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In July 2018, Microsoft announced GA release for Azure File Sync. With Azure File Sync, you can centralize your files in Azure and then install a sync agent on Windows Server, whether it’s local or Azure, to provide fast local access to your files. Your servers and Azure files are constantly in sync, so you have one centralized location for your files with access to multiple sites, which works with a fast local cache and cloud ladder.
For more information on Azure File Sync, check the previous one a step-by-step guide to getting started with Azure File Sync and PowerShell.
Last week, Microsoft announced a public preview Azure Premium files powered by large files (100 TiB). Premium Files is a new level of performance for Azure Files, designed for IO-intensive loads with low latency and higher performance requirements.
Premium file storage provides a steady low latency and offers high performance and IOPS that scales with storage space. Premium level offers 20x capacity, 100x IOPS and 170x throughput compared to the current standard level. For more information about Premium files, see check the Microsoft notice.
I have many customers who contacted me and asked if they wanted to use Azure Premium files with their Azure File Sync installation.
In this short article, I will discuss when Azure Premium Files is a good fit Sync Azure files.
As I mentioned together previous articles, Azure File Sync lets you centralize your files in Azure and then install a sync agent on Windows Server, whether it’s running locally or in Azure, to provide fast local access to your files.
So the idea of Azure File Sync is that the hot data is located on site and is expected to be cached and that you use file servers, you really don’t need the Premium level. You have to think about this.
Azure File Sync cache is not something you set and forget. You must continue monitoring and adjust it as needed to match the expected performance. Also, if you keep more data locally, lower exit costs because fewer files are retrieved from Azure, but it also requires you to maintain a larger amount of local storage, which comes at its own expense. Once Azure File Sync is enabled, you can roughly view the output of your storage account to assess whether your disk space free space settings are appropriate for you.
In terms of cost, at the time of writing this article, the price of 1 GiB Standard is approximately 0.060 CHF / month capacity used, but the Premium level price is based on provisioning capacity which is about 0.142 CHF 1 GiB / month, so as you can see, it is much more expensive than the standard level.
in ad, Microsoft claimed that the Premium level offers 100x IOPS, what does this mean and in which scenario can I see such a presentation? So this scenario is typically used for PaaS deployment – where shared storage is used through distributed clients (i.e. Virtual Machine) because you are still bound to virtual machine boundaries – of course this must be in the same hosted area in Azure – any workload requiring such performance is unlikely to go over the Internet . Because by using SMEs on the Internet, we cannot achieve it 100x IOPS performance, so the user experience is not the same.
One compelling reason why I want to see Premium-level access with Azure File Sync, if you will direct access there is no need to share files in the cloud due to low latency.
Of 24 November 2020 Microsoft announced that all premium shares will receive an additional IOPS at no additional cost. In addition, all shares will receive 400 basic IOPSs and at least 4,000 burst IOPSs. These improvements to the IOPS preparation and burst model are particularly useful for smaller stock sizes that need extra performance to accommodate traffic spikes or sudden unpredictable loads, such as network applications, backup and restore operations, and batch jobs.
These changes will take effect immediately in all Azure regions. These IOPS enhancements combined recent price reduction at the premium level, makes the decision easier to choose the pay level of your files for your workloads and meet your performance needs in a cost – effective way. You can learn more here announcement here.
Azure File Sync extends local file servers to Azure while providing cloud benefits while maintaining performance and compatibility. Azure File Sync offers:
- Multi-site access – grant write access to the same data through Windows servers and Azure Files.
- Cloud Stairs – Store only recently used data on local servers.
- Integrated with Azure backup – you don’t have to back up your data on site.
- Quick Emergency Recovery – recover file metadata immediately and retrieve the data as needed.
For more information on file sharing performance levels, see the following Microsoft document (Standard file sharing compared to premium file sharing).
We hope you find this guide useful.
For more information on Azure File Sync, check the following guides.
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