It’s Aidan Finn from MicroWarehouse here, and in this post, I want to highlight a session that will show you how to modernise your file server to reduce storage costs, simplify backup & DR, and enable cross-server replication through The Cloud.

The file server continues to play an important role, even in this era when The Cloud is supposed to have killed it off. There are times when you need to keep a file server. Maybe internal systems that cannot be moved require low-latency access to shares. You might have huge documents, like AutoCAD, that will be too slow to upload and download from The Cloud. Or maybe you just prefer using a file server instead of a cloud service such as SharePoint Online/OneDrive for Business. But old problems continue to plague the file server.

The first of these is storage capacity and costs. It’s a rare occurrence when I visit a site and the file server isn’t short on storage space. No matter how much disk is put into it, it’s never enough. Eventually you run out of internal disk and then the dreaded word, SAN, is mentioned – there couldn’t be a more expensive way to add disk capacity to a server! Why aren’t the old files deleted? There’s lots of reasons.

Then there’s backup. In the small business or enterprise branch office, the file server might be the only server in the building. Adding a backup server is a bit much. Cloud backup is cool, but recovering large amounts of data, maybe after a crypto-ware attack, can be slow.

And that leads to disaster recovery (DR). Backup is not a DR solution – ever. Backup is slow to restore from (normally) and brings you back to how your files were (probably) yesterday – which can be massively disruptive and expensive.

What if I told you that there was a cloud-based solution that:

  • Synchronised your file server’s folders/files to The Cloud without moving the files to some appliance?
  • Could extend that replication through The Cloud to other file servers around the country or world?
  • Could provide cloud-tiering, so that cold files weren’t stored on the file server, but the user or application still saw the same file paths/names with the same permissions?
  • Moved the function of backup to The Cloud?
  • Could restore one file, a subset of files, entire folders/shares to the same (backup) or another file server (DR) in the time it takes to copy the files from one disk to another in The Cloud, plus maybe 2-3 more minutes?

To tell you about this magical service, called Azure File Sync, we have Gregor Reimling, a cloud architect from Germany:

Gregor Reimling
Sepago, Cloud Architect

Gregor is working for sepago GmbH as a Cloud Architect for Azure. Before joining sepago, he was working as Cloud- and Infrastructure architect with main focus on Microsoft technologies like Windows Server, Hyper-V and System Center.

He is organizer of the Azure Meetup Bonn, an local Azure user group near cologne.

 

Azure File Sync is relatively new, but I have known about it for quite some time. It’s a service that I (and many others) asked Microsoft to develop and I did a little happy dance when I was first briefed on it. I think Azure File Sync will become a new hot hybrid service for Microsoft, up there with Azure Backup (which it works with). If you want to transform your file server(s), then join Gregor for this session at Cloud Camp 2018.