Azure storage has provided companies with a way to store almost limitless amount of data. But just like kids in a candy store this can get out of hand, and expensive. Being able to store as much data as you want is great, however it is something that can grow to a point where you are spending more on storage than you actually need.
Azure does provide a nice method of automatically shifting old or unused files to a lower access tier to save on cost, but this still means you are potentially holding onto files you don’t really need. I mean do you really need files you haven’t accessed in over 12 months? Sure there are certain industries that require files that are kept for 7+ years, but they are a special case.
If you don’t know how to create an Azure lifecycle policy to automatically move unused files to a lower access tier, check out our other post here: https://www.smikar.com/create-azure-storage-lifecycle-policy/
OK, so do I go about finding these files that haven’t been accessed in the last 3, 6, 12 or 36 months (3 years) without having to browse through each and every Azure Storage Account and Container?
Simple, use Cloud Storage Manager, and run one of the many usage reports.
Cloud Storage Manager has a number of reports you can run to get a better insight into exactly where all your Azure Blob Storage is being consumed, but let’s focus on the specific 4 reports that will tell us which Azure BLOB files haven’t been accessed in the last 3, 6, 12 or 36 months (3 years).
Once you’ve installed Cloud Storage Manager and allowed it some time to scan your Azure environment, browse to the Reports tab as shown here.
Once the report finishes, you will be shown a list of files that have not been accessed in the last 3 months or longer.
The report will show you which Subscription, Storage Account and Container the Azure BLOB file resides in. Not only that, but it will also tell you the object tier of the blob, whether that be hot or cool (archive files are excluded), the size of the file, the last time it was modified and of course the name of the file.
Here is an example of the report.
You can also export the report to Excel in order to adjust the report or present the information to others.
The same report may be executed to provide similar results but extending the criteria further out to search for files that haven’t been accessed in a longer timeframe, such as 6 months, 12 months or 3 years.
Using these reports, you can decide whether or not these files need to be retained, in which case you would move them to a lower access tier, either Cool or Archive for long-term retention, or even delete them if they are deemed unnecessary.
These reports are a great way to find files that haven’t been accessed in a long time and could provide an immediate cost saving associated with your Azure Storage consumption.
Cloud Storage Manager is free to trial and start seeing insights in to your Azure Blob Storage.
Download a Free Trial and test it for yourself.
Database size is limited to a maximum of 5MB.
Typically for small or personal environments usually consisting of 3 or less Azure Subscriptions and consuming under 30TB of Azure Blob Storage.
Database size is limited to a maximum of 1GB.
For medium sized environments typically consisting of less than 10 Azure Subscriptions and consuming under 500TB of Azure Blob Storage.
Unlimited database size.
For use in large environments typically consisting of more than 10 Subscriptions and consuming more than 1PB of Azure Blob Storage.
Cloud Storage Manager is licensed based on the size of it’s database which includes information of each of your Azure Subscriptions, Azure Storage Accounts, Containers and finally each Blob.
Each version has the same great functions including scheduled scans of your Azure Blob Storage and reporting.
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