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ACS Overview

Azure-consistent Storage: Solution View

Azure-consistent Storage (ACS) is a new feature in Microsoft Azure Stack 2016 that delivers three critical Azure-consistent storage services for Azure Stack customers: blob, table and account management. Further, ACS also offers a storage cloud administration service to facilitate service provider administration of Azure-consistent Storage services.

ACS terminology :

  • Storage Developer develops cloud storage applications which consume blobs or tables. Typical Microsoft tools that a Storage Developer uses include Visual Studio, and Team Foundation Server.
  • Storage Tenant Administrator consumes storage services from a service provider. Storage Tenant Administrator also owns the storage account and custom OS image management for their organization, the latter are uploaded as page blobs into tenant storage accounts and referenced by VMs as needed. Typical Microsoft tools that a Storage Tenant Administrator uses include PowerShell and the Microsoft Azure Stack cloud portal.
  • Storage Service Provider delivers storage cloud services to customers on a multi-tenant shared storage cloud infrastructure. Typical Microsoft tools that a Storage Tenant Administrator uses include PowerShell and the Microsoft Azure Stack cloud portal.
  • Storage Fabric Administrator is a role within the Storage Service Provider persona. A Storage Fabric Administrator deploys and manages the traditional storage fabric life cycle, works with storage service administrator for capacity and resource planning. Typical Microsoft tools that a Storage Fabric Administrator uses include PowerShell.
  • Storage Service Administrator is a role within the Storage Service Provider persona. A Storage Service Administrator deploys and manages the storage cloud service life cycle, works with tenants for usage, Plan and Offer management, and works with the Storage Fabric Administrator for capacity and resource planning.
  • Storage Resource Provider (SRP) is the infrastructure component that enables storage cloud service management capabilities on, a Microsoft Azure Stack cloud. An SRP in one MAS region manages all the storage cloud services in that region, facilitating MAS delivery of not only Azure-consistent tenant management API capabilities, but also the storage service administrator management API capabilities.
  • Storage Farm is the collection of storage-related infrastructure and services that are managed and operated by the service provider in a single Microsoft Azure Stack cloud region. While a tenant has visibility and ownership only for self-provisioned subscriptions and storage accounts, a service provider in contrast has the operational and capacity management ownership of the entire multi-tenant Storage Farm
  • Storage Cluster refers to the Scale-out File Server (SOFS) failover cluster in the storage fabric layer. One or more storage clusters may be deployed in a Storage Farm by a service provider. The file shares on the Storage Clusters provide the necessary storage capacity for hosting Azure-consistent blobs and tables.
  • Virtualized Service is any ACS service that runs as a software service within a VM managed by the service provider. Most ACS Virtualized Services are web services, some of which are also externally accessible. All ACS Virtualized Services are also highly-available services powered by Azure Service Fabric and Failover Clustering technologies.
  • Service Role is a distinct role within the scope of an ACS service referenceable by ACS service administration portal and ACS PowerShell cmdlets. For the ACS Blob service, Blob Front-End and Blob Service are the two Service Roles. For the ACS Table service, Table Front-End, Table Master and Table Server are the three Service Roles. For the ACS Management service, Account Container Server, Metric Server and Health Monitoring Server are the three Service Roles.
  • Service Role Instance is a single operational instance of a Service Role. Each Service Role in a Storage Farm in a Microsoft Azure Stack cloud may have one or more Service Role Instances. A single ACS node (VM or physical machine) may host one or more Service Role Instances.
  • Storage Service Provider Resource is an administrative storage resource that a storage service provider uses to manage an aspect of storage cloud service represented by that resource. A File Share, a Storage Service Provider-managed VM, a Table Master instance are all examples of such resources.
  • Fault is an indication of an active problem with one storage service provider resource that typically requires administrative attention. An ACS storage monitoring service monitors each Storage Service Provider Resource and when a problem is detected, a fault is activated on that administrative resource. Storage Service Provider would then take appropriate remediation action to address the underlying issue that triggered the Fault, based on the contextual information provided in the Fault.

Here you can Download the complete Microsoft Azure Consistent Storage Scenario Validation Guide

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Author: James van den Berg

I'm Microsoft Architect and ICT Specialist and Microsoft MVP System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management

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