Written by 9:04 am Microsoft, Microsoft Azure, Windows Server • 11 Comments

Sync File Servers with Azure File Sync in Windows Admin Center

Azure File Sync Windows Admin Center

One of the biggest challenges a lot of customers are facing is the capability to provide access to files everywhere and have DR plans in place. This becomes especially true when you are dealing with classic file server infrastructures. Where it is difficult to manage capacity, availability, replication and much more. The Azure Storage team is addressing that need with Azure File Sync. Azure File Sync allows you to sync your file servers with an Azure Files. Azure File is a simple, secure, and fully managed cloud file share solution, using SMB 3.0 and HTTPS.

Azure File Sync

In addition, the service allows the customer to use functionality like:

  • Cloud Tiering
  • Cloud Access
  • Multi-site Sync
  • Cloud Backup
  • Rapid File Server DR

In this post I will cover how, Windows Admin Center will help you to deploy Azure File Sync, if you want to know more, check out the Azure File Sync documentation page.

Setup Azure File Sync with Windows Admin Center

If you are planning to deploy this solution, I highly recommend to read the planning for an Azure File Sync deployment documentation, to make sure you understand the topology, requirements, architecture and limitations. You can also find the documentation to deploy Azure File Sync without Windows Admin Center on the Microsoft Docs.

High-level steps:

  1. Deploy the Storage Sync Service (Azure)
  2. Create a sync group and a cloud endpoint (Azure)
  3. Install the Azure File Sync Agent (Windows Admin Center)
  4. Register Windows Server with Storage Sync Service (Windows Admin Center)
  5. Add a server endpoint in the sync group (Azure)

Deploying the Storage Sync Service and creating the sync group with the cloud endpoint, is working the same as you would deploy the solution without Windows Admin Center, follow the steps on the documentation page.

To deploy the agent, open Windows Admin Center and click on Azure File Sync.

You can click on setup to start the wizard which will walk you through the setup process.

WAC Azure File Sync Overview

After the installation has completed, you can see that the agent is installed and the server is registered.

WAC Azure File Sync Registered Servers

You can also check the Azure portal to see that the server is added and registered with the Storage Sync Service

WAC Register Server to new Sync Group

You can now add the server to the sync group as a server endpoint. In Windows Admin Center, you can test if the file share is compatible with the sync service.

WAC Azure File Sync Sync Group

The server and now be added as a server endpoint in the sync group. This has do be done in the Azure portal, by clicking on “Add server endpoint”. After a couple of minutes, the server is added to the sync group and files will be synced between servers and the cloud endpoints.

The result

In my example case, I sync server FS01, FS02 and the cloud endpoint (Azure File Share) called filesync.

As you can see both servers now show the same files and folders:

WAC Azure File Sync File Share Server 1

FS01 – File Server 1

WAC Azure File Sync File Share Server 2

FS02 – File Server 2

WAC Azure File Sync Azure File Share

And you can also see the same folder structure on the Azure File Share.

I hope this gives you a quick overview of how you can use and synchronizes hybrid file shares with your on-prem environment, and configure this easily with Windows Admin Center.

Configure Azure Hybrid Services in Windows Admin Center Video Series

I have created a short video series which shows how to set up the Azure Hybrid services directly from Windows Admin Center. You can start with the intro here and then follow the different videos, and check out our overview blog about Configure Azure Hybrid Services in Windows Admin Center.

Besides, you can also have a look at my other blog post about how to set up Azure hybrid cloud services.

If you want to download Windows Admin Center, check out the download page. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.

How to buy Azure Stack HCI Solutions

WAC is also part of the Azure Stack HCI solutions, check out my blog about it.

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