Azure Files geo redundancy for large file shares is now in public preview for standard SMB file shares. The public preview is currently available in 32 regions and will be expanding to all regions.
For several years, Azure Files has been supporting large file shares, offering not only expansive file share capacity of up to 100TiB but also enhanced IO operations per second (IOPS) and throughput. Customers have widely adopted large file shares with locally redundant storage (LRS) and zone-redundant storage (ZRS) for their storage needs.
However, until now, the option of utilizing large file shares with geo-redundant storage (GRS) and geo-zone redundant storage (GZRS) was unavailable. This limitation is about to change, as Azure Files now extends its support for large file shares to include GRS and GZRS, opening up new possibilities for improved data redundancy and resilience across geographic regions.
Geo-redundancy is critical for meeting various compliance and regulatory requirements. Geo-redundant storage asynchronously replicates to a secondary region, and if the primary region becomes unavailable, you can initiate a failover to the secondary region.
You are no longer necessary to choose between performance and scale or geo-redundancy. With the latest advancements, you can now enjoy the benefits of both. By leveraging geo-redundancy and enabling large file shares on your new and existing storage accounts, you can substantially enhance your standard file share capacity and performance limits.
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Enable Azure Files Geo redundancy for Large File Shares Preview
This exciting feature allows you to enable geo-redundancy for your large file shares in Azure. By opting for this capability, you can ensure the safety and availability of your data across multiple Azure regions.
- Sign in to the Azure portal https://portal.azure.com/.
- Once you are inside the portal, Search for and select Preview features.
Here you can be exploring pre-release features with Preview Features. You can now opt-in and out of pre-release features with Preview Features. You can access it by searching in Azure or from All Services to see which features are available to your subscription.
You can register, unregister, and keep track of the registration state here. Click the Type filter and select Microsoft.Storage.
Select Azure Files geo redundancy for large file shares preview and click Register.
Once you register, a prompt will appear with the message Feature requests processed. Here you can see below the feature is appeared as Registered.
You can now use geo-redundancy and enable large file shares on the same share to significantly increase your standard file share capacity and performance limits:
- Capacity per share limit increases from 5 TiB to 100 TiB (20x increase)
- Max IOPS per share limit increases from 1,000 IOPS to 20,000 IOPS (20x increase)
- Max throughput per share increases from 60 MiB/s up to 300 MiB/s (5x increase)
|File share type||SMB||NFS|
|Standard file shares (GPv2), LRS/ZRS|
|Standard file shares (GPv2), GRS/GZRS|
|Premium file shares (FileStorage), LRS/ZRS|
By leveraging geo-redundancy and enabling large file shares on your new and existing storage accounts, you can substantially enhance your standard file share capacity and performance limits.
This means you can scale up your storage capacity, improve performance, and have the added advantage of geo-redundancy for enhanced data protection.
|Azure Files||Previous limits||Large file share limits|
|Capacity per share||5 TiB||100 TiB (20x increase)|
|Max IOPS per share||1,000 IOPS||20,000 IOPS (20x increase)|
|Max throughput per share||Up to 60 MiB/s||Up to 300 MiB/s (5x increase)|
Geo-redundant Storage Options
Azure maintains multiple copies of your data to ensure durability and high availability. For protection against regional outages, you can configure your storage account for GRS or GZRS to copy your data asynchronously in two geographic regions that are hundreds of miles apart.
Note! This preview adds GRS and GZRS support for standard storage accounts that have the large file shares feature enabled.
- Geo-redundant storage (GRS) copies your data synchronously three times within a single physical location in the primary region. It then copies your data asynchronously to a single physical location in the secondary region. Within the secondary region, your data is copied synchronously three times.
- Geo-zone-redundant storage (GZRS) copies your data synchronously across three Azure availability zones in the primary region. It then copies your data asynchronously to a single physical location in the secondary region. Within the secondary region, your data is copied synchronously three times.
You can now leverage the power of redundancy for large file shares, and the best part is that it’s supported for production, even in its preview phase. Pricing is based on the standard file share tier and redundancy option configured for the storage account.
About Author – Jitesh, Microsoft MVP, has over six years of working experience in the IT Industry. He writes and shares his experiences related to Microsoft device management technologies and IT Infrastructure management. His primary focus is Windows 10/11 Deployment solution with Configuration Manager, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), and Microsoft Intune.