Windows Azure is Microsoft’s cloud hosting platform. It’s flexible, versatile and scalable. One of the benefits to using Windows Azure is the ability to store data in three different ways.

  • Blobs – The most basic way to store data on Windows Azure is with something calls blobs. Blobs can be large or small. They consist of binary data and as such can be contained in larger units or groups. You can also use blobs to store data on Xdrives.
  • Tables – Beyond blobs, you can store data on tables. These are not like tabulated data in HTML. They are also not SQL-based. Rather, tables access data using ADO.net. By storing data this way you can store data across many machines within your network. You can effectively store billions of entities, each one holding terabytes of information.
  • Queues – A queue allows you to store data so that Web roles communicate easily with Worker roles. For example, a user on your website may submit data through a form to request a computing task. The Web role writes the request into a queue then a Worker role waiting in that queue can carry out the requested task.

With Windows Azure, when your data is stored it is replicated three times so that you can’t lose it. You can keep a backup copy of your data on another data center in another part of the world so that if something is lost it can easily be retrieved.

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