Azure Storage

A custom storage system for Django using Windows Azure Storage backend.


Be aware Azure file names have some extra restrictions. They can’t:

  • end with dot (.) or slash (/)
  • contain more than 256 slashes (/)
  • be longer than 1024 characters

This is usually not an issue, since some file-systems won’t allow this anyway. There’s default_storage.get_name_max_len() method to get the max_length allowed. This is useful for form inputs. It usually returns 1024 - len(azure_location_setting). There’s default_storage.get_valid_name(...) method to clean up file names when migrating to Azure.

Gzipping for static files must be done through Azure CDN.


Install Azure SDK:

pip install django-storage[azure]

Private VS Public Access

The AzureStorage allows a single container. The container may have either public access or private access. When dealing with a private container, the AZURE_URL_EXPIRATION_SECS must be set to get temporary URLs.

A common setup is having private media files and public static files, since public files allow for better caching (i.e: no query-string within the URL).

One way to support this is having two backends, a regular AzureStorage with the private container and expiration setting set, and a custom backend (i.e: a subclass of AzureStorage) for the public container.

Custom backend:

# file: ./custom_storage/
class PublicAzureStorage(AzureStorage):
    account_name = 'myaccount'
    account_key = 'mykey'
    azure_container = 'mypublic_container'
    expiration_secs = None

Then on settings set:

DEFAULT_FILE_STORAGE = 'storages.backends.azure_storage.AzureStorage'
STATICFILES_STORAGE = 'custom_storage.custom_azure.PublicAzureStorage'


The following settings should be set within the standard django configuration file, usually

Set the default storage (i.e: for media files) and the static storage (i.e: fo static files) to use the azure backend:

DEFAULT_FILE_STORAGE = 'storages.backends.azure_storage.AzureStorage'
STATICFILES_STORAGE = 'storages.backends.azure_storage.AzureStorage'

The following settings are available:

is_emulated = setting(‘AZURE_EMULATED_MODE’, False)


This setting is the Windows Azure Storage Account name, which in many cases is also the first part of the url for instance: would mean:

AZURE_ACCOUNT_NAME = "azure_account_name"


This is the private key that gives Django access to the Windows Azure Account.


This is where the files uploaded through Django will be uploaded. The container must be already created, since the storage system will not attempt to create it.


Set a secure connection (HTTPS), otherwise it’s makes an insecure connection (HTTP). Default is True


Number of connections to make when uploading a single file. Default is 2


Global connection timeout in seconds. Default is 20


Maximum memory used by a downloaded file before dumping it to disk. Unit is in bytes. Default is 2MB


Seconds before a URL expires, set to None to never expire it. Be aware the container must have public read permissions in order to access a URL without expiration date. Default is None


Overwrite an existing file when it has the same name as the file being uploaded. Otherwise, rename it. Default is False


Default location for the uploaded files. This is a path that gets prepended to every file name.