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A Look at Azure Files

Azure Files offers fully managed file shares in the cloud that are accessible via the industry standard Server Message Block (SMB) protocol or Network File System (NFS) protocol. Azure Files file shares can be mounted concurrently by cloud or on-premises deployments.


In this lecture, you’re introduced to Azure Files, which is a managed cloud service provided by Microsoft’s Azure platform for file sharing. This service allows you to set up highly available file shares that can be accessed using the SMB (Server Message Block) and NFS (Network File System) protocols. This means that these file shares can be mounted and used concurrently from machines located both on-premises and in the cloud.

You’ll learn that Azure Files can be used across different operating systems—SMB file shares can be accessed from Windows, Linux, and macOS, while NFS file shares are compatible with Linux and macOS.

A key feature covered is Azure File Sync, which allows you to cache SMB Azure file shares on Windows servers for enhanced performance and distributed caching. This can be beneficial for organizations looking to replace or augment their existing on-premises file servers or NAS devices, as Azure Files provides global accessibility.

Moreover, the lecture touches on the integration of Azure Files with on-premises Active Directory, enabling you to manage access controls and authentication seamlessly.

Another significant point in the lecture is Azure Files’ role in lift-and-shift scenarios. It supports both classic lift-and-shift, where an application and its data are both moved to the cloud, and hybrid lift-and-shift, where the application remains on-premises but its data is moved to Azure Files.

The lecture also highlights Azure Files’ utility in cloud development, for example, storing shared application settings, logs, metrics, crash dumps, and providing a centralized location for developers and admins to access necessary tools and utilities.

Lastly, you’re shown how Azure Files supports containerization by acting as persistent volumes for stateful containers, ensuring that containers have access to the required file system regardless of the instance they’re running on.

Remember, Azure Files is a fully managed cloud file share solution that’s versatile and designed to meet a range of needs from data storage and management to application support and containerization.

© 2023 Thomas J Mitchell / TomTeachesIT