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What kind of storage to use in a File Server RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi!

    I want to setup a Windows Server File Server on Azure.

    I need about 30 TB of storage. This storage would be use for storing regular files (Word, Excel) etc, that a customer uses as a File Server.

    What kind of storage should I use?

    Kind regards

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 9:33 AM

Answers

  • I don't really agree with using Premium storage, as we're talking about "regular" data storage.

    IMHO data storage could do with less IOPS. And we're talking about 3 times the price for Premium storage. Using the Azure pricing calculator only storage would end up with about 3700€ per month for premium, while you would have a max of about 1050€ per month for standard (max because with standard you're charged for the data you actually use, while premium charges the VHD size). That's a steep price increase while you still can deliver 15.000 IOPS with 30 standard disks.

    One thing to take in account is that managed disks uses LRS only. If you want your data to be replicated off-size (to another Azure Datacenter), you want to use ZRS or GRS, which only is available in unmanaged disks.


    Floris van der Ploeg - www.florisvanderploeg.com

    If my post was helpfull, remember to click the "Propose as answer" button.

    • Marked as answer by ThijsLecomte Wednesday, April 12, 2017 12:35 PM
    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 10:39 AM

All replies

  • It is recommended to use premium storage for all production work loads, due to it's better performance. I would also suggest using managed disks, this is going to be particularly useful for you as you are going to need to span that storage over multiple disks, with manged disks Azure will take care of all the underlying storage accounts making your life much easier.

    The maximum disk size at the moment is 1TB, so to get that 30TB your going to need to use 30 disks and then join them togther using storage spaces inside your VM. To be able to use 30 disks your VM size is limited to DS5 or DS14/15 (and the v2 versions).


    Sam Cogan Microsoft Azure MVP
    Blog | Twitter

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 10:20 AM
  • I don't really agree with using Premium storage, as we're talking about "regular" data storage.

    IMHO data storage could do with less IOPS. And we're talking about 3 times the price for Premium storage. Using the Azure pricing calculator only storage would end up with about 3700€ per month for premium, while you would have a max of about 1050€ per month for standard (max because with standard you're charged for the data you actually use, while premium charges the VHD size). That's a steep price increase while you still can deliver 15.000 IOPS with 30 standard disks.

    One thing to take in account is that managed disks uses LRS only. If you want your data to be replicated off-size (to another Azure Datacenter), you want to use ZRS or GRS, which only is available in unmanaged disks.


    Floris van der Ploeg - www.florisvanderploeg.com

    If my post was helpfull, remember to click the "Propose as answer" button.

    • Marked as answer by ThijsLecomte Wednesday, April 12, 2017 12:35 PM
    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 10:39 AM
  • Assuming you are running this file server as a single VM, not in some sort or replicated cluster, then using premium storage is a requirement for getting the single instance VM SLA of 99.9. So if you need an SLA with a single VM it's the only way to go

    Floris is correct on the replication, the only way you can get geo replication to another region is to use standard storage in non managed disk from, at present that is the only option that supports geo replication. Premium storage on non-managed disks also does not support geo replication. With these options data is still replicated 3 times inside the same region.


    Sam Cogan Microsoft Azure MVP
    Blog | Twitter

    • Marked as answer by ThijsLecomte Wednesday, April 12, 2017 12:36 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by ThijsLecomte Wednesday, April 12, 2017 12:36 PM
    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 10:51 AM
  • I agree with Floris. 3700 € per month is a really high price to pay for premium storage.
    It's just for files.
    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 12:37 PM
  • What blob storage be an option for me?
    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 12:37 PM
  • In the end, managed or unmanaged disks is page blob anyway. If you want to host your data in Azure and have it available for your end users, you can either use File Services or host a file server in Azure.

    The file services is very usefull, however you can't do any Access Control on it (anybody who has the access key, can read/write everywhere), so I won't recommend doing this.

    You can't use block blobs to serve your data in this way, so you're bound to hosting a file server in Azure.


    Floris van der Ploeg - www.florisvanderploeg.com

    If my post was helpfull, remember to click the "Propose as answer" button.

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 1:27 PM
  • I currently installed a Windows Server 2016, installed the file server role and I am now deciding which kind of storage to use (managed or unmanaged). Is this the correct way to host a file server in Azure?
    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 3:09 PM
  • It depends on what you are trying to achieve, you've not really given us any information on your requirements around performance, availiblity or security.

    There are many ways to host files in Azure, by the sounds of it your clients, whatever they are, need SMB/CIFS access, is that correct?

    If that's the case the case then you are really looking at 3 options:

    1. Azure Files - SMB access to Azure storage directly, no IaaS file server required, however you are limited to standard storage and there are a no per user permissions, all access i controlled via a single storage key. Users access via mapped drive. Azure platform takes care of resilience and availiblity

    2. Windows File server running as an IaaS VM. This is pretty much what you have setup, create a VM, add disks and  provide access as you would on prem. This option lets you use whatever storage you want (based on your performance and SLA requirements), but means you need to take care of resilience and availability (as well as things like Windows updates, AV etc.).

    3. Use a Linux IaaS file server with SAMBA. Same as 2, but using Linux.


    Sam Cogan Microsoft Azure MVP
    Blog | Twitter

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 4:15 PM