Lab 07 - Manage Azure Storage

Lab introduction

In this lab you learn to create storage accounts for Azure blobs and Azure files. You learn to configure and secure blob containers. You also learn to use Storage Browser to configure and secure Azure file shares.

This lab requires an Azure subscription. Your subscription type may affect the availability of features in this lab. You may change the region, but the steps are written using East US.

Estimated timing: 50 minutes

Lab scenario

Your organization is currently storing data in on-premises data stores. Most of these files are not accessed frequently. You would like to minimize the cost of storage by placing infrequently accessed files in lower-priced storage tiers. You also plan to explore different protection mechanisms that Azure Storage offers, including network access, authentication, authorization, and replication. Finally, you want to determine to what extent Azure Files is suitable for hosting your on-premises file shares.

Interactive lab simulations

There are interactive lab simulations that you might find useful for this topic. The simulation lets you to click through a similar scenario at your own pace. There are differences between the interactive simulation and this lab, but many of the core concepts are the same. An Azure subscription is not required.

  • Create blob storage. Create a storage account, manage blob storage, and monitor storage activities.

  • Manage Azure storage. Create a storage account and review the configuration. Manage blob storage containers. Configure storage networking.

Architecture diagram

Diagram of the tasks.

Job skills

  • Task 1: Create and configure a storage account.
  • Task 2: Create and configure secure blob storage.
  • Task 3: Create and configure secure Azure file storage.

Task 1: Create and configure a storage account.

In this task, you will create and configure a storage account. The storage account will use geo-redundant storage and will not have public access.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal -

  2. Search for and select Storage accounts, and then click + Create.

  3. On the Basics tab of the Create a storage account blade, specify the following settings (leave others with their default values):

    Setting Value
    Subscription the name of your Azure subscription
    Resource group az104-rg7 (create new)
    Storage account name any globally unique name between 3 and 24 in length consisting of letters and digits
    Region (US) East US
    Performance Standard (notice the Premium option)
    Redundancy Geo-redundant storage (notice the other options)
    Make read access to data in the event of regional availability Check the box

Did you know? You should use the Standard performance tier for most applications. Use the Premium performance tier for enterprise or high-performance applications.

  1. On the Advanced tab, use the informational icons to learn more about the choices. Take the defaults.

  2. On the Networking tab, review the available options, select Disable public access and use private access.

  3. Review the Data protection tab. Notice 7 days is the default soft delete retention policy. Note you can enable blob versioning. Accept the defaults.

  4. Review the Encryption tab. Notice the additional security options. Accept the defaults.

  5. Select Review, wait for the validation process to complete, and then click Create.

  6. Once the storage account is deployed, select Go to resource.

  7. Review the Overview blade and the additional configurations that can be changed. These are global settings for the storage account. Notice the storage account can be used for Blob containers, File shares, Queues, and Tables.

  8. In the Security + networking section, select Networking. Notice public network access is disabled.

    • Change the public access level to Enabled from selected virtual networks and IP addresses.
    • In the Firewall section, check the box for Add your client IP address.
    • Be sure to Save your changes.
  9. In the Data management section, view the Redundancy blade. Notice the information about your primary and secondary data center locations.

  10. In the Data management section, select Lifecycle management, and then select Add a rule.

    • Name the rule Movetocool. Notice your options for limiting the scope of the rule.

    • On the Base blobs tab, if based blobs were last modified more than 30 days ago then move to cool storage. Notice your other choices.

    • Notice you can configure other conditions. Select Add when you are done exploring.

    Screenshot move to cool rule conditions.

Task 2: Create and configure secure blob storage

In this task, you will create a blob container and upload an image. Blob containers are directory-like structures that store unstructured data.

Create a blob container and a time-based retention policy

  1. Continue in the Azure portal, working with your storage account.

  2. In the Data storage section, click Containers.

  3. Click + Container and Create a container with the following settings:

    Setting Value
    Name data
    Public access level Notice the access level is set to private

    Screenshot of create a container.

  4. On your container, scroll to the ellipsis (…) on the far right, select Access Policy.

  5. In the Immutable blob storage area, select Add policy.

    Setting Value
    Policy type Time-based retention
    Set retention period for 180 days
  6. Select Save.

Manage blob uploads

  1. Return to the containers page, select your data container and then click Upload.

  2. On the Upload blob blade, expand the Advanced section.

    Note: Locate a file to upload. This can be any type of file, but a small file is best. A sample file can be downloaded from the AllFiles directory.

    Setting Value
    Browse for files add the file you have selected to upload
    Select Advanced  
    Blob type Block blob
    Block size 4 MiB
    Access tier Hot (notice the other options)
    Upload to folder securitytest
    Encryption scope Use existing default container scope
  3. Click Upload.

  4. Confirm you have a new folder, and your file was uploaded.

  5. Select your upload file and review the options including Download, Delete, Change tier, and Acquire lease.

  6. Copy the file URL and paste into a new Inprivate browsing window.

  7. You should be presented with an XML-formatted message stating ResourceNotFound or PublicAccessNotPermitted.

    Note: This is expected, since the container you created has the public access level set to Private (no anonymous access).

Configure limited access to the blob storage

  1. Select your uploaded file and then on the Generate SAS tab. You can also use the ellipsis (…) to the far right. Specify the following settings (leave others with their default values):

    Setting Value
    Signing key Key 1
    Permissions Read (notice your other choices)
    Start date yesterday’s date
    Start time current time
    Expiry date tomorrow’s date
    Expiry time current time
    Allowed IP addresses leave blank
  2. Click Generate SAS token and URL.

  3. Copy the Blob SAS URL entry to the clipboard.

  4. Open another InPrivate browser window and navigate to the Blob SAS URL you copied in the previous step.

    Note: You should be able to view the content of the file.

Task 3: Create and configure an Azure File storage

In this task, you will create and configure Azure File shares. You will use Storage Browser to manage the file share.

Create the file share and upload a file

  1. In the Azure portal, navigate back to your storage account, in the Data storage section, click File shares.

  2. Click + File share and on the Basics tab give the file share a name, share1.

  3. Notice the Access tier options. Keep the default Transaction optimized.

  4. Move to the Backup tab and ensure Enable backup is not checked. We are disabling backup to simplify the lab configuration.

  5. Click Review + create, and then Create. Wait for the file share to deploy.

    Screenshot of the create file share page.

Explore Storage Browser and upload a file

  1. Return to your storage account and select Storage browser. The Azure Storage Browser is a portal tool that lets you quickly view all the storage services under your account.

  2. Select File shares and verify your share1 directory is present.

  3. Select your share1 directory and notice you can + Add directory. This lets you create a folder structure.

  4. Select Upload. Browse to a file of your choice, and then click Upload.

    Note: You can view file shares and manage those shares in the Storage Browser. There are currently no restrictions.

Restrict network access to the storage account

  1. In the portal, search for and select Virtual networks.

  2. Select + Create. Select your resource group. and give the virtual network a name, vnet1.

  3. Take the defaults for other parameters, select Review + create, and then Create.

  4. Wait for the virtual network to deploy, and then select Go to resource.

  5. In the Settings section, select the Service endpoints blade.
    • Select Add.
    • In the Services drop-down select Microsoft.Storage.
    • In the Subnets drop-down check the Default subnet.
    • Click Add to save your changes.
  6. Return to your storage account.

  7. In the Security + networking section, select the Networking blade.

  8. Select add existing virtual network and select vnet1 and default subnet, select Add.

  9. In the Firewall section, Delete your machine IP address. Allowed traffic should only come from the virtual network.

  10. Be sure to Save your changes.

    Note: The storage account should now only be accessed from the virtual network you just created.

  11. Select the Storage browser and Refresh the page. Navigate to your file share or blob content.

    Note: You should receive a message not authorized to perform this operation. You are not connecting from the virtual network. It may take a couple of minutes for this to take effect.

Screenshot unauthorized access.

Cleanup your resources

If you are working with your own subscription take a minute to delete the lab resources. This will ensure resources are freed up and cost is minimized. The easiest way to delete the lab resources is to delete the lab resource group.

  • In the Azure portal, select the resource group, select Delete the resource group, Enter resource group name, and then click Delete.
  • Using Azure PowerShell, Remove-AzResourceGroup -Name resourceGroupName.
  • Using the CLI, az group delete --name resourceGroupName.

Extend your learning with Copilot

Copilot can assist you in learning how to use the Azure scripting tools. Copilot can also assist in areas not covered in the lab or where you need more information. Open an Edge browser and choose Copilot (top right) or navigate to Take a few minutes to try these prompts.

  • Provide an Azure PowerShell script to create a storage account with a blob container.
  • Provide a checklist I can use to ensure my Azure storage account is secure.
  • Create a table to compare Azure storage redundancy models.

Learn more with self-paced training

Key takeaways

Congratulations on completing the lab. Here are the main takeaways for this lab.

  • An Azure storage account contains all your Azure Storage data objects: blobs, files, queues, and tables. The storage account provides a unique namespace for your Azure Storage data that is accessible from anywhere in the world over HTTP or HTTPS.
  • Azure storage provides several redundancy models including Locally redundant storage (LRS), Zone-redundant storage (ZRS), and Geo-redundant storage (GRS).
  • Azure blob storage allows you to store large amounts of unstructured data on Microsoft’s data storage platform. Blob stands for Binary Large Object, which includes objects such as images and multimedia files.
  • Azure file Storage provides shared storage for structured data. The data can be organized in folders.
  • Immutable storage provides the capability to store data in a write once, read many (WORM) state. Immutable storage policies can be time-based or legal-hold.