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There are two general types of storage accounts for Azure:

  • General Purpose
  • Blob Storage Accounts

General purpose accounts are used for block storage, or Azure Virtual Machine Disks. For your Essentials and Veeam Backup configuration, block storage is not an option.

If deciding to add Azure object storage (otherwise known as Blob storage), you will need to have at least one Blob storage account set up, or you will not be able to call upon the storage within the SoftNAS UI. When creating your Blob Storage account, you will also have another decision to make - whether you will leverage hot or cool storage for Azure. SoftNAS offers full support for both options:

  • Azure Cool Storage - Object storage that allows economical safe-keeping of less frequently accessed file data.
  • Azure Hot Storage - Object storage that optimizes frequently accessed stored data to enable continuous IO.

Note: You cannot mix hot and cool storage disks in a RAID configured pool. A decision must be made on storage type for each pool. As storage type is determined at the blob storage account level, you must be aware of the type of account created. SoftNAS recommends labelling them with Hot or Cool in the names to avoid confusion.

When creating your Azure blob account, you will see an option to determine the 'Access tier' with two available options, Hot and Cool. This setting determines what type of blob storage the account in question will provide. If Hot, this storage account will only provide Hot storage to your instance. If creating a separate pool of Cool disks, another blob storage account will need to be provided.

In a given pool, you can add any number of azure blob storage disks, by first creating blob storage accounts. It is recommended to name them in sequence with clues as to which type of storage they provide.

Never mix blob storage accounts within the same pool. SoftNAS will alert you should this occur accidentally.