Larger standard file shares for Azure Files are now generally available

Improvements to Microsoft's Azure Files service in the past few months include general availability for new some security features in August, and the introduction of zone redundant storage (ZRS) for the premium tier in September. A few weeks before that, in July, a 'large file shares' feature was previewed, offering the attraction of a larger and higher scale standard tier for Azure Files.

Today, Microsoft has announced that this feature has reached general availability. With this, the improvements brought in terms of file sharing capacity and performance for the standard tier can now be experienced by users across 13 regions.

A single standard file share now supports up to 100TiB capacity, 10K IOPS, and 300MiB/s throughput in general purpose accounts. These changes can also be compared with the previous specifications by observing the graphic provided on the side. Premium file shares in FileStorage accounts, meanwhile, already support this feature by default. Obviously, the premium tier also provides better latencies in the form of highly performant file shares.

As for new capabilities that have been introduced for large file shares ever since it has been in preview, the list below should provide a helpful overview:

  • Ability to upgrade existing general purpose storage accounts and existing file shares.
  • Ability to opt in for larger files shares at a storage account instead of subscription level.
  • Expanded regional coverage.
  • Support for both locally redundant and zonal redundant storages.
  • Improvements in the performance and scale of sync to work better with larger file shares. Visit Azure File Sync scalability targets to keep informed of the latest scale.

For those creating a new storage account for supported data redundancy types, the 'Large file shares' option should be selected from the 'Advanced' tab. Existing storage accounts, meanwhile, can use the feature by visiting the 'Configuration' panel, enabling 'Large file shares', and then saving the change. Importantly, once this option has been selected, users cannot revert back to the earlier standard file shares option. As such, they should make sure that this is what they want to opt for before making the change. All file shares created by default on either of the aforementioned type of accounts will then have 100TiB capacity. Detailed information on how to enable this option for new and existing accounts can be obtained here.

Notably, although this this expanded tier comes at no additional costs, support for only locally redundant storage (LRS) and ZRS data redundancies is provided for now. As is aforementioned, 13 regions can currently utilize large file shares, though coverage will be expanded to all Azure regions soon. You can learn more about regional availability going ahead here.

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