Azure File Share – Beginner’s Guide

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Azure File Share

Hello, readers! This article talks about Azure File Share from a Beginner’s Perspective with a detailed demonstration around its setup as well.

So, let us begin! 🙂

Also read: Azure File Share – Dynamic Storage Provisioner in AKS


A Shift from the Traditional Storage Options!

From the very beginning of the storage world, we have seen it emerging with newer aspects day by day. In the early days, the storage happened through some hard disks for smaller applications and on-premise servers for large-scale applications.

This kind of storage scenario became complex day by day as the application infrastructure kept proceeding towards technology integration.

Thus, we all witnessed the time to shift our focus on improving the storage scenarios as well.

In the current scene, we have different types of database and storage options available as a managed service such as-

  • Azure File Share
  • Azure Blob Storage
  • Google Cloud Instances
  • BigQuery
  • Managed SQL Instances
  • Amazon S3
  • Cloud SQL Proxy server setup, etc.

1. Azure Blog Storage

Blob Storage offers us storage of large. unstructured data such as binary or text data on a massive scale. We can easily access this data through HTTP or HTTPS altogether. Blob storage offers us two types of segregated access tiers:

  1. Hot Access Tier: It contains frequently accessed data.
  2. Cold Access Tier: In this tier, we can store that class of data which is less frequently accessed.

As the Hot access tier is supposed to contain frequently accessed data, it is a bit costlier as compared to cold access tier data storage.


2. Azure Queue Storage

The Queue Storage is a source of asynchronous communication between the components of the application. We can store as well as retrieve messages in Queue storage.

Each message may have a size up to 64Kb and we can have millions of such messages being queued for processing in a single batch altogether.


3. Azure Table Storage

The Table Storage options enable us to store semi-structured data values in a key valued format. It stores data in a NoSQL database and is now integrated with Cosmo DB.


4. Azure File Storage

Azure File share enables us to move our applications to the cloud easily with the SMB protocol. The data stored here can be accessed by multiple applications and we can integrate it with various other Azure Resources such as AKS, Azure Function. etc.


Features of Azure File Storage

The File share is a fully managed storage service. The Azure Storage account stands for the accountability of the File Share. It resembles the traditional File System Storage. The Azure File share storage can be used to be mounted simultaneously on on-premise as well as cloud applications.

  • Azure File is a fully managed storage solution accessible by a Storage Account.
  • Based on the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol.
  • It has unlimited storage capacity depending upon the use case.
  • We can mount the File Share on Virtual Machines, Container Instances, or even Containers under the Azure Kubernetes Service.
  • It enables us to mount the same share of the data through multiple machines easily, enabling data sharing as an easy option.
  • The File Share is mountable across macOS, Linux as well as Windows setup.

Use Cases of Azure File Share

  • The File Share can be easily used to replace the underlying on-premise storage infrastructure.
  • We can use the File share for distributed caching across applications, maintaining the state of the application.
  • File share is the perfect option for worldwide accessibility through the generic types of operating systems.
  • We can share the File share storage across various applications through the configuration systems.
  • The Azure File share can store logs, application metrics, etc.
  • The file share is a good shift for the hybrid lift and shift application infrastructure where the data gets stored in the Azure file share while the application continues to be on premise.
  • The main use case of Azure file share is in the Containerization world. It is a solution for the Dynamic Persistent Volume Storage.

Storage Components within Azure File Share

Let us have a look at the below diagram for the understanding of the storage in the File share service-

Azure File Share
Azure File Share
  • Storage Account: It is the primary abstracted layer that is consumed by Azure file share as a service within the Azure Resource Group.
  • File Share: The share structure maps the storage from within the applications.
  • Files & Folders: These storage structures exist within the File share for the purpose of storage and sharing over the network.

Steps to create an Azure File share service

In order to set up an Azure file share service, we need to follow the below steps-

  1. We need to have an Azure subscription with elevated access.
  2. Create a Resource group within which the File share service will reside.
  3. Generate an Storage Account for the file share to reside.
  4. Inspect the file share service under the Storage Account.

To begin with, we assume that you have an Azure subscription and a resource group created within it. Moving ahead, we need to provision a storage account as shown below-

Image 14
Azure Storage account – Step 1

Once you click on the Create button, fill in the necessary information as shown below –

  • Subscription name
  • Resource group name
  • Name of the Storage account
  • Geo redundancy option
  • Region
  • VNet, etc.

Once the storage account gets created, you can find it under the Resource section of the subscription.

Click on the above-created Storage Account resource and we can see the section for File share as shown below –

Image 15
Azure File Share

You can now go ahead and create File shares under this to start the storage accumulation as well.


Conclusion

By this, we have approached the end of this topic. Feel free to comment below, in case you come across any questions.

For more such posts related to Azure Storage, Stay tuned with us.

Till then, Happy Learning!! 🙂

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