Azure launches Premium Blob storage, for when Hot isn’t hot enough

Azure Container Service Retiring

Microsoft has added a premium tier to its Blob storage service, designed to offer much faster times and transaction rates than its merely Hot, Cool and Archive offerings.

Premium Blob went into public preview last year, but was declared generally available this week. Pricing doesn’t appear to be up yet, but Microsoft said Premium will have higher data storage costs, “but lower transaction cost compared to data stored in the regular Hot tier. This makes it cost effective and can be less expensive for workloads with high transaction rates. “

At the time of the public preview, Claus Joergensen Principal Program Manager, Azure Storage, said it used “a combination of solid-state drives in our storage clusters and enhancements to our blob storage software to provide high throughput and very fast response times.”

These resulted in latency speeds of 5.3ms reading a random selection of 10,000 objects from a population of 1,000,000 64KB compared to 61.4ms for Standard Blob Storage.


If you’re wondering what you might need those sorts of speeds for, Microsoft will happily tell you that it is ideal for workloads such as IoT, telemetry, and AI. It’s not all about machines though – Microsoft will also pitch it at “scenarios with humans in the loop such as interactive video editing, web content, online transactions.”

Right now data cannot be tiered from Premium to the other tiers, but Microsoft says it aims to support this in the future. Other services not available with premium include analytics logging, static website and lifecycle management.

Microsoft has also announced general availability of its Azure Active Directory based access control for Azure Storage Blobs and Queues. This should allow organisations to grant data permissions from their Azure AD tenant, and track individual user and service access to data.
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