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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Microsoft Azure File Storage
3.
Azure File Storage usage scenarios
3.1.
Existing apps can be migrated to the cloud.
3.2.
Share server data between on-premises and cloud environments.
3.3.
Azure File Storage can be used to integrate modern apps.
3.4.
Streamline the process of hosting High Availability (HA) workload data
4.
Characteristics of Azure File Storage 
4.1.
Azure Preview Portal on file explorer
4.2.
Diagnose storage issues via Azure Storage Metrics
4.3.
Tool Support for IT professionals and developers 
5.
Frequently Asked Questions
5.1.
What is Azure file storage, and how does it work?
5.2.
Is it possible to store files on Azure?
5.3.
What's the distinction between Azure blob storage and Azure file storage?
5.4.
What are the three different kinds of Azure storage?
6.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Azure File Storage

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Introduction

In this article, we will learn about Azure file storage in detail. We are going to learn about its uses and characteristics. Microsoft Azure, sometimes known as Azure, is a cloud computing service provided by Microsoft for the management of applications through Microsoft-managed data centers.

Let's dive into the article to get more information about Azure file storage.

Microsoft Azure File Storage

Microsoft Azure delivers fully managed file shares in the cloud with the release of Azure File Storage. Because Azure File Storage exposes file shares using the Server Message Block 3.0 (SMB) protocol, the most commonly used file share protocol for existing on-premises applications, moving your existing applications to the cloud is simplified. Because Azure File Storage allows applications to mount file shares from anywhere in the world, your on-premises applications can benefit from cloud storage without making any changes. Azure File Storage also supports the REST API standard, allowing you to create new apps that interface with current ones.

We're launching these new features with the general availability version of Azure File Storage:

  • Support for SMB 3.0, which features encryption and permanent handles.
  • In the Azure Preview portal, there's a new browser-based file explorer.
  • Metrics for Azure File Storage Storage
  • Mounting Azure File Storage file shares from outside Azure datacenters is now possible.

Furthermore, all current storage accounts now have Azure File Storage API endpoints enabled, so you don't need to create a new account only to access Azure File Storage.

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Azure File Storage usage scenarios

Azure File Storage is built to accommodate a wide range of scenarios, including the following:

Existing apps can be migrated to the cloud.

Many existing programs use file-based APIs to access data and are built to distribute data over SMB file shares. You can migrate your on-premises file or share-based applications to Azure without needing to provision or manage highly available file server VMs using Azure File Storage.

Share server data between on-premises and cloud environments.

Customers can now store server data in the cloud, such as log files, event data, and backups, to take advantage of the Azure storage platform's availability, durability, scalability, and geo-redundancy. You can safely mount Azure File Storage shares from anywhere due to SMB 3.0 encryption. Cloud apps can share data with on-premises applications while maintaining the same consistency guarantees as on-premises SMB servers.

Azure File Storage can be used to integrate modern apps.

You can combine historical programs with current cloud services or construct new file or file share-based applications by exploiting the modern REST API that Azure File Storage implements in addition to SMB 3.0.

Streamline the process of hosting High Availability (HA) workload data

Azure File Storage provides continuous availability, making it easier to host high-availability workload data in the cloud. The persistent handles offered in SMB 3.0 boost the file share's availability, allowing programs like SQL Server and IIS to be hosted in Azure with data kept in shared file storage.

Characteristics of Azure File Storage 

Azure file storage now supports SMB 3.0, including encryption and persistent handles, and SMB 2.1, which was supported in the preview.

Due to the lack of encryption in the underlying SMB 2.1 protocol, Azure File Storage could only be accessed from within the same area. Customers can now connect from anywhere worldwide thanks to SMB 3.0's encryption capability. SMB 3.0 boosts file share availability by providing transparent failover in clients and allowing permanent access to files without losing session information and encryption. Customers can use this functionality to host data from HA workloads like SQL Server and IIS.

Linux clients can also use the SMB protocol to access Azure File Storage. When building a Linux virtual machine in Azure, you can choose a Linux image that supports SMB 2.1 or above from the Azure image gallery. The following is a list of Linux images that we recommend:

Mounting from Linux requires the client to be in the same Azure region as the file share because the Linux SMB client does not yet enable encryption. Encryption capability for Linux, on the other hand, is on the community's roadmap of Linux developers responsible for SMB functionality. In the future, Linux distributions that enable encryption will be able to mount Azure File Storage from anywhere.

Azure Preview Portal on file explorer

Customers may now manage Azure File Storage with a redesigned user interface on the Azure Preview site. From your browser, you may now do the following:

  • File shares can be created and deleted.
  • Files can be uploaded and downloaded to and from your file-sharing.
  • Increase or decrease the file share size quota.
  • Get the entire net use command, which may be used to mount the file share on a Windows client.

Diagnose storage issues via Azure Storage Metrics

Azure Storage Metrics can be used to diagnose issues with Azure File Storage.

Azure Storage Analytics delivers statistics on storage metrics for Blob, Table, and Queue storage accounts. It now also supports File Storage. You can use metrics data to do your analysis to aid in the diagnosis of problems. To use metrics with Azure File Storage, use the File Service Properties operation via the REST API or the storage client libraries to activate them.

Tool Support for IT professionals and developers 

IT workers can use various tools to manage Azure File Storage, including AzCopy, Azure Powershell (Windows), and Azure Cross-Platform Command Line Interface (Linux/Unix).

To build apps with Azure File Storage, developers can use the REST API and the storage client libraries for.NET, Java, Node, and Python.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Azure file storage, and how does it work?

Azure Files is a cloud storage service for sharing files, development and debugging tools, and native file system applications. You may use the built-in UI, the Azure CLI, or PowerShell to build and manage your file shares with Azure Files.

Is it possible to store files on Azure?

Azure Storage is a cloud storage service that provides highly accessible, massively scalable, durable, and secure storage for various data items. A REST API makes Azure Storage data items accessible from anywhere globally through HTTP or HTTPS.

What's the distinction between Azure blob storage and Azure file storage?

Azure Blob Storage is an object store for storing large volumes of unstructured data, whereas Azure File Storage is a fully managed file system based on the SMB protocol that, once mounted, appears to be a standard hard drive.

What are the three different kinds of Azure storage?

There are three different methods of access available:

  • Private: This is the default behavior. Only the account owner has access to the data.
  • Blob: This allows for public read access.
  • Container: Allows access to the full container via a list and read.

Conclusion

In this article, we have extensively discussed Azure File Storage in detail. Usage of file storage and its characteristics are also discussed in the blog.

We hope this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge regarding Azure File Storage. If you would like to learn more, check out our articles on Microsoft AzureAzure CertificationHow to prepare for Azure Certification, and AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud.

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