Microsoft Azure Blob Storage Gets Huge Upgrade, Big Price Cut

By Joshua Osborne

Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI

March 30, 2017

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Artwork Courtesy of iStock.com/183829451

Last quarter, Microsoft announced a HUGE increase in object storage size within Azure. The vendor has increased the import/export size and it includes the capability to transfer data from a physical storage device. The previous size limit of 195GB has been increased to an enormous 4.77TB.

Michael Hauss, a Microsoft Azure Storage program manager had this to say in a recent blog post: "The increased blob size better supports a diverse range of scenarios, from media companies storing and processing 4K and 8K videos to cancer researchers sequencing DNA." Mr. Hauss also mentioned that maximum blob block storage size has been increased from 4MB to 100MB. There is still a 50,000 block per blob limit.

There are some other ancillary features that have been added or expanded, which continues the theme of innovation within Microsoft’s Azure business. Some would argue that a lot of that is certainly influenced by increasing competition between Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS.

That competition is also escalating the price war between the two cloud services providers. In February, Microsoft announced significant cuts in Azure service pricing. In some instances, prices will be slashed by as much as 61 percent. For customers with Azure Blob Storage accounts, those cuts could be up to 38 percent.

While competitive price cuts are nothing new in the cloud services sector (AWS has reduced prices more than 50 times over the last 10 years), Microsoft’s move signals the vendor’s commitment to growing its market share and moving enterprise business away from AWS. It’s an ambitious mission given AWS’s revenue dominance, which is nearly 5 times more than Microsoft Azure. But, if there’s one thing we know about Microsoft and its laser-like focus on enterprise computing, it’s that anything is possible.