Today, Microsoft has announced the general availability of the premium tier for its Azure Files service. The tech giant has improved upon the service since its introduction last year, and has now made it available in 19 Azure regions globally.
Premium files offer a much higher-level performance built upon solid-state drives (SSDs). In particular, tasks that are I/O-intensive and require a significantly higher throughput and lower latency will experience consistency in performance. Data storage on SSDs also makes premium files suitable for a wide array of workloads, including databases, home directories, and more.
The high-performance, dynamic, and flexible nature of the new tier have been recognized as its key benefits by Microsoft. File sharing performance can instantly be scaled up and down depending upon the requirements of the workload. With an upper threshold of 100 TiB capacity and 100K IOPS offered with a target total throughput of 10 GiB/s, premium shares cannot only be dynamically tuned as per needs, but can also burst their input/output operations per second (IOPS) up to a factor of three. The burst limit, however, is not guaranteed to be achieved. Interestingly, new solutions recently announced for Microsoft Power BI come as a result of them being built upon the Azure Files premium tier.
Furthermore, as one would expect, all existing features of Azure Files standard tier are available with the new offering, while applications can be migrated using Azure Storage client libraries or Azure Files REST APIs. Enhancements are being made to the standard tier following the general availability of premium file shares as well. However, premium file shares will currently only be offered with locally-redundant storage (LRS), in comparison to locally-redundant, zone-redundant, and geo-redundant storage support in the standard tier.
You can check out the documentation for Azure Files premium tier to learn more about it, while pricing details can be read about here. Although this service is currently available in 19 Azure regions globally, Microsoft plans to expand it in the coming months. For more information regarding GA in planned regions, you can check the Azure regional availability page.