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Improving System Performance With Azure Blob File Storage

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For custom software systems, speed and performance are important for user experience (UX) and the overall effectiveness of a system. Data-driven systems that generate and consume large files—like images, documents, and videos—need file storage solutions that allow fast retrieval and loading of these files. 

Over the last few years, we’ve been moving clients to cloud-based tools like Azure Blob Storage, which offers a content delivery network (CDN) and other features that make file management, storage, and retrieval much faster than alternatives. 

Powers Application Sees Performance Improvement and Cost Reduction

Powers Manufacturing customers can design team uniforms on the Powers custom uniform builder. When we originally built the application, we used SQL Server Filestream for file management—the right solution at the time.

Powers Case Study Sports

However, as the application has scaled and new Azure services have become available, rearchitecting the platform to use Azure Blob Storage instead of SQL Server Filestream offered a number of advantages. 

With SQL Server Filestream, we ran into limitations around scalability and user experience due to poor performance. By rearchitecting the application to use Azure Blob Storage instead of SQL Server Filestream, we experienced significant benefits for the Powers application, including:

  • Improved Performance: The retrieval and viewing of images and documents saw a substantial increase in performance. Previously, it took multiple seconds to retrieve images, but after the transition, it happens sub-second.
  • Cost Reduction: Storing images and documents in Azure Blob Storage proved significantly more cost-effective compared to SQL Server Filestream, resulting in approximately an 85% reduction in storage costs.

One behind-the-scenes system enhancement resulted in a happier client and happier system users.

Performance Bodies Site Boosts Load Speed

Users of the Performance Bodies ecommerce site want their cars to move fast. Not surprisingly, they want the site where they buy their parts to be fast as well. 

As an ecommerce site, the Performance Bodies store is home to thousands of products—each with multiple product photos, spec sheets, user manuals, how-to videos, and more. That’s a lot of files to manage, store, and serve to visitors.

performance bodies load speed

By moving Performance Bodies to Azure Blob Storage and setting up a CDN to store and load content, the site performs much faster. Files are cached and stored on a distributed network of servers, and when a user visits, those files are loaded from a location as close to the user as possible to reduce latency and bandwidth requirements.

Benefits of Blob Storage

We continue to encourage clients to move to cloud hosting—we primarily use Microsoft Azure—for their custom software platforms and digital assets. We’ve seen the benefits, and our clients and their users have as well. 


With SQL Server Filestream, which the Powers system previously used, data storage is limited by the capacity of the database. Azure Blob Storage, on the other hand, is fully scalable, offering virtually unlimited storage capacity. Growing applications don’t have to worry about running out of storage space as they add new features, files, and datasets. 

Cost Effectiveness

Azure Blob Storage is billed based on usage as well as by storage tiers. Frequently accessed data can be stored in the “hot” tier, ensuring quick retrieval, while less frequently accessed data can be moved to “cool” or “cold” tiers, significantly reducing costs. This tiered structure offers flexibility and cost savings for systems with large and growing data needs.

Enhanced Performance

Blob Storage and CDNs work together to deliver content quickly to end users, reducing latency and speeding up file delivery. By leveraging Azure Blob Storage and CDN for files and images, custom software systems can benefit from faster load times, improved user experiences, and reduced strain on the origin server.

Global Access

Blob Storage provides easy access to data from anywhere in the world over the internet. It integrates with other Azure services so we can build applications that take advantage of the full power of the cloud. Clients can manage their data from anywhere in the world, and users can access the system from anywhere as well. 

Security and Redundancy

Azure Blob Storage offers built-in redundancy and durability features, ensuring the high availability and integrity of data. Blob Storage automatically replicates data and provides features for data backups and disaster recovery, all of which help safeguard against data loss and ensure business continuity. Blob Storage also offers granular access controls, authorization mechanisms, and encryption options to protect data and maintain data security expectations of the most highly regulated industries.

Clients Continue Moving to the Cloud

By working with an experienced outsourced custom software development partner like Far Reach, our clients are happy with their moves to Azure Cloud storage and its various services like Blob Storage. Better data management, improved system performance, reliable data security, and cost savings all drive the shift to the cloud. 

Ready to move your platform to Azure cloud storage, or have an idea for a new system? Reach out.