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How To Manage Cloud Storage With Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer

Managing cloud storage from your computer is quite crucial and Azure Storage Explorer is there for you to achieve this easily and securely anywhere in the world, if you have a laptop and an internet connection. In terms of storage management, blobs, files, queues, tables and Cosmos DB services are covered with this piece of software, which can be freely downloaded in Microsoft Azure website.

The good news about Azure Storage Explorer is now it is integrated with the Cloud console, at the time of writing this article this feature is still sitting at the Preview stage

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Cloud Preview

Let’s take a look at how you can manage the storage services and what are the methods you can use to connect with Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer standalone edition

This downloadable software is freely available for Windows, Linux and Mac Operating Systems and can easily be downloaded with a click of a button.

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Download the Software

No special information or knowledge is required to install the Storage Explorer and it’s just a generic software installation on your computer

Open the Azure Storage Explorer after completing the successful installation on your computer

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Starting

Add an Azure account with your credentials, there are some other ways also available to access the Azure Storage, let’s look in to them later in this post

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Sign in
Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Email

Confirm the Azure Account and Subscription details, apply the configuration

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Apply

Expand the storage account and the available storage services. Now, you can enable the AzCopy for large amount of data uploads and downloads in and out to the cloud, you can see a notification at the top of the window, once you successfully made the connection to the cloud

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Logged In

Files can be uploaded and downloaded directly from the Azure Storage now

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Successfully downloaded

Connect With Azure Connection String

One of the method that can be used to connect to the Azure Storage cloud is using the “Connection String“. To get the Connection String, just select the storage account and select the “Access keys”, copy the Connection String

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Connection String

Now open the, Storage Explorer and select “Use a connection string” option

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Connect

Provide a user-friendly name and the copied “Connection String” and proceed to the connection

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Conn String

Connect” to complete the connection

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Conn String Completed

Connection will be visible in the Azure Storage Explorer Window as below

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Explorer

Using Storage Name And Key

Basically, there are two keys for a storage account, just copy one of them to the clipboard

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Key

Select “Use a storage account name and key” option, proceed with “Next

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Key and account name

Provide a “Display Name“, “Account Name“,”Account Key” and “Next

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Account Key

Complete with “Connect

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Connect with Account Key

Using Shared Access Signature (SAS)

The important and very secure, customizable method is connect using “Shared Access Signature” aka “SAS“. You are able to define the permissions, allowed services, time and IP address along with the protocol in this connection method. Just select the storage account and select “Shared Access Signature” option, customize the connection options with a key (key1 or key2) and click on “Generate SAS and connection string” button to generate the SAS URL

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : SAS generate

SAS URL will be generate as below

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Copy endpoint

Select the “Use a shared access signature (SAS) URI” Option, provide one of the connection for URI (ex: Blob endpoint) and fill the other endpoints (blob, file,queue,table) and proceed “Next” to continue

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Attach with SAS URI

Connect” to complete the connection

Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer : Connect SAS URI Complete

Attach To A Local Emulator

Here is my Cosmos DB emulator running in my laptop and let’s see how to attach to this emulator using Azure Storage Explorer.

Open the Storage Explorer and select “Attach to a local emulator” option and click “Next

Provide the port number that you noted in your local emulator page and a display name to the connection, proceed to “Next

“Connect” to the Local emulator once it picked up the connection

You can see the successful connectivity to your local Cosmos DB emulator as below


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Aruna Lakmal

Associate Technical Specialist at Pearson, Sri Lanka. Technology junky, enthusiast, a VMware vExpert and a blogger with more than 7 years of Experience in Information Technology more focusing on VMware Virtualization, Microsoft and Datacenter Technologies.

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