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Buyer's Guide
Public Cloud Storage Services
September 2022
Get our free report covering Google, Google, Microsoft, and other competitors of Amazon S3 Glacier. Updated: September 2022.
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Read reviews of Amazon S3 Glacier alternatives and competitors

Chandra Mani - PeerSpot reviewer
Technical architect at Tech Mahindra
Real User
Top 20
It lets you customize code you can use on that endpoint
Pros and Cons
  • "Azure Block Storage lets you customize code you can use on that endpoint. If you want to write a logic for something, Azure Function can be used to deploy that application."
  • "One thing that needs improvement is authentication. They need to improve the integrated Azure Active Directory for the enterprise level. For single sign-on, we can try any authentication or portal for Block Azure Function AKS. For example, if you're an administrator or user contributor, you will generate a token, then your internal middleware connects to any Azure Cloud service. You need to generate different credentials for each service. We cannot use the same token."

What is our primary use case?

I have used Azure Block for two or three projects. It's used to store images or videos for multi-tenant applications or a particular tenant. We recently did one project for multi-tenant products. 

Any customer registered to the website can sell their product on a small scale without a website or server. It was like a platform as a service multi-tenant product. With the site ready, they can post any images or videos to Azure Storage Block. They're creating a subscription site for each unit.

For example, if you register on that website, you can allocate the memory size based on license cost: premium, gold, etc. We allocated some memory, and you can navigate to the site whenever you're ready. We provide a unique ID and an encryption key. 

You can create several users for your subscription. For example, if you're an owner of this subscription, you can assign users a status as contributors, readers, or administrators. You can add images or videos through a Block via an administrative portal with a mobile or Angular application. That image is rendered to your website or any products they need. We can use that signature access key for authentication. We enable our product based on the site subscription ID.

There are different tiers, and you can create a container to solve this. First, we create a block and containers, then allocate images to that container. Once we make the container blocks, we get a primary and secondary access key. After you get the details, you can do the same for Azure. If you want to use your middleware, you need to add a library, so you can contribute a URL shared access key. You need to access it via UCA. You can upload via UCA binary format data or a content file. That is where we can upload any data with Block Storage.

When you access a unit to pass that Block ID, you can download it using ByteArray. You can send that ByteArray streaming data to your Angular application on mobile. They can convert any videos, images, or documents to display them on your mobile application. However, a security breach could allow a hacker to download anything for a particular user, so we recommended middleware for interacting with Azure Block Storage. 

There are different approaches. We can use it for proper container image names or containerization with a shared activity URL. We need to consider the client's mission. If a client uses Azure Key Vault, any authorized person with the shared key can access confidential data on a centralized system. Our service can access that key to connect users to Azure Block, whether on your application, Angular, or any other web application. It will not provide users credentials or a URL directly. 

What is most valuable?

Azure Block Storage lets you customize code you can use on that endpoint. If you want to write a logic for something, Azure Function can be used to deploy that application. 

We need to write code and plan for deployment. You can write a function in C# and use that server or any VM or Kubernetes container. If you want to release any APA or application with AKS, there are Kubernetes cluster master nodes. We recommend doing it manually if it's a simple POS or something. I strongly recommend using DevOps Tools Continuous Integration if you're an enterprise.

What needs improvement?

One thing that needs improvement is authentication. They need to improve the integrated Azure Active Directory for the enterprise level. For single sign-on, we can try any authentication or portal for Block Azure Function AKS. For example, if you're an administrator or user contributor, you will generate a token, then your internal middleware connects to any Azure Cloud service. You need to generate different credentials for each service. We cannot use the same token.

Some services like Azure Key Vault support a single token for access that you should be able to use for the Kubernetes site, but some services are not supported. Authentication should be centralized. My understanding is that the data on this file path is streaming. Whenever you get this data, it is converted to streaming ByteArray and Base64. The file path is another security vulnerability.

Azure Block Storage is mainly used for streaming data nowadays. Companies are moving to digital platforms. They stream data from IoT, mobile, offline sources, and other systems. There are different styles and formats, including unstructured, semi-structured, relational, and platform data, so we cannot use a single database for all requirements.

We cannot say to a client, "Sorry, I need only to support this product in JSON." If we say that, competitors will dominate us. We must be prepared to accept any kind of free input or solution from clients. Then the Block supports any semi-structured data or structured data. If you go with File Storage, queuing or messaging will support storage, and the Block will support videos or images.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Azure Block Storage for more than three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Azure Block Storage is scalable. It's widely used for Kubernetes for memory profiles. We recommend auto-scaling for scalable or regional models. All the Azure Blocks should be identical, with the same configuration. Each starts with a memory size too high for one Block container or another. 

That is challenging to accomplish because everything should be identical. The blocks should be identical if you want three, five, or six nodes. 

How are customer service and support?

We have an internal support team that provides support to our clients. When we are designing a solution and run into something they can't handle, we open a ticket with the Microsoft team. We work closely with them. They'll give me some confirmation of whether it's feasible. 

If yes, we can update management about whether this is possible. They are charging per solution on the global partner level. Once approved, we work with Microsoft to come up with a solution, PoC, or sample code. 

How was the initial setup?

Creating blocks or containers is easy. We can deploy according to a rule-based access controller policy. For example, when you are adding some documents for your owner or administrator, but somebody accesses your log or something, it prevents them from deleting or it or modifying that content because it might be sensitive. 

Creating the block itself is straightforward. Then we create a shared access policy to allow us to manage access directly. If I'm doing development, I can limit it so that we can make it read-only. That is possible, but we need to plan accordingly. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Azure Block Storage pricing charges differently for hot and cold storage based on our business scenario. For example, data that isn't frequently accessed costs less. Data that is accessed often costs more. Storage on the cloud is cheaper.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

AWS has a similar solution for S3 Bucket that will support any document images, videos, etc. They have a platform supporting authentication but a different approach. The AWS and Azure solutions are about 80 percent the same. The difference is the migration process. We can migrate our data or documents with the trickle-based or Big Ben model and access any application via their APA, their authentication model.

We cannot jump in because even Kubernetes is also on the cloud. We can plan the image, optic tree, and master node and then reuse the maximal level, but we cannot recreate that.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Azure Block Storage eight out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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PankajKumar13 - PeerSpot reviewer
Computer Scientist at Adobe
Real User
Top 20
Easy to query, offers great security, and integrates well with other Microsoft applications
Pros and Cons
  • "We can do data queries easily."
  • "If we look at the different versions of that ADLS, it really does not have a hierarchical storage mechanism."

What is our primary use case?

I worked in Azure Cloud mostly on the Databricks side, with SQL Server or Synapse Analytics, or streaming analytics. It's a blob storage solution. We use the storage account, either the blob storage or the ADLS Gen 2.

What is most valuable?

We can do data queries easily. If it's a JSON document or XML document, mostly we deliver the APIs, calls, and all. The document is stored as an object stored in the Blob Storage. Then, using the Databricks, we try to process that JSON and then load it into a Delta Lake table. That is where we interact mostly with Object Storage.

The initial setup is straightforward. 

What needs improvement?

If we look at the different versions of that ADLS, it really does not have a hierarchical storage mechanism. If you want to store any document, you have to go and create one blob storage account, in case you want to store any hierarchical data. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's all scalable. It has lifecycle management where I can define a rule so that I can easily archive or move the data from the cool tier to the hot tier based on the uses and then I can also send it into the cool tier so that it can be frequently accessed. If I do that, the cost can also be minimized.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support is great. We have a partnership basically with Microsoft. For my organization, Microsoft is the partner vendor. Whenever it is required, support is readily available to us.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I'm also familiar with Amazon S3. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. You just have to create a storage account. You can automate that also. You have different mechanisms. You can use Azure templates, like SQL, or you can use the Terraform as well. To automate the creation of that object storage or any account. Or, if you have different APIs, like Python-based API, you can easily create what you need.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

If we compare most of the other cloud vendor solutions, for example, S3 Object, S3 with the Blob Storage, more or less, both have the same capabilities. However, from a security perspective, Azure is very good. Azure offers AD integration with the storage account. That is something I find as a good feature compared to the other clouds and integration with all the Azure services is a really useful feature.

What other advice do I have?

We're a gold partner with Microsoft.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten due to the ADLS integration and the different authentication mechanisms that we have.

We need to make sure that the data which we are storing in those storage objects is highly secured. That is where Azure is providing us with the best features. We can go with the different mechanisms like its Nexus security or the AD authentication. Or, they also provide us admin encryption, including the transparent keys. With transparent encryption, we can encrypt based on customer-based keys. Those are also some good features that make it a really great product.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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RaviKumar11 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Business Development Manager at HCL Technologies
Real User
Flexible, reliable, and beneficial for small sized companies
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable features of Google Cloud Storage are flexibility and sustainability."
  • "Google Cloud Storage can improve by having better integration and migration tools."

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of Google Cloud Storage are flexibility and sustainability.

What needs improvement?

Google Cloud Storage can improve by having better integration and migration tools.

There's a concept called parallel runs. Whenever you are migrating from an assets platform to the target platform. To some extent, once you migrate into the Google Cloud Storage platform, none of the customers are ready to decommission their existing platform. In this case, you have to parallelly verify both the assets and migrated systems for them to work. Google Cloud Storage as of now, doesn't have any parallel verification system, while Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure do. Adding this feature would add value and enable them to handle large-scale migration engagement.

Google Cloud Storage needs to have a complete end-to-end solution to be competitive with the other offerings.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Google Cloud Storage for approximately four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Google Cloud Storage is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Most of the clients that are using Google Cloud Storage are small-scale companies. Insurance companies and banks typically use Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure.

I have found Google Cloud Storage to be scalable but has limits.

How are customer service and support?

We have reached out to Google if there are any changes in the storage or any other issues. As a Google partner, which gives us a different level of support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I previously used Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure. 

Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure have an end-to-end solution. Google Cloud Storage, recently entered the market, they don't have their own solutions for migration and transformation, they are depending on any other service providers.

How was the initial setup?

Google Cloud Storage's initial setup is simple.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price of Google Cloud Storage is reasonable when compared to other similar solutions.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Google Cloud Storage a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Buyer's Guide
Public Cloud Storage Services
September 2022
Get our free report covering Google, Google, Microsoft, and other competitors of Amazon S3 Glacier. Updated: September 2022.
634,775 professionals have used our research since 2012.