Azure File Sync: Fileserver for the Cloud

At the developer conference 'Ignite' in Florida, Microsoft announced a new Azure service, which synchronizes on-premise file servers with Azure datacenters. 

In contrast to other file-sync-services, like DropBox, Owncloud or OneDrive, which users use to synchronize files between their multiple devices, Azure File Sync is an extension of the Windows File Services for Windows Server. Azure File Sync rather addresses to companies than to consumers. 

To be able to use the service and to communicate with the Azure Database, first an activated Azure subscription is needed, as well as the installation of an agent on the local file server. The agent is monitoring the local file system and replicates new or changed files to the cloud. 

Azure File Sync not only supports the synchronization between one site and the cloud, but also supports multi-master synchronization. This concept collects fileserver from multiple sites into Sync Groups, with one Azure cloud endpoint. By this way, companies will be able to replicate files among their subsidiaries. 

Further features are a backup function that is also able to restore accidentally deleted files, as well as a function that will automatically remove seldom used files from the on-premise file server and provide them in the cloud only. 

Azure File Sync has been available as preview on the Azure marketplace since September 25th, 2017. Whether and when this service will be available in the Azure Deutschland cloud, is not yet known. 

Sources: Microsoft, WindowsPro

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