Table of Contents
3 Types of Storage Within Azure
Azure Archive Storage Tier
8 Advantages of Azure Archive Storage Option
Azure Storage Archive: Use Cases
Azure Disaster Recovery and Archive Storage
How Cloud4C Can Help


Not all data has to be stored in the highest-performing storage options. Means, storage of data, like raw data and network telemetry dumps, which need to be retained indefinitely but isn't regularly accessed, doesn't have to be expensive to still be effective.

Azure Archive Storage offers an excellent choice for organizations looking to maintain enormous amounts of data cost-effectively, especially data that is rarely accessed but must be stored for reasons such as compliance, historical, or archival purposes. Archive Storage is an essential part of Azure's comprehensive storage ecosystem, and thus provides organizations with the flexibility required to meet specific data storage needs while also controlling costs.

This is what the blog explores: Azure archive storage options, and why it can be a viable choice for businesses. Let us dive in!

3 Types of Enterprise Data Storage on Azure: A Glimpse

Hot Storage Cool Storage Archive Storage
  • The original Azure blob storage. Here, data is put into the blob storage account, with many options in storage.
  • This data is in active use or is expected to be read from and written to frequently.
  • Hot storage provides all the basic storage choices, such as taking files from a customer as part of a data warehouse load or dropping files to retain for a while.
  • Introduced by Azure to get some cost reductions into the environment. Consider it as a high availability backup scenario.
  • This is a suitable choice for storing data that does not need to be readily accessed often.
  • One can get data quickly when in need of it. But note - you will pay a higher price for extraction of that data when needed.
  • This is truly an archive storage option. Includes long term or secondary backup etc., which are not intended to be retrieved right away.
  • There is no read access, you can only write to the storage area.
  • A solid solution for full-board disaster recovery or compliance and auditing scenarios in which you may need to maintain 10 years of data for 10 years, but don't plan to take it out.


Introducing Azure Archive Storage Tier

As the name suggests, Azure archive storage is a low-cost storage option for archival data without frequent access. This tier is for data that will be held in archival storage for at least 180 days, where the archive tier data remains offline until the tier is altered through a process known as hydration. The process of hydrating data stored in the archive tier and shifting it to the hot or cool tiers could take up to 15 hours with standard priority and up to 1 hour if high priority items are smaller than 10 GB. Hence, Azure archive is only meant for data that can withstand such a long access delay.

The resiliency of the storage formats is ensured by storage-level replication. It supports Locally redundant storage (LRS), Geo-Redundant storage (GRS), and RA-GRS.

Azure Archive Storage is crucial for:

  • Long-Term Data Retention: Storing data that is infrequently accessed but needs to be preserved for a long time.
  • Cost-Effective Storage: Providing a lower-cost storage option for archival data.
  • Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: Meeting legal and compliance requirements for data retention.
  • Cold Data: Particularly suitable for data categorized as cold or rarely accessed

Integration with Existing Storage Systems

Azure storage can integrate with several industry-leading storage service vendors to provide hybrid cloud storage offerings. The data in question can then be stored on - on-premises storage or on the hot tier, while the less frequently accessed data is stored on the archive tier.

Best Practices for Using Azure Archive Storage

  • Data Classification: Classify the data properly to ensure only suitable (rarely accessed) data is archived.
  • Lifecycle Management: Implement lifecycle management policies for automated data handling.
  • Regular Audits and Reviews: Conduct audits regularly to manage and optimize archived data.

8 Advantages of Azure Archive Storage Option

Azure archive storage offers several advantages, making it an attractive option for organizations. Here are 10 reasons why:

1. Azure Storage Pricing

Many acknowledge that using cloud storage is a more flexible and affordable solution than on-premises storage. But cloud pricing models vary depending on usage; activity costs gaining the upper hand in the long run compared to the usual infra expenses. The storage costs associated with Azure archive storage are substantially lower when compared to more frequently accessed storage tiers.

According to reports, it can help save up to 80% on storage costs compared to other tiers; this is significant when storing large amounts of data.

The Archive tier provides the lowest storage charges available on the Azure cloud: depending on the geographical region, rates can be as low as $0.00099 to $0.002 per GB for the first 50 TBs. However, reading data from an archive tier can be a costly activity with a few dollars charge for every 10,000 read operations.

2. Availability & Scalability

Despite being optimized for infrequent access, Azure provides reliable availability for archived data. It employs redundancy and durability mechanisms to ensure data integrity and availability, even in the event of hardware failures or data center outages. Deploying mechanisms to maintain data redundancy also significantly reduces the risk of data loss, which is particularly important for organizations with stringent data integrity requirements.

The archive tier is also highly scalable; whether it is for small amounts or petabytes of data, Azure's infrastructure allows scaling without ever worrying about capacity constraints.

3. Security & Compliance

Physical data center security and compliance can be problematic and difficult to update, particularly in the face of unforeseen situations. Azure distinguishes itself in terms of security by encrypting all archived data. The archive tier employs server-side encryption for data at rest and SSL/TLS for encrypting data in transit.

Additionally, businesses can implement network security groups to limit access to archived data and leverage role-based access control (RBAC) to manage data access permissions. Microsoft Azure also provides alternatives to storing sensitive passwords, including a Single Sign-On solution that allows users to use an organizational password rather than individual ones.

4. Priority Retrieval

Priority retrieval flags the rehydration of your data from the offline archive tier to an online, hot or cool tier as a high-priority action. By paying a little bit more for the priority rehydration operation, the archive retrieval request is placed in front of other requests and data is expected to be online in less than one hour.

The two archive retrieval options are:

  • Standard Retrieval: Default option and is cost-effective, but retrievals may take up to 15 hours.
  • Priority Retrieval: Fulfills the need for urgent data access, retrievals under 10 GB can typically take even less than 1 hour. But this option is more expensive. Priority retrievals are advised for emergency requests involving a subset of an archive dataset.

5. Seamless Integrations

With Azure archive storage, data can be easily moved between tiers using the Azure portal, PowerShell, or REST API, making it simple to manage data lifecycles and optimize storage costs. This seamless integration is what allows businesses to store rarely accessed data at a lower cost while still maintaining access to it when needed.

6. Disaster Recovery:

A good backup and disaster recovery strategy are both crucial in making sure that data is redundantly stored at locations beyond just the primary site. If a disaster strikes at the primary site, companies want to be able to recover the data from a secondary site.

Comprehensive Guide to Microsoft Azure Disaster Recovery
Know More.


Some organizations have more than one brick-and-mortar location with IT infrastructure, so it is an easy decision to replicate backups between those locations to achieve redundancy. However, many still are limited to having a single location, making replication impossible or, at the very least, requiring significant investment in physical hardware.

Azure archive storage integrates with backup and disaster recovery partners, allowing organizations to create disaster recovery sites to ensure business continuity. In case of a disaster, the archive tier provides an additional layer of protection for the data.

7. Flexible Management

Managing on-premises data solutions may limit productivity. It is one of the most prevalent reasons for using cloud archiving solutions. Cloud storage reduces the need to physically maintain tapes and other devices. Azure archive storage offers backup-as-a-service and other hybrid storage options that can automate data and application recovery.

Azure archive storage also employs automatic tiering. This means, over the course of time, data is assessed for its access frequency. Data that is accessed frequently remains in the "Hot" or "Cool" tier, while less frequently accessed data is eventually moved to the "Archive" tier.

8. Technical Support

One of the most common complaints is the failure of technical support to resolve a persistent problem. Companies may sometimes feel that the value of their support outweighs the cost paid. Azure archive storage comes with a range of competitive support plans, that are identified based on their best area of application.

There are included plans that offer general support, and there are upgraded plans depending on one's role — Developer, Standard, Professional Direct, and Premier.

Unlock your Azure Cloud potential with the Right Azure Managed Services Partner 
Read More


Azure Storage Archive: Use Cases

Compliance Management: Many regulations require enterprises to keep data for a set amount of time. Azure archive storage makes it simple to store data for a longer period without incurring exorbitant costs. Retention policies can also be implemented to ensure that data is not erased before the required time period.

Historical Data: Organizations that require the retention of historical data, like financial records or customer information, can do so cost-effectively, using Azure Storage Archive.

Media and Entertainment: Media assets like images, films, and audio recordings are often stored for longer periods and are infrequently accessed. Azure archive storage offers a low-cost option to store and manage these assets for years while also making them available when needed.

Healthcare Data Archiving: Healthcare organizations must preserve patient data for extended periods of time, which can be costly if stored in high-cost storage tiers. Azure archive offers a practical solution for healthcare providers, enabling them to reduce their storage costs while ensuring secure, globally compliant storage for sensitive medical data.

Healthcare Leader Fortifies Core Landscape Round-the-clock with Azure and Intelligent Managed Services 
Read the Full Story Here!


Azure Disaster Recovery and Archive Storage:

Azure Storage makes numerous copies of the storage account to ensure durability. The redundancy option chosen for the account is determined by the level of resiliency required for the applications.

With locally redundant storage (LRS), three copies of the storage account are automatically saved and replicated within a single data center. Zone-redundant storage (ZRS) stores and replicates a copy in three independent availability zones within the same region. The recovery of a single copy of a storage account is automatic with LRS and ZRS.

Globally Redundant Storage and Failover

Azure uses globally redundant storage (GRS, GZRS, and RA-GZRS) to copy data asynchronously to a secondary geographic location located at least hundreds of miles away. This allows retrieval of data if the primary region has an outage. One feature that distinguishes globally redundant storage from LRS and ZRS, is the capacity to failover to the secondary region in the event the primary region fails. The process of failing over, updates the DNS entries for the storage account's service endpoints, causing the secondary region endpoints to become the new primary endpoints. Once the failover is completed, clients can start writing to the new primary endpoints.

Azure Archive Storage for Disaster Recovery with Cloud4C

Providing a low-cost alternative to other storage tiers, Azure Archive Storage, since its launch has seen unprecedented interest and innovative usage from a variety of industries. One of the important uses being Disaster Recovery! This is where Cloud4C's solutions come into play.

Cloud4C, the world's only firm to secure 10 Azure advanced specializations, offers Azure Storage, in combination with our comprehensive disaster recovery services. Our expertise in Azure Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), integrated with Azure Storage, enables businesses to minimize downtime, reduce data loss, and ensure seamless business continuity. As a recognized Azure expert MSP, we also help manage static and dynamic dataflows with ease and deploy cutting-edge analytics for informed decision-making.

Wish to save more and retain more data? Contact us to know more!

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Team Cloud4c
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Team Cloud4c

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