Build 2015: Azure Storage Announcements!
By Michael Curd Program Manager, Azure Storage
4 min read
It’s time for BUILD 2015, and the Azure Storage team has several exciting announcements to make. We hope that these new features will enable you to write more powerful applications with Azure Storage. This blog post provides an overview of new GA announcements, updates on preview programs, and insight into everything else we are working on.
General Availability Announcements
Premium Storage General Availability
Azure Premium Storage recently became generally available. Premium Storage delivers high-performance, low-latency disk support for I/O intensive workloads running on Azure Virtual Machines by storing your data on SSDs (Solid State Drives). With Premium Storage, your applications can provision up to 32 TB of storage per VM and achieve 64,000 IOPS (input/output operations per second) per VM with extremely low latencies for read operations.
To learn more about Premium Storage, check out Introduction to Premium Storage.
C++ 1.0.0 General Availability
We’ve just released the GA version (v1.0.0) of the Microsoft Azure Storage Client Library for C++!
The Azure Storage Client Library for C++ provides a comprehensive C++ API for working with Azure Storage including the ability to:
- Create, read, delete, and list blob containers, tables, and queues.
- Create, read, delete, list, and copy blobs plus read and write blob ranges.
- Insert, delete, replace, merge, and query entities in an Azure table.
- Enqueue and dequeue messages in an Azure queue.
- Lazily list containers, blobs, tables, and queues, and lazily query entities (new in version 1.0.0)
Learn more about this new release by visiting the Microsoft Azure Storage Client Library for C++ v1.0.0 (General Availability) blog.
Preview Program Announcements
Technical Support Now Available for Azure Files
We are pleased to announce that eligible customers with technical support subscriptions can now leverage our team of Technical Support Professionals for assistance with Azure Files.
New to Azure Files? Look at Getting Started with Azure Files to learn more.
Client-Side Encryption Preview
A frequent request we’ve had from our customers is to provide an easy way to encrypt their data before sending it to Azure Storage. We’ve listened, and we’re excited to announce the public preview of client-side encryption in the Azure Storage client library for .NET. You can use client-side encryption to encrypt blob data, table data (you select the properties to encrypt), and queue messages. Client-side encryption also integrates with Azure Key Vault and allows for integrating with other key management systems if you prefer.
Client-side encryption uses envelope encryption methods to maintain great performance. In most cases, you can take advantage of client-side encryption by adding just a few lines of code to your application. Unlike server-side encryption, this new feature gives users complete control over the keys used for encryption. Azure Storage never sees your keys, so it can’t decrypt your data.
Start using client-side encryption by visiting our client-side encryption blog post.
Xamarin Client Library Preview
We are pleased to announce an Azure Storage client library preview for Xamarin!
Xamarin allows developers to use a shared C# codebase to create iOS, Android, and Windows Store apps with native user interfaces.
Start building Xamarin apps that use Azure Storage now by following our Getting started with Azure Storage on Xamarin tutorial.
Azure Resource Manager: A new and powerful way to manage your Azure resources
Going forward, Azure resource provisioning will be based on the new Azure Resource Manager (ARM), which provides a number of new features like templates, RBAC, resource groups, and others. ARM exposes resources through “Resource Providers”, where each resource being managed is done by its own resource provider. We are pleased to announce the Storage Resource Provider (SRP) for ARM!
SRP allows you to manage your storage accounts (create/delete/update/read storage account, get/set keys, etc.), while inheriting the benefits of using the ARM provisioning stack.
Check out our documentation to learn more about the SRP REST API and SRP Cmdlets for Azure Powershell.
For more information regarding the Azure Resource Manager, you can also check out the following blog post.
Near Term Roadmap
We also wanted to take this opportunity to share a couple of roadmap items that we are working on including Append Blob, a new blob type optimized for fast append operations, a new iOS storage client library, and various SAS improvements. Also, we are extending our Azure Import/Export service offering to Japan and Australia.
New Blob type: Append Blob
Append Blob is a new blob type (alongside our existing Block and Page blobs) that is optimized for fast append operations, making it ideal for scenarios that add data to an existing blob without modifying the existing contents of that blob, such as logging and auditing. Visit Introducing Azure Storage Append Blob blog for more information. We plan to release Append Blob in summer 2015.
iOS Client Library Preview
We are working on the new Azure Storage client library for iOS. Customers can expect a public preview for block blobs in summer 2015. If you are interested in learning more or participating in a limited preview, see here for more information.
The Storage team has been working diligently to make improvements to Shared Access Signatures (SAS). Three key improvements are coming in summer 2015, all based on your feedback:
- Storage Account SAS – one SAS token can now provide access to an entire account instead of a single object or container.
- Protocol SAS – SAS tokens can now be restricted to HTTPS only. The protocol is enforced on the client side if users are using the storage client library, so that the SAS token is never sent over HTTP.
- IP Restricted SAS – A SAS token can now specify a single IP or range. Requests originating from outside that address or range will fail.
With these improvements, SAS should meet the needs of developers and administrators in a wider array of scenarios, significantly reducing the need to use the account’s Shared Key.
Azure Import/Export will be coming to Japan and Australia in summer 2015. Azure Import/Export is offered for all public Azure regions today. If you have storage accounts in Japan or Australia, you can now ship disks to a domestic address within Japan or Australia rather than shipping to another region. Import/Export now also supports up to 6 TB hard drives.
Learn more about Azure Import/Export here.
Finally, for anyone new to Azure Storage, please check out new Azure Storage documentation page , now including 5-minute getting started videos for Storage, Premium Storage and Files.
Azure Storage Team