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Azure Archive Storage expanded capabilities: Faster, simpler, better

08/20/2019 | 03:08pm EDT

Since launching Azure Archive Storage, we have seen unprecedented interest and innovative usage from a variety of industries. Archive Storage is built as a scalable service for cost-effectively storing rarely accessed data for long periods of time. Cold data such as application backups, healthcare records, autonomous driving recordings, etc. that might have been previously deleted could be stored in Azure Storage's Archive tier in an offline state, then rehydrated to an online tier when needed. Earlier this month, we made Azure Archive Storage even more affordable by reducing prices by up to 50 percent in some regions, as part of our commitment to provide the most cost-effective data storage offering.

We've gathered your feedback regarding Azure Archive Storage, and today, we're happy to share three archive improvements in public preview that make our service even better.

1. Priority retrieval from Azure Archive

To read data stored in Azure Archive Storage, you must first change the tier of the blob to hot or cool. This process is known as rehydration and takes a matter of hours to complete. Today we're sharing the public preview release of priority retrieval from archive allowing for much faster offline data access. Priority retrieval allows you to flag the rehydration of your data from the offline archive tier back into an online hot or cool tier as a high priority action. By paying a little bit more for the priority rehydration operation, your archive retrieval request is placed in front of other requests and your offline data is expected to be returned in less than one hour.

Priority retrieval is recommended to be used for emergency requests for a subset of an archive dataset. For the majority of use cases, our customers plan for and utilize standard archive retrievals which complete in less than 15 hours. But on rare occasions, a retrieval time of an hour or less is required. Priority retrieval requests can deliver archive data in a fraction of the time of a standard retrieval operation, allowing our customers to quickly resume business as usual. For more information, please see Blob Storage Rehydration.

The archive retrieval options now provided under the optional parameter are:

  • Standard rehydrate-priority is the new name for what Archive has provided over the past two years and is the default option for archive SetBlobTier and CopyBlob requests, with retrievals taking up to 15 hours.
  • High rehydrate-priority fulfills the need for urgent data access from archive, with retrievals for blobs under ten GB, typically taking less than one hour.

Regional priority retrieval demand at the time of request can affect the speed at which your data rehydration is completed. In most scenarios, a high rehydrate-priority request may return your Archive data in under one hour. In the rare scenario where archive receives an exceptionally large amount of concurrent high rehydrate-priority requests, your request will still be prioritized over standard rehydrate-priority but may take one to five hours to return your archive data. In the extremely rare case that any high rehydrate-priority requests take over five hours to return archive blobs under a few GB, you will not be charged the priority retrieval rates.

2. Upload blob direct to access tier of choice (hot, cool, or archive)

Blob-level tiering for general-purpose v2 and blob storage accounts allows you to easily store blobs in the hot, cool, or archive access tiers all within the same container. Previously when you uploaded an object to your container, it would inherit the access tier of your account and the blob's access tier would show as hot (inferred) or cool (inferred) depending on your account configuration settings. As data usage patterns change, you would change the access tier of the blob manually with the SetBlobTier API or automate the process with blob lifecycle management rules.

Today we're sharing the public preview release of Upload Blob Direct to Access tier, which allows you to upload your blob using PutBlob or PutBlockList directly to the access tier of your choice using the optional parameter x-ms-access-tier. This allows you to upload your object directly into the hot, cool, or archive tier regardless of your account's default access tier setting. This new capability makes it simple for customers to upload objects directly to Azure Archive in a single transaction. For more information, please see Blob Storage Access Tiers.

3. CopyBlob enhanced capabilities

In certain scenarios, you may want to keep your original data untouched but work on a temporary copy of the data. This holds especially true for data in Archive that needs to be read but still kept in Archive. The public preview release of CopyBlob enhanced capabilities builds upon our existing CopyBlob API with added support for the archive access tier, priority retrieval from archive, and direct to access tier of choice.

The CopyBlob API is now able to support the archive access tier; allowing you to copy data into and out of the archive access tier within the same storage account. With our access tier of choice enhancement, you are now able to set the optional parameter x-ms-access-tier to specify which destination access tier you would like your data copy to inherit. If you are copying a blob from the archive tier, you will also be able to specify the x-ms-rehydrate-priority of how quickly you want the copy created in the destination hot or cool tier. Please see Blob Storage Rehydration and the following table for information on the new CopyBlob access tier capabilities.

Hot tier source

Cool tier source

Archive tier source

Hot tier destination



Supported within the same account; pending rehydrate

Cool tier destination



Supported within the same account; pending rehydrate

Archive tier destination




Getting Started

All of the features discussed today (upload blob direct to access tier, priority retrieval from archive, and CopyBlob enhancements) are supported by the most recent releases of the Azure Portal, .NET Client Library, Java Client Library, Python Client Library. As always you can also directly use the Storage Services REST API (version 2019-02-02 and greater). In general, we always recommend using the latest version regardless of whether you are using these new features.

Build it, use it, and tell us about it!

We will continue to improve our Archive and Blob Storage services and are looking forward to hearing your feedback about these features through email at ArchiveFeedback@microsoft.com. As a reminder, we love hearing all of your ideas and suggestions about Azure Storage, which you can post at Azure Storage feedback forum.

Thanks, from the entire Azure Storage Team!


Microsoft Corporation published this content on 20 August 2019 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 20 August 2019 19:07:01 UTC

© Publicnow 2019
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