I have a question… Who is still using a file server? No need to answer, I know that most of us still are and need to use them for various reasons. We love them—well, we also hate them, as they are a pain to manage.
The pains with Windows File Server:
- 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.
In this blog, I’d like to walk you through Azure File Sync, so you can see for yourself how much better it is.
- Let’s say I’m setting up a file server in my Seattle headquarters and that file server begins having 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 and 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.
- 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 in Seattle goes down, I simply remove it; my files are already up in Azure.
- 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.
- The great thing is it can be used with SQL Server 2012 R2, as well as SQL Server 2016.
- Now I have an all-encompassing solution (with integrated cloud back up within Azure) with better availability, better DR capability and essentially bottomless storage. Azure Backup Vault gets backed up automatically and storage is super cheap.
With Azure File Sync I get:
1. A centralize file service in Azure storage.
2. Cache in multiple locations for fast, local performance.
3. I can utilize cloud based backup and fast data/disaster recovery.