Microsoft Azure Storage is a set of services that allows you to store large volumes of data in a cost-effective manner and in a way that makes the data readily and reliably available for consumption. Data committed to Azure Storage can be stored in blobs, tables, queues, or files. Azure blobs are ideal for storing images, videos, and other types of data, and are frequently used to provide input to and capture output from other Azure services such as Azure Machine Learning and Azure Stream Analytics. Azure tables provide NoSQL storage for semi-structured data. Azure queues support queued message transfers between applications (or parts of applications) and can be used to make applications more scalable and robust by loosely coupling them together. Finally, Azure Files use the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol to share files through the cloud and access storage as network drives.

Data stored in Microsoft Azure Storage can be accessed over HTTP or HTTPS using straightforward REST APIs, or it can be accessed using rich client libraries available for many popular languages and platforms, including .NET, Java, Android, Node.js, PHP, Ruby, and Python. The Azure Portal includes basic features for working with Azure Storage, but richer functionality is available from third-party tools, many of which are free and some of which work cross-platform.

In this lab, you will learn how to work with storage accounts, storage containers, and storage blobs. You'll also get familiar with some of the tools used to manage them, including the Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer, a free tool from Microsoft that runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux. The knowledge you gain will be used in later labs featuring Azure services that rely on blob storage for input and output, and will serve you well when you use Azure in your research.


In this hands-on lab, you will learn how to:

  • Create storage accounts using the Azure Portal
  • Create storage containers using the Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer
  • Upload blobs to storage using the Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer
  • Download blobs from storage using the Azure Portal
  • Share blobs with other researchers
  • Delete storage accounts using the Azure Resource Manager


The following is required to complete this hands-on lab:


Click here to download a zip file containing the resources used in this lab. Copy the contents of the zip file into a folder on your hard disk.