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  • Writer's pictureALIF Consulting

Is Azure Managed Disk is Similar to a Physical Disk?

Updated: Jan 29

An Azure managed disk is similar to a physical disk that you would find in a physical on-prem server, but it's virtualized. It's a block level storage volume that's used with Azure VMs and is managed by Microsoft Azure.

For starters, managed disks are designed for 99.999% availability. That's five nines of availability. To achieve this level of availability, there are three replicas of the data stored on each managed disk. This type of durability protects you from not only one, but two failures of disk replicas.

Managed disks

Managed disks make it easy to deploy and scale VMs. Microsoft Azure allows up to 50,000 VM disks of a specific type per region in each subscription. This allows you to create thousands of virtual machines in one subscription. Because Azure supports so many disks, you can create VM scale sets that include up to 1000 VMs per set, provided you use a marketplace image.

Benefits to Managed Disk

- Highly durable and available

- Simple and scalable VM deployment

- Integration with availability sets

- Integration with Availability Zones

- Azure Disk & Azure Backup Support

Azure-managed disk offers four types of disk types

• Ultra disks

• Premium SSDs (solid-state drives)

• Standard SSDs

• Standard HDDs (hard disk drives)

Azure Managed Disk Comparison

Ultra disk

Premium SSD

Standard SSD

Standard HDD

Disk type






IO-intensive workloads such as SAP HANA, top tier databases (for example, SQL, Oracle), and other transaction-heavy workloads.

Production and performance sensitive workloads

Web servers, lightly used enterprise applications and dev/test

Backup, non-critical, infrequent access

Max disk size

65,536 gibibyte (GiB)

32,767 GiB

32,767 GiB

32,767 GiB

Max throughput

4,000 MB/s

900 MB/s

750 MB/s

500 MB/s






Azure Managed Disk Support Two Types of Redundancy


Locally redundant storage (LRS) replicates your data three times within a single data center in the selected region


Zone-redundant storage (ZRS) synchronously replicates your Azure-managed disk across three Azure availability zones in the region you select. Each availability zone is a separate physical location with independent power, cooling, and networking.

Azure Managed Disk Encryption

Azure Managed Disk support three types of encryption available including Azure Disk Encryption (ADE), Server-Side Encryption (SSE) and encryption at host.

Azure Disk Encryption – ADE helps us to protect and safeguard the data to meet the security and compliance commitment. ADE provides the volume encryption through bit locker and DM-Crypt.

Server-Side Encryption – Also referred to as encryption-at-rest or Azure Storage encryption) automatically encrypts data stored on Azure is Best Managed services India (OS and data disks) when persisting it to the cloud

Encryption at host ensures that data stored on the VM host is encrypted at rest and flows encrypted to the Storage service. Disks with encryption at host enabled are not encrypted with SSE

Published by Alif Consulting

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