Why you should be using Azure Managed Disks now?

@20aman    Nov 05, 2017

Azure Managed Disks bring lots of advantages and benefits to the table when compared to Azure Storage Account based VM disks. The first thing to note is that these are only related to VM disks and not general blob storage. In this post, lets take a look at what all benefits you get when you create your virtual machine with a managed disk instead of a storage account based disks.

More Controlled Access Management

Let's assume a scenario where all the disks for the virtual machines in your environment belonged to a particular storage account. Let us say that there are VMs belonging to Finance as well as HR departments. Now if you want to give access to a VHD file of a VM belonging to HR department, you will provide the access to the storage account. This was the lowest level where you could provide the access. This inadvertently opened the access to the Finance VM's VHD files as well.

Managed Disks are individual resources in Azure. If a VM has 1 OS disk and 2 data disks, all implemented as a managed disk, then you can even provide the access to one of the data disk and not provide access to any of the other disks.

No Storage account service limits

Earlier with storage accounts there were Service Limits related to IOPS at the storage account level. When the infrastructure grew and there comes a time the number of disks grew to a point that this service limit will be hit and this can affect your architecture. With managed disks, you are no longer limited by the storage account limits.

Ability to take Snapshot

Now with managed disks you have the capability to take snapshots on the fly. You can later restore from these snapshots as required. You can take these snapshots onto a different storage account.

Ability to Capture better images

The images that you capture on the Vms, which are created using managed disks, will not just include the OS disk, but will also include all the data disk.

Ability to convert a Standard disk to Premium disk and vice versa

Earlier if you wanted to convert a standard disk to a premium disk (or vice versa) you needed to create a new storage account and copy over the disk. Now with managed disks, this is as easy as shutting down the virtual machine and just changing a value in a drop down.

Other benefits

Other benefits include:

  • Better reliability for Availability Sets
  • Highly durable and available with design for 99.999% availability
  • Better Azure Backup service support with the ability to create a backup job with time-based backups, easy VM restoration, and backup retention policies


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