How to modernize Windows Server File Shares with Azure File Sync | Azure Friday

How to modernize Windows Server File Shares with Azure File Sync | Azure Friday


>>File servers are the most common
type of servers in the world, but they also present
many challenges, such as maintaining reliable backups, synchronizing files across sites, and of course, running
out of disk space. Orin Thomas is here to show us how Azure File Sync can save
the day today on Azure Friday. Hey everyone, Donovan Brown here with another episode of Azure Friday. I’m here with Orin,
and he’s going to tell us about Azure File Sync. So, talk to me about
what is Azure File Sync.>>Azure File Sync is
your way of taking that first step into the Cloud if
you’re really an on-prem person.>>Okay.>>Now, the most common type of Windows Server in
the world is a file server, and file servers have
a whole lot of problems. Anybody that’s managed
them has know this, right? Going back to when I started in IT, I remember having to run around
to people’s offices and say, I need you to clear
50 meg or a giga of->>Sure.>>Data or a couple of
100 meg from your file share. So, one of the first problems
that you’ve got is how do you clean up that file share so that
people can keep writing data. The other one is how do you
make sure it’s backed up.>>Sure.>>Which is a problem. Then if you’ve got an organization that’s in a couple of locations, so you’ve got an office in Melbourne, you’ve got one here in Seattle. How do you make sure that
you’ve got the same files in each location and they’re up to date?>>Okay.>>So, Azure File Sync is
something that is available in Azure that allows you to basically
solve all of these problems.>>Cool. So, show me
how you set it up.>>Okay. So, the first thing you need to do is you need
to go into your Console, and if you just type Azure, oops a daisy, spelling
it will be good.>>I’m the worst typist
you’ve ever met.>>So if we talk Azure File Sync, we can see over here in the
Marketplace we’ve got Azure File Sync.>>Okay.>>So, I’ll just go
and click on that. Deploy File Azure Sync. So, what it’ll do is it’ll ask me for my subscription resource group. So, I’ve got a resource group
called Azure FS-RG2.>>Okay.>>Now, I need to give it a name, so let’s just call it onpremsync2, and then we need to
choose our region. Now, one of the important things
is that your storage account, your file sync service, and you resource group should
all be in the same region.>>Okay.>>Now, because I love using
the data center in Singapore, I always choose Southeast Asia.>>Okay.>>So, then we just go “Review and Create” because that’s
all we have to do, and then we go and create it.>>Okay. So, we’ve just
created a storage account?>>So, now we’ve done is we’ve already got the
storage account there. So, I’d already pre-created
a storage account.>>Got it. So, we’re basically
turning a storage account into this file sync
repository almost.>>So, the first thing
we’ve done is we’ve created the storage sync service. The next thing we need to do is
we need to register some servers, and then we need to create
what’s called a sync group.>>Okay.>>So, a sync group is
a collection of service->>Okay.>>That backlog end to
an Azure file server.>>Everyone in there, I assume, gets to see the same files. That’s why we’re
grouping them together?>>Yes. So, the idea
is if you think about something like DFS,
distributed file systems->>Okay.>>With Distributed file system
you’ve got one file share, and that’ll replicate amongst
multiple servers in an organization. So, you could do that scenario we were talking about
all over the world. So, here you have your master copy of the file
share sitting up in the Cloud, so rather than replicating
with one another, everybody replicates with the Cloud->>Sure.>>And the master copy sits up here. But what’s really cool,
and I’ll show you how it works in a minute, is that you can turn on tearing so that every bit of data
is sitting up here, but only a subset of the data
is sitting down there. So, that’s how you solve
your storage problem.>>Got you.>>So, what we’ve got here is we’ve got a bunch
of storage accounts. Now, I’ve actually set
up your file sync. We’ve a server and it’s already replicating up to one of
the storage accounts. So if we go into
this storage account here, and we go into the “Files”
in that storage account. We can see we’ve got a location
here called on-prem share.>>Okay.>>If I click on “On-prem
share” we can say we’ve got “Mercury”, “Venus”, and “Mars”. So if I jump back across
here to file server one, and I sign into this file server.>>This is one of the machines
that’s already in the group.>>Yes.>>Okay.>>If I come here and I look here going to this page so you
got a customer file share, and I’ve got my shared folder here. I can see I’ve got “Mercury”,
“Mars”, and “Venus”. If I created a new folder
here and called it Jupiter what would
happen is that that will.>>Sync to the Cloud.>>Sync to the Cloud.>>From the Cloud to
all the other people in the group.>>Yes. So if we come back here, and then we do a refresh on this, we can see we’ve already got Jupiter come up there.
It’s already in the Cloud.>>Okay.>>So, that’s the first part of that. So, what we’ve got, as you can see, we’ve automatically
got that syncing up there. So, one of the other cool
things about that is->>Before we go too far though,
I feel like I missed a step. When we created the file sync that did not create
a storage account. The storage account already existed.>>So, I pre-created
the storage account.>>Got it. But when we were
creating the file sync, I don’t remember us associating a storage account with the file sync.>>So, let me show you
how that part works.>>Okay.>>Okay. So, we need to do
a few things to get this working. So, let’s actually go to a server, sorry let’s go to
a storage sync services, and we saw we created
out onpremsync2.>>Yes.>>So, let’s click on
that. So what we want to do here is we want to
create a new sync group. So, this is where we tell Azure that I want to back
onto this particular->>Okay.>>Azure file share.>>Got it.>>So, let’s create a sync group, and we’ll call it, let’s say,
for example, syncgroup2. We’ve got our subscription there. Now, here we select
our storage account, so we click on “Select
Storage Account”. So, we’ve got Tailwind Traders as your file sync 2 is
my storage account. It’ll go and query
that storage account and say which is your file share do
you want that associate with?>>Got it.>>I’ve created one called
additional on-prem share. So, all I did there is I
go and click “Create”. So, that’ll create that sync group. So, in that now exists
just up in Azure. What we want to do is we want to associate an on-premise
server with that sync group.>>Understood.>>So, when we do that it will allow it to stop replicating
content out there.>>Are there any prerequisites
or requirements on the storage account like skew or anything else to make it allowed
to work with file syncs, or does it just work with
any storage account?>>Just striped storage account.>>All right. Got it.>>So, as long as you
can create a file share in that storage account, you’re good.>>Okay.>>So, let me show you then
how I register a server. So, we can say here I’m actually in a thing called
Windows Admin Center. Windows Admin Center
is a web-based console for managing Windows server. I’m connected here to
one called Mel-FS3. Mel-FS3 over here has—actually, sorry that’s not
where I wanted to go. So I’m connected to Mel-FS3. I’m actually running this on Mel-FS3.>>A different messenger.>>Now if it’s one. So if
I just scroll across the to Mel-FS3 and sign in
here, let me just show you.>>That admin console that
you just showed that that’s getting rid of the old
administrative console. Now, it’s a web-based UI instead.>>It’s replacing, it’s
not getting rid off. So, there’s going to
be a long period->>Okay.>>Where both are available.>>Okay.>>Eventually, hopefully
in the next few years, you’re going to move all of your Windows Server Administration
across to Windows Admin Center.>>Okay.>>So, you can see here, we’ve got a colon backslash new share
and we’ve got one, two, three, four, five
as their folders. So, let’s jump back to that first server that had
Windows Admin Center on it.>>Okay.>>What we want to do is we
click on “Azure File Sync.” It’ll give us a little
if we want to run a little video to
learn about it we can, where we can click set up.>>Oh I see. So Azure File
Sync is already built in through the OS
administrative experience. So then I’m able to use this to go ahead and wire up to
an existing [inaudible].>>Yes. So if the agents not up-to-date or
the agent is not installed, it’ll go and grab it from Azure, and install it on
your server for you. So you click “Next”, and what it does of then connected this Windows Admin Center to
my particular Azure subscription. So it’s query that and it says okay, this is your subscription which resource script you
wanted associated with. Now, we created that second one. So I’ll specify that one. It’ll then look in
that resource group for any Storage Sync Services. There is the one we just created, and then I’ll just click “Next”, and then I register server. That will now register that
with that Storage Sync Service. So well, what’s happening
in the background. Let me show you what it looks like if you’ve already gone and done that. So if we go to
our Storage Sync Service, and we say we’ve got the onpremsync1.>>Yeah.>>Now, we can see here we’ve got
a list of registered servers, and we’ve got File Server
one and File Server-2.>>Great.>>So if I jump across
here to Sync groups, I’ve got my Share-SyncGroup
that I created, and that backs onto that storage account I showed you which had
the planet names in it, and we see if I click on that, we can see I’ve got only one
of those servers linked to it. So if I want to add another server that is registered
to that sync group, all I do is go “Add server endpoint”, it’ll then say, okay, which if your registered servers
do you want to do? I go, well, I want File Server-2. The next thing it’ll say, what’s
the path that you want to replicate files down to or up from? So I got e colon backslash share. Then it asks me, okay, do you want to turn on Cloud Tiering? So a Cloud Tiering is if I enable it, it asks me, okay, what free space do you want
to leave on the volume? I can specify Cloud Tiering, so that it’ll always tier the oldest file if it hits
20 percent only free space, everything else will sync. But I’ve also got
the option of saying, look anything that is over a certain number of days
automatically go on [inaudible]. Now, the user experience is, the user connects to it, and the file looks like it’s there. If it’s a file that’s already
been tiered up to Azure, if I click on it, and it’ll sync
it back down to that server.>>Just like I do with OneDrive.>>Very similar experience.>>Got it.>>So I’m going to choose
30 days here, I click “Create”.>>Okay.>>So what it’s now doing
is it’s reaching down to that server from Azure
which is already registered. It’s adding match to
that particular sync group. We can say now that it’s
listing as provisioning, and what we can do is we can then
jump back over to File Server-2. I’ll click “Ctrl+Alt+Delete”, log in.>>You’re clearly an IT pro with all these long, long crazy password. It’s a demo, make it just say demo, that is for password.>>If I go to my shared folder here, we should be able to come back in a minute or two as
this stop supervision.>>Right.>>That will then take all
of those files that is sitting in that location,
and sync them down.>>Now, I have a question.
Now, you’ve taken me like two different experiences
that required the server. One where we were on
the server or we were at administrating
the server, and we said, “I want to go ahead and
register the server, and I thought that was adding
the server to the sync group.>>So that adds this server
to the Sync Servers. So we’ve got a Sync Server, so we’ll add it to that Sync Servers. But then within
a sync group you are then configuring within a sync group
a particular location. So if I come back to, sorry, my first sync group. So I think of it this way, you’ve got to Sync Servers, and let’s say that you had four or five different paths that
you wanted to sync on a server. So you could add
each a new sync group for that sync service where you had a separate location backing
up to a separate [inaudible].>>All right. Got it.>>So you’re not limited
to just one path. You can actually have multiple paths, syncing up to
multiple storage accounts, some of which you might be backing up using Azure Backup some
of which you won’t.>>Okay.>>Anyway, that is Azure File Sync, and that’s what I really like
about that particular product.>>What about, how
do I set up backups. If I wanted to backup?
You mentioned backup a couple of time. But
how do I set that up.>>Let me show you how that works. Okay so in Azure, you backup to a thing called
a Recovery Services vault. So before you start
backing something up, you create out of
Recovery Services vault. So if we click over here on
“Recovery Services vault”, and we can see here I’ve got
one called share-revvault. So if I click on that, what it’ll do is it’ll
give me the option here and it says,
okay, getting started. What do you want to do?
You want to backup. I click on “Backup”. It says, what do you want to backup? Where’s your workload? Well, it’s running in Azure,
where do I want to backup? I want to backup on Azure File Share. Got it.>>Then I click “Backup”. Then what it’ll do, is
it’ll go out and say, okay, at the moment, it’s going to go and discover
the supported storage accounts, and then when it goes into discover
supported Storage Accounts, I pointed at the storage account
that has a file share.>>Okay.>>Then just keep going through, and that’s how we set up Backup.>>Got it. So that point no matter how many machines I actually
have in my sync group, I don’t have to update or backup
those individual machines. I can simply backup
this one particular file share and everything’s now being saved.>>What’s awesome about that
is and we can see here, so I’ve got my first storage account, and then it’ll clear
the storage account, and will register
that storage account. The benefit of that is remember
we’re turning on Cloud tiering. So out on-prem file server, might only have 10 percent of the files that are sitting
in that Azure file share.>>Absolutely.>>But we’re backing up
the whole Azure file share. Then, let’s say someone
deleted a file, on-prem. Well, your first step is you’ve probably got
something called Volume Shadow Copy Services on which it allows you to
right-click on the share, and then recover a file, with a certain amount of days off. But let’s say something
got deleted a while ago and you weren’t
sure about that, okay? Then, you can go into
the Azure file share. You perform the recovery
up in the Cloud and then that syncs automatically
down to all of you endpoints.>>Awesome. So yeah, this has been really cool stuff
because I can see it’s almost like the OneDrive plus
plus almost, right? It’s like this is taking
your disability in allowing you to use it across your enterprise in
a much more secure way where you can actually back it up and utilize your file shares to
their best ability, right?>>Yes. Because it’s taking
care of all of that minutiae of managing a file server because file server is
not only most common, but one of the ones that
take up the most time.>>Interesting.>>We know that there’s a lot
of churn with files that people are constantly
generating data results. It also deals with the problem. DFAs is an older technology. It’s not always as reliable
as we’d love it to be. You can replace DFAs
with Azure File Sync.>>Awesome. Thank you so much. We’re learning all about Azure
File Sync here on Azure Friday. [MUSIC]

6 thoughts on “How to modernize Windows Server File Shares with Azure File Sync | Azure Friday

  1. Can you please advise when Australia regions will get 2PB storage accounts? Currently Australia has 500TB storage account limit, we need at least 650TB space for our project. It will be sad if we have to move to AWS

  2. Check out my write up on Azure File Sync, I think my diagram clears it up nicely. https://www.nathannellans.com/post/azure-file-sync

  3. Can't you solve this same issue using Office365 groups? Seems to be a bit easier than this? No extra servers to worry about.

    I guess the 365 route might not be super feasible for a large scale org, but seems to be perfect for a small to mid size org?

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