic Design Automation and Oil and Gas associated functions, and the general public preview of Cool Access, enhancing the TCO for occasionally accessed information.

Efficient information migration at scale is crucial for profitable cloud workload migration. We supply a complete suite of migration options. Azure Storage Mover, a completely managed information migration service, improves the general migration expertise of huge information units. Azure File Sync permits hybrid synchronization between on-premises Windows Servers and Azure Files. AzCopy, a command-line utility, permits fast script-based migration jobs, whereas Azure Databox facilitates offline information switch.

Expanding associate ecosystem

We transition buyer workloads to Azure in collaboration with our companions, who complement our platform capabilities with revolutionary options. We have fostered quite a few profitable strategic partnerships and are delighted to see the associate group investing in unique Azure options.

Qumulo introduced the subsequent model of Azure Native Qumulo Scalable File Service, unique to Azure and constructed to leverage Azure Blob Storage’s scale and value effectivity. This service helps exabytes of information underneath a single namespace, surpassing different public cloud file options, and facilitates high-scale enterprise community hooked up storage (NAS) information migration to Azure.

Commvault unveiled a purpose-built cyber resilience resolution, solely on Azure. It empowers customers to foretell threats sooner, obtain clear recoveries, and speed up response occasions. It integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service.

Since the launch of Pure Storage Cloud Block Storage providing on Azure in 2021, we have now partnered carefully with Pure Storage. They use distinctive Azure Storage options comparable to shared disks and had been early adopters of Ultra and Premium SSD v2 disk storage. Our collaboration has expanded to containers by means of Portworx and the Azure VMware Solution.

Besides storage and backup companions, we collaborate with Atempo, Data Dynamics, Komprise, and Cirrus Data to ship storage migration options, offering entry to industry-leading file and block options emigrate petabytes of NAS and storage space community (SAN) information to Azure at no further cost.

Industry contributions

We actively take part in {industry} organizations comparable to Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) and the Open Compute Platform (OCP), collaborating with {industry} leaders to share insights, affect requirements, and contribute to the event of revolutionary options and greatest practices.

At the 2023 Storage Developer Conference, we introduced Massively Scalable Storage for Stateful Containers on Azure, emphasizing the synergy between Azure Container Storage and Elastic SAN. This mixture gives unified quantity administration throughout various storage backends and delivers a extremely out there block storage resolution designed to scale to thousands and thousands of enter/output operations per second (IOPS) with quick pod connect and detach expertise.

At Flash Memory Summit (FMS) convention we chartered the course for the way forward for flash as a HDD displacement expertise in alignment with Azure Storage long-range plans.

We are dedicated to sustainability, striving for web carbon-zero objectives within the subsequent decade. Through the OCP Sustainability Project, we offer an open framework for the datacenter {industry} to undertake greatest practices for reusability and circularity and lead within the steering committee to drive progress.

Unparalleled dedication to high quality

Our main focus is on delivering a sturdy basis for our storage companies, adapting to evolving workloads just like the emergence of AI and ML. This ongoing dedication covers reliability, sturdiness, scalability, and efficiency, for our storage options whereas sustaining a low whole value of possession (TCO) for Azure prospects.

We guarantee prospects of excessive information sturdiness, backed by substantial investments in infrastructure, {hardware}, software program, and streamlined processes. Our Zone-redundant Storage (ZRS) ensures information sturdiness of a minimum of 99.9999999999% (12 9’s) over a given 12 months—the best customary among the many main cloud service suppliers (CSPs). Notably, we’re the only real cloud supplier among the many main CSPs sustaining a 0% Annual Failure Rate (AFR) with our block storage choices since launch.

Our distinctive ZRS providing gives a easy solution to set up extremely out there options throughout three zones at a fraction of the prices. You can deploy a cross-zonal AKS cluster with persistent volumes hosted on ZRS disks to make sure information sturdiness and availability throughout zonal outages. Clustered functions like SQL failover cluster cases (FCI) leveraging Windows Server Failover Cluster (WSFC) may also profit from ZRS with excessive resiliency supplied out of the field.

In a concerted effort to raise buyer assist expertise, we’ve built-in with Azure Copilot, empowering assist engineers to troubleshoot extra effectively whereas delivering high quality responses rapidly. This has resulted in a noteworthy improve in buyer satisfaction scores.

In closing, 2023 has been a 12 months of profound studying and substantial progress. Explore our function releases in Azure Updates. Our dedication is to empower you with Azure Storage improvements and allow the seamless execution of a various vary of workloads. We invite you to proceed trusting us as we anticipate thrilling developments in 2024!


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