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Microsoft Azure

Deploying a Microsoft Azure Storage Account

In this post I will show you how to deploy a storage account in Microsoft Azure in preparation for storing new or uploaded virtual machines.

Considerations Before Creating Your Storage Account

Before creating your storage account, you need to make some decisions:

  • Where do you want to place the storage account? What Azure region will you use? This should be the same region that the virtual machines will run in.
  • What level of redundancy do you want? This will determine how many copies of your storage account there will be. Also consider what kind of fault tolerance you will have. You’re probably going to be using LRS or GRS storage.
  • What will you name the storage account? This will determine the name of the storage account.

I am going to create an LRS storage account in South Central US called demopetri.

Creating the Microsoft Azure Storage Account

There are a few ways you can create a new storage account in Azure:

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  • PowerShell: Hardcore admins who perform this operation a lot or want predictable results will use New-AzureStorageAccount.
  • Old Management Portal: You can log into the old management portal and create a new storage account quickly. However, this is the old portal.
  • Preview Project Ibiza Portal: Microsoft is focusing their UI development on Project Ibiza. It’s an incomplete product at this point, but it’s where new features turn up. This is the portal I will use.

Sign into the portal and click New > Everything > Storage, Cache, + Backup > Storage > Create.

Creating a new storage account in Azure. (Image Credit: Aidan Finn)
Creating a new storage account in Azure. (Image Credit: Aidan Finn)

After you click ‘Create’, you can configure the new storage account in the Storage Account blade. I named the account “demopetri.” If you click ‘Pricing Tier’, you can configure the account as LRS or GRS. Clicking ‘Browse All Pricing Tiers’, reveals other options, such as ZRS and Premium Storage.

Location allows you to configure the region that the storage account will be created in. I have selected South Central US. Once you’re happy, click ‘Create’ and you’ll have a new storage account in a few minutes.

Configuring the new Azure storage account. (Image Credit: Aidan Finn)
Configuring the new Azure storage account. (Image Credit: Aidan Finn)

Using and Managing the Storage Account

In the Ibiza portal, click Browse > Storage and click your new storage account. A blade appears that shows you summary information on your storage account and provides jumping-off points to configure it.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Settings: In here you will find Properties and Keys. Properties provides you with status and configuration information. It is also where you can copy the URLs for each of the storage services that the storage account can offer. Keys is an important location. You need either a primary or secondary access key to remotely connect to and use a storage account. This is where you can copy or reset the keys.
  • Containers: We can organize files in a storage account using containers, where you can think of them being similar to folders.
  • Monitoring: You can monitor total requests, total egress, average latency, availability, and capacity. These will require diagnostics to be enabled. You can also configure alerts to email you in case of availability or performance issues.
  • Events In The Past Week: This is a cross between an event log and an audit log of configurations done on the storage account.
  • Pricing Tier: You can reconfigure the redundancy level of a storage account, as long as you don’t want to switch to and from ZRS.
  • Estimated Spend: This gives you an idea of how much the storage account is costing you.
  • Access: Azure storage has a simple security model, allowing you to assign people to Owner, Contributor, or Reader roles for this storage account.
Managing an Azure storage account. (Image Credit: Aidan Finn)
Managing an Azure storage account. (Image Credit: Aidan Finn)

 

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Aidan Finn, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP), has been working in IT since 1996. He has worked as a consultant and administrator for the likes of Innofactor Norway, Amdahl DMR, Fujitsu, Barclays and Hypo Real Estate Bank International where he dealt with large and complex IT infrastructures and MicroWarehouse Ltd. where he worked with Microsoft partners in the small/medium business space.

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