What is Azure Files?

Azure Files offers fully managed file shares in the cloud that are accessible via the industry standard Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. Azure file shares can be mounted concurrently by cloud or on-premises deployments of Windows, Linux, and macOS. Additionally, Azure file shares can be cached on Windows Servers with Azure File Sync for fast access near where the data is being used.

Video Walk-through


Before you can work with an Azure file share, you have to create an Azure storage account. A general-purpose v2 storage account provides access to all of the Azure Storage services: blobs, files, queues, and tables. The quickstart creates a general-purpose v2 storage account but, the steps to create any type of storage account are similar. A storage account can contain an unlimited number of shares. A share can store an unlimited number of files, up to the capacity limits of the storage account.

To create a general-purpose v2 storage account in the Azure portal, follow these steps:

Create a Storage Account

  • On the Azure portal menu, select All services. In the list of resources, type Storage Accounts. As you begin typing, the list filters based on your input. Select Storage Accounts.
  • On the Storage Accounts window that appears, choose Add.
  • Select the subscription in which to create the storage account.
  • Under the Resource group field, select Create new. Enter a name for your new resource group, as shown in the following image.
  • Next, enter a name for your storage account. The name you choose must be unique across Azure. The name also must be between 3 and 24 characters in length, and can include numbers and lowercase letters only.
  • Select a location for your storage account, or use the default location.
  • Leave these fields set to their default values:
  • Select Review + Create to review your storage account settings and create the account.

Next, you create a file share.

  • When the Azure storage account deployment is complete, select Go to resource.
  • Select Files from the storage account pane.
  • Select File Share.
  • Name the new file share > enter “1” for the Quota > select Create. The quota can be a maximum of 5 TiB, but you only need 1 GiB for the demo purpose
  • Select the new file share, then on the file share location, select Upload.
  • Browse to the location where you created your .txt file > select .txt > select Upload.

So far, you’ve created an Azure storage account and a file share with one file in it in Azure. Next step is, you can use a Local Windows 10 or Linux, or Mac or a Windows Server OS to connect the drive to test the Map drive feature.

Connect to your VM

  • Select Connect on the virtual machine properties page.
  • In the Connect to virtual machine page, keep the default options to connect by IP address over port number 3389 and select Download RDP file.
  • Open the downloaded RDP file and select Connect when prompted.
  • In the Windows Security window, select More choices and then Use a different account. Type the username as localhost\username, where <username> is the VM admin username you created for the virtual machine. Enter the password you created for the virtual machine, and then select OK.

Map the Azure file share to a Windows drive

  • Go back to the FileShare you had created before and select the fileshare
  • Select Connect
  • Login to a Win10 or Win Server
  • Launch the PowerShell (not admin rights)
  • Paste the connection string copied from the Azure portal
  • And watch the drive magically attaches to your local computer
  • You don’t need a VPN solution to connect to the Map Drive, as long as your machine is connected to the Internet you will be able to access the Map drive.

I hope the information provided was helpful!


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