I'm researching playing around with a Sql Server VM on Azure.

Our DB is around 30-40GB.

So i was thinking about making a 300GB data disk to put the 1 Database on it (or a few more, later).

I believe i have a few options here.

  1. A single Data Disk which is 300GB in size.
  2. Multiple Data Disks with striping that total 300GB (Eg. 2x150 or 3x100 GB)


  1. Is it worth striping?
  2. Does either option consume more page blobs than the other?

I'm under the impression that:

  1. Going the striping option offers us more IOPS at the cost of higher risk or HD failure which means higher risk of data loss (for the sake of this discussion, lets leave backups out of this).

  2. The multiple data disks will consume more page blobs but that number is tiny and not really worth worrying about. (but I have ZERO proof of this nor do i know how to figure out this metric answer).

  • After the revision, I fear this is mainly a matter of opinion and your application. Also, it's not "stripping"; it's "striping", as in "stripe". – Falcon Momot Aug 29 '13 at 6:50
  • @FalconMomot - feel free to you know; edit it – Mark Henderson Aug 29 '13 at 7:15

The number of pages should be roughly equivalent. Probably not exact since you're formatting multiple disks, but in the range of noise that won't really be noticed from a billing perspective.

Regarding disk-crashes. Each independent disk is a vhd stored in a page blob, which is part of Azure Storage. Azure Storage is durable - each blob is triple-replicated with a datacenter (and optionally geo-replicated to a secondary datacenter). So you're more likely at risk to have a programming error where you accidentally delete files than having a disk failure.

Regarding IOPS: You'd need to do some benchmarking. You'll likely see better throughput on a striped volume since you'd be moving data across multiple storage partitions.

You may want to simply start with a single disk, since a single disk may be up to 1TB and supports your 300GB requirement. This keeps your solution simple, especially if you want to move your disk to another VM.

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  • Thank you heaps @davidMakogon! This really helps answer some of my questions. Cheers and keep up the good work! – Pure.Krome Aug 29 '13 at 11:41
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    Regarding performance, one thing to bear in mind is the scalability targets: blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsazure/archive/2012/11/02/…. Additionally, if you were to span your disks across multiple storage accounts you might see better performance. – Matthew Steeples Oct 10 '13 at 20:52

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