Azure Files: What Is It, and Should I Use It?

April 30, 2019

Azure Files Details Updated: February 2022

Is your team ever in a situation where they keep running out of storage space for your data? It’s a common situation for data supply to outpace local server storage. The workaround for this problem is often significant time efforts going into archiving. This is one area where Azure Files may start to ease the burden of managing local file servers.

Hold On… What Is Azure Files?

Azure Files is part of Microsoft Azure services offering and is the only public cloud file storage that delivers a simple, secure, and fully managed file share in the cloud. The ability to share a file system across multiple machines and applications is a significant advantage of the product. With Azure Files, file shares are accessible in the cloud without the responsibility of managing the overhead of a physical server, device, or appliance.

How Can Azure Files Help Me?

Big undertakings to move to the cloud aren’t always feasible. With Azure Files though, you get a cloud services option that can offer your team a gradual, phased approach that can bring a lot of benefits to your business.

So, how is it deployed? For the techies out there, it uses the server message block protocol (SMB), Azure file shares are mounted to both cloud or on-premises deployments of Windows, Linux, and macOS. They can be cached on Windows servers with Azure File Sync, thereby enabling offline file access.

Azure Files vs. SharePoint

While Azure Files and SharePoint have some things in common, they are not the same and shouldn’t be confused. Microsoft Azure is an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and SharePoint is a platform as a service (PaaS). SharePoint runs online or on-premises and is a collaborative tool that does many things. SharePoint is likely best known for its communication offering as an intranet platform and document storage. Whereas Azure Files is a file server solution designed for mid-to-larger-size enterprises. Azure Files is a computing tool handling many functions, including but not limited to databases, artificial intelligence and machine learning processes, as well as hosting. Azure Files provides some on-premises server advantages but also syncs with the cloud too. For some companies, this type of design means the best of both worlds.

Is It Time to Move into Azure Files?

Well, that decision is up to you and where your business is at in its feelings towards bringing in cloud computing solutions for business. Cloud computing offers many benefits to your organization, but if your team is struggling with an all-in approach it might be an idea to consider.

The cost benefits and continuity advantages of Azure Files are real and immediate for many companies. Applied in the right business scenarios, Azure Files is a game-changer. It brings peace of mind in knowing your files are always available and it can offer cost savings in a variety of ways, from archiving and server management time to the actual type and cost of the servers you need to run your business.

What’s Right for You | Azure Consulting Services

Navigating and choosing which Microsoft products and services are right for your business can feel overwhelming when Microsoft is not your core area of expertise. Microsoft offers so much to a business, but it is constantly evolving and growing, so working with a Microsoft Consulting Partner, like Convverge, is smart. A technology partner that is built to stay on top of the newest technology and will help your team translate all the options and ensure you aren’t missing something during your selection process. Interested in knowing a bit more about how we might help, let’s connect.