Azure File Sync Server Overview


What is Azure File Sync?

  • Azure File sync server help us to manger the file server centralized without downtime.
  • It will sync the files to azure and manage your Files cache to on-premises/Azure to provide the access or share across the Globe.

As per Microsoft :

  • Azure File Sync (preview) allows us to centralize our organization’s file shares in Azure Files without giving up the flexibility, performance, and compatibility of an on-premises file server.

  • It does this by transforming our Windows Servers into a quick cache of your Azure File share.

  • We can use any protocol available on Windows Server to access your data locally (including SMB, NFS, and FTPS) and we can have as many caches as you need across the world.

Azure File Sync terminology

Storage Sync Service

  • Storage Sync Service is the top-level Azure resource representing Azure File Sync and Storage Sync Service resource is a peer of the Storage Account resource. It can be deployed into Azure Resource Groups.
  • Need top level of Storage accounts is required because the storage sync services can create sync relationship with multiple Storage accounts via multiple sync Groups .
  • A subscription can have multiple Storage Sync Service resources deployed.

Sync Group

  • Sync Group are the set of files for sync topology which will have sets of file which you want to manage wit Azure file share.
  • Ex: If you have 2 distinct sets of file then you need to create Two sync Groups and need to add endpoint to each.
  • Storage Sync services can hosted as many Sync Groups as you need.

Registered Server

  • Registered Server object represents a trust-relationship between Our On-Premises server (or cluster) and the Storage Sync Service.
  • We can register as many servers to a Storage Sync Service instance as we want to add
  • Server (or cluster) can only be registered with one Storage Sync Service at any given time.

Azure File Sync agent

Azure File sync 3 services which is running in background.

  • FileSyncSvc.exe:
  • Background Windows service Which is  responsible for monitoring changes on Server Endpoints and for initiating sync sessions to Azure.
  • StorageSync.sys:  Azure File Sync file system filter, which is responsible for tiering files to Azure Files (when cloud tiering is enabled).
  • PowerShell management cmdlets: PowerShell cmdlets tha  we use to interact with the Microsoft.StorageSync Azure resource provider.
  • We can find these at the following (default) locations:
    • C:\Program Files\Azure\StorageSyncAgent\StorageSync.Management.PowerShell.Cmdlets.dll
    • C:\Program Files\Azure\StorageSyncAgent\StorageSync.Management.ServerCmdlets.dll

      Azure File Sync  OS Compatibility

      Version Supported SKUs Supported deployment options
      Windows Server 2016 Datacenter and Standard Full (server with a UI)
      Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter and Standard Full (server with a UI)

      File system features :

    • Feature Support status Notes
      Access control lists (ACLs) Fully supported Windows ACLs are preserved by Azure File Sync, and are enforced by Windows Server on Server Endpoints. Windows ACLs are not (yet) supported by Azure Files if files are accessed directly in the cloud.
      Hard links Skipped
      Symbolic links Skipped
      Mount points Partially supported Mount points might be the root of a Server Endpoint, but they are skipped if they are contained in a Server Endpoint’s namespace.
      Junctions Skipped
      Reparse points Skipped
      NTFS compression Fully supported
      Sparse files Fully supported Sparse files sync (are not blocked), but they sync to the cloud as a full file. If the file contents change in the cloud (or on another server), the file is no longer sparse when the change is downloaded.
      Alternate Data Streams (ADS) Preserved, but not synced
    • Feature Supported BY File Sync: 
    • Windows Server Failover Clustering is supported in Azure File Sync for the “File Server for general use not for Clustered Share Volume.
    • Data Deduplication

    • Azure File Sync supports Windows Server Data Duplication enabled on the volume.
    • Encryption solutions

      • BitLocker encryption
      • Azure Rights Management Services (Azure RMS) (and legacy Active Directory RMS)
    • Azure File Sync is known not to work with:

      • NTFS Encrypted File System (EFS)



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