Cloud Computing

Reflecting on 2023—Azure Storage | Microsoft Azure Weblog

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The start of a brand new 12 months typically prompts reflection together with planning for the long run. On the forefront of our priorities lies the dedication to boost 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 development for storage and knowledge providers with AI on the prime of thoughts for a lot of clients. Azure clients’ general knowledge property continued to develop, powered by the emergence of recent 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. Each numbers had been sharply greater 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 instances.
  • The whole transactions of Premium Information, our file providing for Azure Digital 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 tendencies, and the evolution of AI.

Centered improvements for brand spanking new workloads

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

As clients modernize functions with Kubernetes, we’ve got noticed clients’ 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 affords excellent knowledge 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 affords a path to handle persistent volumes and the backend storage choices utterly by way of the Kubernetes native expertise.

Microsoft’s Azure Elastic SAN is a totally managed storage space community (SAN) service that simplifies deploying, scaling, managing, and configuring a SAN within the cloud. It’s designed to deal with clients’ challenges in service administration on the subject of migrating a large-scale SAN equipment to cloud. We’re the primary available in the market in offering a totally managed SAN providing on cloud, with built-in cloud scale and excessive availability choices. It adopts a SAN-like hierarchy, provisioning assets on the top-level useful resource, dynamically sharing assets throughout the workloads, managing safety insurance policies on the workload degree. As well as, it permits clients to deliver new knowledge intensive workloads to Azure VMware Resolution 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, function constructed for cloud native storage situations. Common availability is deliberate for the upcoming months.

AI is main a recent wave of innovation powered by knowledge. Azure Blob Storage stands on the forefront of this knowledge explosion, offering wonderful efficiency and excessive bandwidth entry for all AI coaching wants. Azure Premium Block Blob, usually out there since 2019, supplies 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 affords a totally managed distributed parallel file system tailor-made for prime efficiency computing (HPC) and AI coaching workloads.

OneLake (which is the storage layer for Microsoft Cloth) is powered by the size, efficiency, and wealthy capabilities of Azure Information Lake Storage (ADLS). ADLS has been a sport changer for analytics with differentiated storage options together with native file system capabilities that allow atomic meta knowledge operations, leading to a major efficiency increase, particularly when used with Azure Premium Block Blob. Multi-protocol entry is one other distinctive functionality that permits clients to work with their knowledge utilizing a wide range of entry protocols (together with REST, SFTP and NFS v3) eliminating knowledge silos, expensive knowledge motion, and duplication.

Optimizations for mission essential workloads

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

With the overall availability of Premium SSD v2, we’ve got been actively onboarding options targeted on mission essential knowledge. Gigaom highlighted the superior efficiency and lowered complete value of possession of SQL Server 2019 working on Azure Digital Machines (VMs) with Premium SSD v2. Comparable advantages apply to different database workloads like PostgreSQL. We are going to proceed enhancing Premium SSD v2 capabilities and develop regional protection within the upcoming 12 months.

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

Enterprises migrate Home windows Server workloads to the cloud for modernization, supported by enhanced Azure Information and Azure File Sync capabilities. The preview of Microsoft Entra ID (beforehand named as Azure Lively Listing assist for Azure Information REST API) permits trendy functions to make use of identity-based authentication and authorization for accessing SMB file shares. Azure Information affords complete authentication assist, together with on-premises AD and Microsoft Entra ID for each Kerberos and REST. Distinctive to Azure, we additionally supply Microsoft Entra ID Kerberos authentication enabling seamless migration from on-premises Home windows servers to Azure which retains your knowledge and permissions intact whereas eliminating complicated area be a part of setups within the cloud. Enterprises migrating mission-critical functions corresponding to SAP and Oracle depend on Azure NetApp Information (ANF) to satisfy their efficiency and knowledge 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 beneath a single namespace, corresponding to HPC in Digital Design Automation and Oil and Gasoline associated functions, and the general public preview of Cool Entry, bettering the TCO for sometimes accessed knowledge.

Environment friendly knowledge migration at scale is essential for profitable cloud workload migration. We provide a complete suite of migration options. Azure Storage Mover, a totally managed knowledge migration service, improves the general migration expertise of huge knowledge units. Azure File Sync permits hybrid synchronization between on-premises Home windows Servers and Azure Information. AzCopy, a command-line utility, permits fast script-based migration jobs, whereas Azure Databox facilitates offline knowledge switch.

Increasing companion ecosystem

We transition buyer workloads to Azure in collaboration with our companions, who complement our platform capabilities with progressive options. We now have fostered quite a few profitable strategic partnerships and are delighted to see the companion 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 price effectivity. This service helps exabytes of information beneath a single namespace, surpassing different public cloud file options, and facilitates high-scale enterprise community hooked up storage (NAS) knowledge 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 instances. It integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service.

For the reason that launch of Pure Storage Cloud Block Storage providing on Azure in 2021, we’ve got partnered carefully with Pure Storage. They use distinctive Azure Storage options corresponding to shared disks and had been early adopters of Extremely and Premium SSD v2 disk storage. Our collaboration has expanded to containers by means of Portworx and the Azure VMware Resolution.

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

Trade contributions

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

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

At Flash Reminiscence 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’re dedicated to sustainability, striving for web carbon-zero objectives within the subsequent decade. By the OCP Sustainability Mission, 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 strong basis for our storage providers, 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 complete value of possession (TCO) for Azure clients.

We guarantee clients of excessive knowledge sturdiness, backed by substantial investments in infrastructure, {hardware}, software program, and streamlined processes. Our Zone-redundant Storage (ZRS) ensures knowledge sturdiness of at the least 99.9999999999% (12 9’s) over a given 12 months—the very best commonplace 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 Fee (AFR) with our block storage choices since launch.

Our distinctive ZRS providing supplies a easy strategy to set up extremely out there options throughout three zones at a fraction of the prices. You may deploy a cross-zonal AKS cluster with persistent volumes hosted on ZRS disks to make sure knowledge sturdiness and availability throughout zonal outages. Clustered functions like SQL failover cluster cases (FCI) leveraging Home windows Server Failover Cluster (WSFC) may profit from ZRS with excessive resiliency offered 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 shortly. 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. Discover our characteristic 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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