Azure File Storage

Azure Storage Limits at a Glance

December 21, 2020

Topics: Azure NetApp Files Azure Elementary 7 minute read

What are Azure Storage Limits?

Azure Storage is a cloud service hosted by Microsoft, which provides high availability, security, reliability, scalability and redundancy. Azure storage is divided into five storage services: Azure NetApp Files, Azure Blob Storage, Azure Queues, Azure Tables and Azure Disks.

This article introduces the first three services and lists the scalability and performance limits of Azure Storage services, in one place and using easily readable tables.

When your application reaches the workload limit for any Azure Storage service, Azure Storage will return error code 503 (server busy) or error code 500 (timeout). It is important to monitor for these error codes and ensure your application respects the limits, to prevent faults or outages. Naturally, limits can also affect performance of Azure services.

This is part of our series of articles about Azure NetApp Files Storage.

In this article, you will learn about storage limits for:

Azure Storage Limits

Azure NetApp Files

Azure NetApp Files is a NAS file sharing storage service that enables administrators to access SMB file shares via the cloud. Like other Azure storage products, these shares can be configured as part of an Azure storage account.

Azure NetApp Files restrictions are divided into three categories: storage accounts, shares, and files.

Standard Azure storage account
The main resource of Azure NetApp Files Sharing is your Azure storage account. A storage account is an Azure storage group that allows you to use various storage services (including Azure NetApp Files) to store data.

The following table lists the default limits of Azure general-purpose v1, general-purpose v2, blob storage and block blob storage accounts. The ingress restriction applies to all data transferred to your storage account; egress restrictions apply to all data retrieved from your storage account.

Resource

Regions

Limit per Storage Account

Number of storage accounts per region

N/A

250

Maximum storage capacity

All

5 PB

Maximum request rate

All

20,000 requests per second

Maximum ingress

US and Europe

10 Gbps

Maximum ingress

Other Regions

5 Gbps**

Maximum egress

US

50 Gbps*

Maximum egress

Other Regions

10 Gbps**

Maximum number of virtual network rules

All

200

Maximum number of IP address rules

All

200

(*) This limit applies to accounts of type “general-purpose v2” or “blob storage”. If you have a “general-purpose v1” account, with RA-GRS/GRS, the limit is 20 Gbps, or 30 Gbps if LRS/ZRS is used.

(**) This limit applies if your storage account uses RA-GRS/GRS. Otherwise, for LRS/ZRS, the limit is 15 Gbps.

(***) There are no limits for the number of blob containers, blobs, entities, queues, tables, file shares, or messages.

Premium FileStorage account limits
Premium FileStorage accounts are designed for low latency, high performance and high IOPS workloads. There is no limit on file shares you can create within a premium account.

In a Premium FileStorage account, storage size is limited to 100 TB. You can perform up to 100,000 I/O operations per second. Ingress and egress have dramatically higher limits - 4,136 MB/s and 6,204 MB/s, respectively.

Limitations related to file shares

Resource

Standard file shares

Premium file shares

Minimum share size

N/A

100 GB

Maximum share size

5 TB by default, can be increased up to 100TB

100 TB

Maximum file size

1 TB

4 TB

Maximum IOPS

1,000 IOPS*

100,000 IOPS

Maximum stored access policies**

5

5

Target throughput**

60 MB/sec**

Ingress 4,136 MB/s

Egress 6,204 MB/s

Maximum number of share snapshots

200

200

Maximum directory/file name length (chars)

2,048

2,048

Maximum hard links

N/A

178

(*) You can increase this up to 10,000 IOPS.

(**) You can increase this up to 300 MB/s

(***) Computed for one file share.

Azure NetApp Files Sync

Azure NetApp Files Sync is designed for maximum scalability, but does have its limits.

The following are hard limits posed by the File Sync technical architecture:

  • Up to 100 Sync Services per region, up to 200 Sync Groups per Sync Service, up to 99 servers with per Sync Service with up to one server endpoint each.
  • No more than one cloud endpoint per Sync Group.
  • Up to 5 million directories and/or files in a directory

The following are “soft limits” defined based on Microsoft testing and practical experience.

  • Up to 50 servers per Sync Group
  • Up to 100 million directories and/or files per Sync Group
  • Up to 100 GB allowed size for a single file

Blob Storage

Blob storage is a Microsoft Azure service used to store large binary files such as text, images, and videos. Blobs are stored structures known as “containers”, similar to the concept of a directory. Below are limits you should be aware of with regard to blob storage.

Resource

Type of Blob

Limit

Maximum size of single blob container

 

5 PB

Maximum number of blocks

Block / Append

50,000

Maximum block size

Block

100 MB

Maximum total block size

Append

4 MiB

Maximum total blob size

Block

Approx. 4.75 TB

Maximum total blob size

Append

Approximately 195 GB

Maximum total blob size

Page

8 TB

Maximum stored access policies per container

All

5

Target request rate for blob

All

500/second

Target throughput for blob

Page

60 MB/s

Target throughput for blob

Block

Depends on storage account ingress/egress limits

Azure Queue Storage

Azure Queue Storage is a simple first-in-first-out (FIFO) architecture. The Azure Queue Storage system is composed of the following elements:

  • Storage Account—the top-level structure including all Azure storage services
  • Queue—a series of messages.
  • Message—a specific message in the queue, which can contain any type of information. Can be a text string, array of bytes, and may store information in formats like XML, CSV, TSV, etc.

The following table shows the limits of each element in the Queue Storage system.

Resource

System Element

Limit

Maximum request rate (assuming 1 KB sized messages)

Storage Account

20,000/second

Maximum size

Queue

500 TB

Maximum number of stored access policies

Queue

5

Target throughput (assuming 1 KB sized messages)

Queue

2,000/second

Maximum size

Message

64 KB

Azure NetApp Files

Azure NetApp Files is an enterprise-grade file sharing service provided by Azure, and based on NetApp storage technology. It can support mission critical workloads with high performance and throughput requirements.

There are two types of limits in Azure NetApp Files: resource limits and maxfiles limits, which controls the number of files in a volume.

Flexible resource limits
The following limits are applied by default in Azure NetApp Files, but may be changed by support request:

  • Up to 10 NetApp accounts for every Azure region
  • Up to 25 capacity pools per account
  • Up to 500 volumes for each capacity pool
  • Up to 500 volumes per Azure subscription

Hard resource limits
These resource limits cannot be changed:

  • Up to 255 snapshots for each storage volume
  • Capacity pools must be between 4-500 TB
  • Volumes must be between 100 GB-100 TB
  • Single files may not be larger than 16 TB
  • Directory metadata may not be larger than 320 MB
  • Assigned throughput for QoS volume must be between 1-4,500 MB/s
  • Up to 5 replicas for data protection volumes

Maxfiles limits
Azure NetApp Files has an additional limit called “maxfiles”, which determines how many files customers can store in a single volume. This limit changes depending on the provisioned size of the volume:

  • For volumes smaller than 1 TB in size, the maxfiles limit is 20 million files
  • For each additional 1 TB in volume size, the maxfiles limit is extended by 20 million more files - for example, a volume between 2-3 TB in size has a limit of 60 million files
  • For volumes larger than 4 TB, the limit is 100 million files

Overcoming Azure Storage Limits with NetApp Azure NetApp Files

Azure NetApp Files is a Microsoft Azure NetApp Files storage service built on NetApp technology, giving you the file capabilities in Azure even your core business applications require.

Get enterprise-grade data management and storage to Azure so you can manage your workloads and applications with ease, and move all of your file-based applications to the cloud.

Azure NetApp Files solves availability and performance challenges for enterprises that want to move mission-critical applications to the cloud, including workloads like HPC, SAP, Linux, Oracle and SQL Server workloads, Windows Virtual Desktop, and more.

Azure NetApp Files expands the limits of file storage in Azure. It extends single volume performance to over 300k IOPS with validated throughput of up to 4.5GBps - with access latency of less than a millisecond. This opens the door for applications such as transactional databases to achieve file performance that was never before achievable in Azure.

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