The public preview of Azure Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS) has been announced. ZRS makes the development of highly available applications very simple by having three samples of data stored in 3 different Availability Zones that too with inserts and updates being performed to the stored data synchronously throughout these Availability Zones. This makes reading and writing data possible even if it is unavailable and cannot be recovered in one of the Availability Zones. The Availability Zones in Azure which serve the purpose of providing elasticity against failures caused by the fault-isolated groups of data centers in an area, build the ZRS.

Zone Redundant Storage best serves those applications which have a critical regional availability and where downtime is unacceptable due to the requirement of read and write access at all times. With the ZRS public preview now released, Azure has come up with a very promising offer of providing durability options to serve the most sophisticated storage needs. These durability options include:

  • ZRS for intra-region high availability
  • LRS – Locally-Redundant Storage for low-cost single region durable storage
  • GRS – Geo-Redundant Storage for cross-region redundancy for disaster recovery scenarios with
  • RAGRS – Read Access Geo-Redundant Storage which offers additional read accessibility

Initially, the ZRS preview is available in the areas given below:

  • US East 2
  • US Central
  • France Central

Getting started with Azure Zone Redundant Storage

A ZRS storage account can be created in the above-mentioned preview regions by several means which include Azure CLI, Azure Portal, Azure PowerShell, Azure Storage Management SDK and Azure Resource Manager. 

Create an account in Azure Portal

Get started by creating a ZRS account with the following properties in the Azure Portal (you will need a general purpose v2 account):

 

Account properties

 

Create account with Azure CLI

To create an account with Azure CLI make sure you have the latest version of the CLI and run the following command:

az storage account create -n <accountname> -g <resourcegroup> -l <region> –sku Standard_ZRS –kind StorageV2

Create account with Azure PowerShell

For an account to be created with Azure PowerShell the latest Azure Powershell cmdlets must be installed and the following cmdlet is to be run in the Powershell console:

New-AzureRmStorageAccount -Name <accountname> -Location <region> -ResourceGroupName <resourcegroup> -SkuName Standard_ZRS -Kind StorageV2

There is no change in the present API in terms of reading and writing data in a storage account, so when and if pointed to a ZRS account, the code and tools that already exist will work just fine.

Migrating from other account types

This option is meant to replace the present ZRS option in those areas which support Azure Availability Zones after the ZRS Option is made generally available. The present ZRS offering which has turned out to be very effective has now been renamed to ZRS Classic and can continue to be accessed without any code change required.