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Does Azure tables internally use relational SQL to store its values?

on March 7, 2014

Storage Emulator which comes with the Azure SDK, will simulate the Azure Cloud Storage environment in the local Development environment. And it uses sqlExpress/localdb with NTFS files systems to simulate this environment. It creates this resources the first time when we run a Cloud Project using visual studio.

StorageEmulatorArchitecture

But this is only for the simulation by the Storage Emulator.

Note: In earlier azure versions after we start the storage emulator some temporary databases will be created in the sqlExpress. With new versions of SQL tools sqlExpress doesn’t run as service anymore. I couldn’t see the databases using Visual Studio Server Explorer. But, i found those temporary database files (mdf & log) in the user profile folder (C:\User\UserName\).

DevelopmentStorageDB

The actual Azure storage will store data in a completely different way without using SQL Server architecture.

BasicAzureStorageInternalArchitecture

this is a very basic view of the internal architecture. So, we have Front Ends which will authenticate & authorize incoming requests and then will route those requests to partition layer. Partition servers in the partition layer will manage all the partitions in the server.

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