Announcing the general availability of Azure premium files

Highly performant, fully managed file service in the cloud!

Today, we are excited to announce the general availability of Azure premium files for customers optimizing their cloud-based file shares on Azure. Premium files offers a higher level of performance built on solid-state drives (SSD) for fully managed file services in Azure.

Premium tier is optimized to deliver consistent performance for IO-intensive workloads that require high-throughput and low latency. Premium file shares store data on the latest SSDs, making them suitable for a wide variety of workloads like databases, persistent volumes for containers, home directories, content and collaboration repositories, media and analytics, high variable and batch workloads, and enterprise applications that are performance sensitive. Our existing standard tier continues to provide reliable performance at a low cost for workloads less sensitive to performance variability, and is well-suited for general purpose file storage, development/test, backups, and applications that do not require low latency.

Through our initial introduction and preview journey, we’ve heard from hundreds of our customers from different industries about their unique experiences. They’ve shared their learnings and success stories with us and have helped make premium file shares even better.

“Working with clients that have large amounts of data that is under FDA or HIPAA regulations, we always struggled in locating a good cloud storage solution that provided SMB access and high bandwidth… until Azure Files premium tier. When it comes to a secure cloud-based storage that offers high upload and download speeds for cloud and on-premises VM clients, Azure premium files definitely stands out.”

– Christian Manasseh, Chief Executive Officer, Mobius Logic

“The speeds are excellent. The I/O intensive actuarial CloudMaster software tasks ran more than 10 times faster in the Azure Batch solution using Azure Files premium tier. Our application has been run by our clients using 1000’s of cores and the Azure premium files has greatly decreased our run times.”

– Scott Bright, Manager Client Data Services, PolySystems

Below are the key benefits of the premium tier. If you’re looking for more technical details, read the previous blog post “Premium files redefine limits for Azure Files.”

Performant, dynamic, and flexible

With premium tier, performance is what you define. Premium file shares’ performance can instantly scale up and down to fit your workload performance characteristics. Premium file shares can massively scale up to 100 TiB capacity and 100K IOPS with a target total throughput of 10 GiB/s. Not only do premium shares include the ability to dynamically tune performance, but also offer bursting capability to meet highly variable workload requirements with short peak periods of intense IOPS.

"We recently migrated our retail POS microservices to Azure Kubernetes Service with premium files. Our experience has been simply amazing – premium files permitted us to securely deploy our 1.2K performant Firebird databases. No problem with size or performance, just adapt the size of the premium file share to instantly scale. It improved our business agility, much needed to serve our rapidly growing customer base across multiple retail chains in France."

– Arnaud Le Roy, Chief Technology Officer, Menlog

We partnered with our internal Azure SQL and Microsoft Power BI teams to build solutions on premium files. As a result, Azure Database for PostgreSQL and Azure Database for MySQL recently opened a preview of increased scale of 16 TiB databases with 20,000 IOPS powered by premium files. Microsoft Power BI announced a powerful 20 times faster enhanced dataflows compute engine preview built upon Azure Files premium tier.

Global availability with predictable cost

Azure Files premium tier is currently available in 19 Azure regions globally. We are continually expanding regional coverage. You can check the Azure region availability page for the latest information.

Premium tier provides the most cost-effective way to create highly-performant and highly-available file shares in Azure. Pricing is simple and cost is predictable–you only pay a single price per provisioned GiB. Refer to the pricing page for additional details.

Seamless Azure experience

Customers receive all features of Azure Files in this new offering, including snapshot/restore, Azure Kubernetes Service and Azure Backup integration, monitoring, hybrid support via Azure File Sync, Azure portal, PowerShell/CLI/Cloud Shell, AzCopy, Azure Storage Explorer support, and the list goes on. Developers can leverage their existing code and skills to migrate applications using familiar Azure Storage client libraries or Azure Files REST APIs. The opportunities for future integration are limitless. Reach out to us if you would like to see more.

With the availability of premium tier, we’re also enhancing the standard tier. To learn more, visit the onboarding instructions for the standard files 100 TiB preview.

Get started and share your experiences

It is simple and takes two minutes to get started with premium file shares. Please see detailed steps for how to create a premium file share.

Visit Azure Files premium tier documentation to learn more. As always, you can share your feedback and experiences on the Azure Storage forum or email us at Post your ideas and suggestions about Azure Storage on our feedback forum.

Source: Azure Blog Feed

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