In a previous post, we taught you how to set up an AWS S3 bucket to store files. Since this is not the only enterprise-grade cloud storage, we thought it would be nice to do similar posts for other similar solutions such as Azure Files and Google Storage.
We bet there are some of you who would like to try them too. In this tutorial, you will learn how to set up the Azure Files file folder.
Like Amazon S3, Azure files are not intended for home or small business use. People who are likely to be interested in using Azure files will be mostly large businesses.
Let’s move on to the lesson.
Create an Azure file share
First things first. Let’s assume you already have a Microsoft Azure account. If you already have one, go to the Azure website (azure.microsoft.com) and sign in.
Then go to the portal.
After that, you should see a large collection of Azure services. What we are interested in is storage accounts. Click on it.
Since we don’t have a storage account yet, let’s create one first. Click the + Add or Create Storage Account button.
When creating a storage account, the first thing you need to do is select a subscription and the corresponding resource group. I used the free trial, so I chose it as a subscription. For the resource group, I created a group named AK and then selected it. A resource group is simply a logical container for grouping your Azure services.
Then give the storage account a name (for example, mystorexyz). The name must be unique across all existing Azure storage account names. It must be between 3 and 24 characters long and can only contain lowercase letters and numbers.
Then select Location. While any location will work, sometimes you need to select a specific location in order to comply. Some countries and regions (for example, the EU) have specific mandates regarding where data is stored. For the purposes of this tutorial, we just chose the default.
Select the Performance option for this account. Standard storage is less expensive and is best suited for applications that do not require frequent access to stored data. Premium, on the other hand, is more suited for IO-intensive applications that require low latency performance. For now, we’ll just select “Standard”.
For the account type, you have 3 options:
- Universal 2 is the primary storage account type for blobs, files, queues, and tables. It is recommended for most storage scenarios.
- Generic v1 – This type is also used for blobs, files, queues, and tables, but it is old and was kept for backward compatibility only.
- Blob storage – only suitable for blobs.
As you may have guessed, the general purpose version 2 is best.
All data stored in your Azure storage account is always replicated. This is great because it means you always have another copy of your data in case something goes wrong. All you have to do is choose a replication strategy. The options are:
- Locally Redundant Storage (LRS)
- Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS)
- Geo-Redundant Storage (GRS)
- Read-Access Geo-Redundant Storage (RA-GRS)
Since each strategy has a different set of benefits, we just grabbed this table from the Azure documentation to give you an idea of ??how each compares to the others.
By default, this is RA-GRS, so let’s select it for now.
Finally, you need to select the access level, which is Cold or Hot. Hot is for data that is frequently accessed and Cool is for data that is infrequently accessed. Leave this parameter at its default value, which is Hot.
After that, you should be ready to click Browse + Create.
It will go through some verification process, but once you see the verification progress notification at the top, click the Create button. Don’t miss this part. When I played with this, I thought that creating Review + would automatically create a storage account after verification. Did not work out.
It can take a minute to build and deploy. You will know that it is still being processed if you see something like “Your deployment is in progress”.
When this is done, this message should be replaced with your deployment complete.
In addition, a link to the resource will appear in the right corner of your web page. Click the Go To Resource button to navigate to the newly created resource.
We’re not done yet, by the way. So far we have only managed to create a storage account. We still need to create this share. When you get to your storage account column (that’s just the fancy name they use for “panel”), click on “Files.”
You can add your file share here. Click + File Share to add a new file share.
Give the file share a name and quota (or leave the default), and then click Create.
Once the creation process is complete, you should see the newly created file share under your storage account.
This share is now ready to download. Most large enterprises will probably want to automate their uploads, so they will do it mostly programmatically, for example through a custom application that interacts with Azure files using the File REST protocol.
However, you can also upload files manually through the portal. Just click that Share to navigate to it and then click the Download button.
Then you can upload files as usual from any GUI. This is it. Hope you found this helpful. Enjoy!