Azure Block Blob Storage Vs Page Blob Storage – What Are The Differences?

Learn the main differences between Azure Block Blob storage and Page blob storage

Azure Blob storage is a data storage platform offered by Microsoft Azure. The term Blob is abbreviated for Binary Large Objects. Hence, blobs are created to store large quantities of unstructured data that may include images, multimedia files, documents, etc.

Azure Data Lake and Analytics are two other data storage platforms that are used for storing Big Data in structured, semi-structured, and unstructured formats. Azure Blob storage usually stores data in unstructured form and acts as a storage platform for common storage purposes and for storing personal items of the users.

There are two types of blob storage namely Block Blobs, and Page Blocks. Both of them have distinct properties and applicability. In this article, let us explore their characteristics and how they differ from each other.

Block Blob Storage

  • Block is the basic unit of Block Blob storage. One block blob can comprise a maximum of 50,000 blocks. Blocks can be of different sizes and each block has a distinct block ID. The maximum storage capacity of a single block is 4MB, whereas the maximum size for a block blob is 200 GB. If the size of the block blob exceeds the maximum allowed size, then the file is disintegrated into multiple blocks so it can be accommodated in the system.

azure block blob storageBlob Blocks are used for the storage of large amounts of data effectively. It contains certain helpful features which allow users to manage large files over networks. The upload time is decreased substantially because Block Blob allows the parallel uploading of multiple files simultaneously. To verify the transfer of files, each block is equipped with an MD5 hash through which you can monitor the progress of the file upload, verify its transfer, and re-send blocks if the initial transfer is not successful.

  • Blocks can be uploaded in any order and their sequence is determined in the final block list commitment step. If you encounter an uncommitted block, it can be replaced with a new block that contains the same ID. This prevents the underutilization of the storage platform.

Page Blobs

  • Page is the basic unit of these blobs. Each page has a capacity of 512-byte. The maximum size for a page blob is 8 TiB. Page blobs are used for the optimization of random read and write operations. Index-based and scattered data structures like OS and data disks for Virtual Machines and Databases are stored on the page blobs. One common example is the use of page blob as the storage unit for Azure SQL DB’s databases. Azure Page Blobs are also used for files that have Range-Based updates.

Page blobs are fairly simple to create and are customizable according to the storage needs of the user. To do so, initialize the page blob and define the maximum size for the page blob. When creating a new page or when updating the contents of a page blob, an offset and a range have to be specified. These factors should align with the 512-byte page boundaries.

  • By using both these types of blob storage platforms, businesses can consolidate all their data and content assets in a single location. This data can then be accessed by all users which may be located locally and internationally. Azure Blob Storage offers speed, ease of access, scalability, security, and ample storage for organizations, both big and small.

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