How to Map a Network Drive to Azure File Storage?

Azure File Storage is a serverless solution for moving on-premises file-systems to the cloud. It enables organizations to share files with the Standard Message Block (SMB) protocol that is widely used for on-premises applications. With Azure File Storage, legacy applications can be lifted and shifted to the cloud. Before we understand how to map a network drive to Azure File Storage, let us take a look at some of the scenarios in which organizations can use Azure File Storage to their advantage.

When Should I Use Azure File Share?

Consider a scenario in which an organization has a global team working on virtual machines in such a way that they can access certain configuration files or web applications available on a single file share or location. With Azure File Share, .exe files such as those used for installing Windows Services with Apache Web Server or Tomcat can be stored on a network drive from which they can be accessed on the virtual machines of the users who may be working from remote locations. The users need not download them on the virtual desktops and can launch them directly.

Here are some other scenarios in which Azure File shares can simplify operations.

  • Complementing or replacing on-premises servers

    Azure File share can improve the performance of caching in on-premises servers or can be used to eliminate their requirement by allowing Windows, macOS, and Linux devices to mount file shares to Azure directly using the serverless model from anywhere in the world.

  • Seamlessly transition to the cloud

    Legacy applications and the data associated with them can be directly made available in the cloud. With this “lift and shift” model, it is possible to either move the entire setup to the cloud or allow the application to run on-premises with its data in Azure Files.

  • Facilitating application development

    Configuration files for distributed applications can be stored centrally that can be accessed by developers using mounting SMB shares. Similarly, developer and admins can work on virtual machines can access logs, tools, and utilities straight from network drives and other locations without having to copy them on their virtual desktops.

How to Map a Drive to Azure File Storage?

You will first have to create a Storage account on the Azure Portal. Follow the steps below to create a File Share before you can map it to a network drive.

  • From the newly created Azure Storage account, navigate to Files and then add a new File Service. You will have a provide a name to the file share and set a data limit in Quota.
  • Note the UNC address (URL) of the newly created file share that you can find either on the share properties or the connect blade along with the storage account name and key that you can find in the settings.
  • Open TCP port 445 from the Windows Firewall Advanced settings.
  • Use the file share details in the command prompt or as credentials in the Map network drive option in Windows Explorer to enable direct access to Azure File Storage on the drive.
  • Once you have mapped the drive to Azure, you can drag and drop the files from the network drive that will now be available in all the devices with access rights that are linked to the Azure tenant and on the Azure portal.

Apps4Rent Can Help with Azure Transition

Creating file share, deploying Azure Files, and mounting them using devices running on different operating systems can be a challenging task for organizations that are still familiarizing themselves with Azure. As a Tier 1 Microsoft CSP, Apps4Rent provides Azure Services at competitive prices along with 24/7/365 support for cloud services via phone, chat, and email. Contact us today for Azure File Storage assistance.

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