Azure File Sync: the beggining

Currently I have seen many customer with a lot of pains with Windows File Server, most of them are:

  • They never seem to have enough storage.
  • They never seem to be properly cleaned up; users don’t delete the files they’re supposed to.
  • The data never seems accessible when and where you need it.

For these reason, I want to drop a few lines to explain how Azure File Sync can help us with that:

  • Imagine that I have a file server that begins  to have problems, maybe I’m running out of space for example.
  • I decide to hook this up in a file share in Azure space.
  • I can set up cloud tiering, which is a feature of Azure File Sync that allows to set up a threshold (say 50%), so that everything beyond that threshold, those files will start moving up into Azure.
  • When I set this threshold, it will start taking the oldest files and graying them out as far as users are concerned. The files are still there and visible as there, but they’ve been pushed off to the cloud, so that space has now been freed up on the file server.
  • If users ever need those files, they can click on them and redownload. (at this point probably you will saying: whaaaat?)
  • Now, let’s say I want to bring on another server at a branch office. I can simply bring up that server, synchronize it with the branch office based on those files in Azure.
  • From here, I can hook up my SMBs and NFS shares for my users and applications, as well as my work folders using multi-site technology. I have all my files synchronized and it’s going to give me direct cloud access to these files.
  • I can hook up my IaaS and PaaS solutions with my REST API or my SMB shares to be able to access these files.
  • With everything synchronized, I’m able to have a rapid file server disaster/data recovery. If my server goes down, I simply remove it; my files are already up in Azure.
  • Moreover I can set up new disaster recovery plans in Azure, line backup of fileshares, to be sure that all the data remains
  • I bring on a new server, sync it back to Azure. My folders start to populate, and as they get used, people will download the files back and the rules that were set up will maintain.

So, with Azure File Sync, what we have is  better availability, better DR capability and essentially bottomless storage.


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