Azure Blob storage

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Azure Blob storage is Microsoft's object storage solution for the cloud. Blob storage is optimized for storing massive amounts of unstructured data. Unstructured data is data that doesn't adhere to a particular data model or definition, such as text or binary data.

About Blob storage

Blob storage is designed for:

  • Serving images or documents directly to a browser.
  • Storing files for distributed access.
  • Streaming video and audio.
  • Writing to log files.
  • Storing data for backup and restore, disaster recovery, and archiving.
  • Storing data for analysis by an on-premises or Azure-hosted service.

Users or client applications can access objects in Blob storage via HTTP/HTTPS, from anywhere in the world. Objects in Blob storage are accessible via the Azure Storage REST APIAzure PowerShellAzure CLI, or an Azure Storage client library. Client libraries are available for different languages, including:

About Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2

Blob storage supports Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, Microsoft's enterprise big data analytics solution for the cloud. Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 offers a hierarchical file system as well as the advantages of Blob storage, including:

  • Low-cost, tiered storage
  • High availability
  • Strong consistency
  • Disaster recovery capabilities

For more information about Data Lake Storage Gen2, see Introduction to Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2.

Blob storage resources

Blob storage offers three types of resources:

  • The storage account
  • container in the storage account
  • blob in a container

The following diagram shows the relationship between these resources.

blob image

Storage accounts

A storage account provides a unique namespace in Azure for your data. Every object that you store in Azure Storage has an address that includes your unique account name. The combination of the account name and the Azure Storage blob endpoint forms the base address for the objects in your storage account.

For example, if your storage account is named mystorageaccount, then the default endpoint for Blob storage is:  

To create a storage account, see Create a storage account. To learn more about storage accounts, see Azure storage account overview.


A container organizes a set of blobs, similar to a directory in a file system. A storage account can include an unlimited number of containers, and a container can store an unlimited number of blobs.


The container name must be lowercase. For more information about naming containers, see Naming and Referencing Containers, Blobs, and Metadata.


Azure Storage supports three types of blobs:

  • Block blobs store text and binary data. Block blobs are made up of blocks of data that can be managed individually. Block blobs store up to about 4.75 TiB of data. Larger block blobs are available in preview, up to about 190.7 TiB
  • Append blobs are made up of blocks like block blobs, but are optimized for append operations. Append blobs are ideal for scenarios such as logging data from virtual machines.
  • Page blobs store random access files up to 8 TB in size. Page blobs store virtual hard drive (VHD) files and serve as disks for Azure virtual machines. For more information about page blobs, see Overview of Azure page blobs

For more information about the different types of blobs, see Understanding Block Blobs, Append Blobs, and Page Blobs.