Azure File Sync allows you to create a file synchronization job that will sync your files on multiple computers in the cloud. This article covers how to set up Azure File Sync and get it synchronized with your computer’s files.
If you are using Azure File Sync and need to sync on, you can use the “azure file sync force sync” command.
Enterprise services like as DropBox, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and others are prevalent in today’s world.
To deal with files over a network, many firms still use Server Message Block (SMB) or Network File System (NFS). If that’s the case, and your company is cloud-based, it’s time to learn how to set up Azure Files and Azure File Sync.
You may cache remotely saved files in Azure Files shared locally or on an Azure VM using Azure File Sync. This feature enables you to avoid downloading huge files over a sluggish Internet connection or to keep frequently used files local for improved performance.
This essay will provide a practical guide. Before you begin, please make sure you have the following objects in your surroundings.
- A subscription to Azure. You may create a free account if you don’t already have one.
- A computer running Windows Server 2019. This tutorial has no required prerequisites, although it will be run on an Azure VM with 1 vCPU, 8GB of RAM, and two mounted storage volumes: one for the operating system and one for the synced data.
Note that Linux and macOS may only be set as SMB or NFS clients and not as File Sync servers. Only Windows Server 2012 R2 and later operating systems may be registered.
Creating a File Share in Azure
Azure Shared Files are part of the Azure Files service. These are the same SMB shares that you’re accustomed to referring to using a UNC path like SRV1sharename.
You must first build an Azure file share that will store data on an Azure storage account before you can use the Azure File Sync service.
The file sharing ata-smb will be used in this tutorial.
To build an Azure file share, you’ll need a location to store the data that will be exposed over SMB. Because an Azure file share doesn’t need many unique storage account setup elements, following this instruction will set up a storage account for you.
This tutorial will use the ataazfilesyncstorage001 Azure storage account.
Make sure you configure these elements particularly for storing Azure file share data when creating the storage account. In the Azure portal’s Advanced tab, go to:
- Make sure Enable Secure Transfer is selected.
- Make sure that Allow Blob Public Access is enabled.
- Disable Azure Files’ support for large file sharing.
Advanced settings for the Storage Account
4. Go to the storage account you just established once the Storage account resource has been created. Click the File sharing box on the Overview page, as shown below.
Account creation is now complete.
5. When you’re on the File share page, click the Add File share button and fill out the form with a name for the share, a quota, and a tier. This tutorial picked the Hot Tier and 100GB of storage, as seen below. You may choose whichever Quota and Tier you like.
The quicker the synchronization process, but the more costly it is, the warmer the tier.
Make a New File to Share
You should see your Azure file share appear under your storage account after it has been setup, as seen below.
Completed Azure File Share of 100GB + Hot Tier
Make a directory for sharing files.
It’s time to add some folders to the file share now that it’s been formed. To do so, first:
Click Add Directory on your newly formed file share, then give it a name. The Azure 101, Blogs, and White Papers directories will be created in this lesson.
Making a directory
Set up Azure File Sync
The Azure File Sync Service is made up of many components. The Storage Sync Service, the Sync Group, the Azure File Sync agent, and the Registered server are among these components. In this tutorial, we’ll customize each of them.
Storage sync service resource is the name of the Azure resource for Azure File Sync service. As time goes on, we’ll stick to this terminology.
The Storage Sync Service is created.
Let’s begin with the storage synchronization service. The storage sync service, which includes sync groups and server endpoints, is an essential component of Azure Files.
- Look for Azure File Sync on the Azure interface. As illustrated below, it should be found in the Azure Marketplace.
The Azure File Sync Service is available via the Azure Marketplace.
2. Select Azure File Sync and provide the following information:
- Subscribers (Your Azure subscription)
- Region (The datacenter where the service will be created. The storage account and Azure Files service should be in the same region.)
- (A resource group in which you’d want to include this service)
- Name of the storage synchronization service (A name of your choosing)
IMPORTANT: For sync to work, the Azure file share must be in the same region as the Azure File Sync Service.
3. Click Review + Create, then Create to start the creation process, as seen below.
Install the Azure File Sync Wizard.
Install the Azure File Sync Wizard. Summary
4. Go to the Storage synchronization resource recently deployed to verify the deployment. The Storage Sync Service and the Storage account should both be in the same Resource group and Region.
Storage synchronization resource recently deployed
Form a Sync Group
Move on to configuring a sync group now that we have a Storage sync service Resource. The server endpoints (your file servers) will be in a sync group, which will refer to the storage account and file share you configured before.
- Click Sync groups in the Azure interface when viewing your Azure Files services.
- To establish the sync group, provide the relevant information.
- The tutorial will use ata azurefilesync group001 as the sync group name.
- This is the file share that you established previously in Azure.
- The lesson will utilize ATA for the first cloud endpoint subscription.
- This is the same storage account that you established before.
Setup of Sync Group Cloud Endpoints
3. When the deployment is finished, go to the sync group and click the button as shown below.
Setup Sync Group
4. The number of cloud and server endpoints presently defined is shown on the sync group page. There are no server endpoints mentioned, as you can see. That is the following item on your to-do list!
Endpoints in the cloud and server endpoints
The Azure File Sync Agent is installed.
You’ve completed your Azure setup. It’s time to deploy the Azure File Sync agent on-premises (or in an Azure VM). The Azure file share will interact with the agent.
- Open server management after logging in to your Windows Server 2019 instances.
Activate Server Manager.
2. To minimize web-related connection difficulties while installing the Azure File Sync agent, disable the Internet Explorer (IE) Security Configuration.
Disable the Internet Explorer security settings.
3. Next, download the StorageSyncAgent WS2019.msi Azure File Sync agent.
You may also get the Azure File Sync agent from the Azure File Sync service’s Registered server area.
4. Run the Setup wizard when the download is finished. All settings are safe to accept.
5. When the installer wizard is finished, it will launch a new setup wizard. The setup wizard now registers the server with the Azure File Sync service, creating a trust connection between your server and the Storage Sync Service.
Following the completion of the agent installation, the agent checks for updates or new releases. By clicking OK, you may proceed.
Wizard for Setup
6. Sign in to your Azure tenancy to complete the Azure File Sync service registration. If your Azure membership is in the public cloud, start by selecting Azure Public Cloud as the Azure Environment.
Access Azure Tenant by logging in.
7. Your tenant credentials will now be requested. Provide your login and password, making sure you use a global administrator account.
8. Next, enter all of the information for the storage sync service, including your Azure membership, the resource group that will be used to establish the storage sync service, and the name of the storage sync service.
Registration of Servers
At any one moment, each server may only be registered to one Sync Service.
9. You should get confirmation of success or failure after the registration is complete. The wizard also performs a background connection test against a set of Azure endpoints.
Connection and confirmation tests
confirmation of registration
Endpoint URI for Azure that was tested
10. Verify that the Windows Server instance is now a Registered server in the Azure Portal.
The server has been registered successfully.
Configuring the Server Endpoint
The Azure File Sync service has now registered your server. The registered server must now be configured as a server endpoint.
- Return to the Azure Portal and choose the Azure File Sync service. Select the sync group you should have previously established.
- As illustrated below, click Include a server endpoint.
Sign up as a Server Endpoint.
3. Select a registered server from the drop-down menu. It will be named Azure-FileSync if you’ve been following along with this guide.
4. For the path to sync files to, choose a place on the Windows Server instance where the Azure Shared Files should be downloaded. D: is the location for this instruction.
5. Disable the Cloud Tiering option since it is beyond the scope of this article.
6. Disable Offline Data Transfer since it is connected to Azure Data Box, which is not covered in this guide.
Include a server endpoint
The procedure might take a few minutes to finish. The endpoint is now visible, and the health status has been changed to pending.
7. Select the server as the process begins (shown below as Azure-FileSync). In the Server Endpoint Properties blade, you’ll get more specific information about the process.
Endpoint Status of the Server
Every 24 hours, the cloud endpoint conducts a detection operation, which means it might take up to 24 hours for files to sync.
8. Return to your Windows Server and open File Explorer once again. All of the folders you generated in the Azure interface are also created as Windows Server file system directories.
Any files you upload to any of these folders will be synced to the Azure Files storage account at this time. All files saved in the Azure Files storage account will be synced at the same time.
It will take some time to sync files from Azure to your server. Modifications to the Azure file share made via the Azure portal or SMB are not recognized and replicated as quickly as changes to the server endpoint.
Change alerts and journaling aren’t available in Azure Files yet, thus there’s no way to immediately start a sync session when files are modified. When files update on Windows Server, Azure File Sync leverages Windows USN journaling to immediately start a sync session.
The Azure file share has a directory called.SystemShareInformation. This folder must not be modified or deleted since it is required for Azure File Sync to work!
Azure File Sync Validation
Now that you’ve completed your aim of installing Azure File Sync on a Windows Server, it’s time to put the service to the test. Create a few files in any of the sync folders you’ve set up and watch the sync work.
An example of the file sync in operation is shown below.
A Windows Server synchronizing files to an Azure file share is one example.
Steps to Follow
Setting up Azure File Sync from the cloud to on-premises was covered in this post. It took a long time to set up Azure File Sync. Although there were several moving elements to setup, it was not difficult.
Visit the following links to learn more about Azure File Sync pricing and features including Cloud Tiering, Backups and Snapshots, Security, Encryption, Authentication, and more:
Azure File Sync is a cloud storage service that allows users to sync data with their computer. The “azure file sync agent” is the software that runs on your computer and syncs files with Azure File Sync.
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