It has been announced at the Microsoft Ignite conference, a new functionality has been added to Azure Files services called Azure File Sync.

With Azure File Sync you can synchronize your files stored on Azure File services with your On Premises files servers, and the other way around.

To take advantage of it, you need to create a cloud endpoint and a server on point (basically the cloud and the on premises endpoints) and set the replication.

You can define different endpoints to keep your files synchronized across the world.

You can try this new feature from https://aka.ms/deployAzureFileSync or by searching Storage Sync Services – at this stage (probably because this is a preview, you do not have the ability to create a synchronization from the Storage Sync

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Create an Azure Share

Access the storage account you want to use for the Azure File Sync service and access the Files service from the Overview blade

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Then click on the File Share button and name it – optionally you can set a quota

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Enable Azure File Sync

After accessing the Storage Sync blade using the link provided above you just have to name it and define the location/resource group and subscription associated with

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If you create a new resource group, the deployment may failed. In this case, just search for the deployment group you wanted to create (it has been created) and create a new storage account (don’t forget to create a File share) )and then a new resource (search for Azure File Sync)

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Prepare On Premises Server

Using a Windows Server 2012 R2 or later, ensure you have disabled Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration and have PowerShell 5.1 enabled (get PS 5.1 for Windows Server 2012 R2 here https://www.microsoft.com/download/details.aspx?id=54616) with Azure RM Powershell installed (see https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=856959)

Then download and install the Azure Sync Client from https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=858257

NOTE during the preview all available features (Azure File Sync, Work Folders and Management Tool) will be installed

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During the installation, additional features may be installed, like Web Server IIS.

A restart may also be required.

NOTE you may have to run the installation using an elevated command prompt if you get a pop up saying “This version of Storage Sync Agent is applicable to Windows Server 2016 operating system only” while the operating system is already Windows Server 2016

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Register the server

Once the installation of the agent is completed, the registration wizard must come up automatically; if not just start the wizard manually by executing ServerRegistration.exe from the installation folder (default is C:\Program Files\Azure\StorageSyncAgent)

Then you have to sign in with an administrator account to your tenant

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Then you select the appropriate subscription, resource group and storage sync service

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NOTE one last authentication is needed during the preview

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Once completed the server will be displayed in the Azure File Sync\Registered Servers blade

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NOTE it seems there is bug in the OS detection as mine is reported Windows Server 2012 while this is Windows Server 2016

If you click on the server from the blade, you will be able to unregister it

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Create a Sync Group

A sync group defines the synchronization topology, like the DFS functionality in Windows.

Endpoint within a sync group will be kept in synch between each other. A sync group must contains at least one cloud and one on-premises endpoints.

To create a sync group, open the Azure File Sync\Sync Groups blade

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Name your sync group and define the cloud endpoint by selecting the appropriate subscription, storage account (use the Select storage account button) and the Azure File share

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Once the synchronization group is created, you can then edit it to add at least one on-premises server

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The option Cloud Tiering allows infrequently accessed files to be tiered to Azure

This is it, your Azure File Sync service is ready to use.