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What Are Files?


What Are Blobs?
Implement Azure Storage Blobs and Azure Files
Implement Storage Tables
8m 50s
Implement Azure Storage Queues
Manage Access
Monitor Storage
Implement SQL Databases
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1h 18m

Course Description

This course teaches you how to work with Azure Storage and its associated services.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, you'll have gained a firm understanding of the key components that comprise the Azure Storage platform. Ideally, you will achieve the following learning objectives:

  • How to comprehend the various components of Azure storage services.
  • How to implement and configure Azure storage services. 
  • How to manage access and monitor your implementation. 

Intended Audience

This course is intended for individuals who wish to pursue the Azure 70-532 certification.


You should have work experience with Azure and general cloud computing knowledge.

This Course Includes

  • 1 hour and 17 minutes of high-definition video.
  • Expert-led instruction and exploration of important concepts surrounding Azure storage services.

What You Will Learn

  • An introduction to Azure storage services.
  • How to implement Azure storage blobs and Azure files.
  • How to implement storage tables.
  • How to implement storage queues.
  • How to manage access and monitor storage.
  • How to implement SQL databases.  

Hello, and welcome back. In this session, we are going to understand a little bit more about what files are, in the context of Azure.

This section will briefly cover the use of files within Azure, we'll discuss the creation of file shares, and directories in Azure, and how to access files, both from Azure, and from On-Premise. Note that, given the way Azure storage handles files, there are no new develop options compared to coding against On-Premise's files. This means that this area is not considered further after this brief introduction.

File storage gives you file shares in the cloud. It aims to be a simple, and straightforward as possible, and to deliver this, it supports the standard SMB protocol. It can therefore be used like any other file share, which makes it easier and quicker to migrate legacy applications to Azure. This extends to being able to have both Azure applications, and On-Premise applications using the same file share. You can use powershell, or any development language, .net, Java, F sharp, Python, etc., to work on these file shares. The directories and files within a file share are accessed using a similar URL to Blob's. In this case, we have a high-level address to access files within a storage account. Moviesstorageaccount.file.core.windows.net, followed by strings for the file share, movieshare, for example, and the directory, sci-fi, and the file name, TotalRecall.avi.

Files allow you to create file shares in the cloud, which can therefore allow a quick migration of legacy applications to Azure. The standard server message blog, SMB, is available with SMB 2.1, and 3.0 being supported. You can use existing tools and skills. For example, use standard file system APIs, and file system related powershell commandlets. Applications running in Azure, or On-premise can mount to file share in just the same way you would with an SMB share on an internal machine.

Other uses, apart from migration of applications, include sharing application settings in configuration files, storing diagnostic data, logs, metrics, crash dumps, storing tools, and utilities for development, and admin on Azure. This course briefly explains how to create and use a file share in Azure.

This diagram illustrates how files fit within the storage hierarchy. You first create a storage count, and then you create any number of file shares. Within each file share, you can create a hierarchy of directories, and within this, store files. In this case, we have replicated the Blob storage example, and created a file share for movies. We have then created directories for each movie genre. For example, sci-fi, comedy, action, romance. We can then use this to store videos that fit into the genres.

In this demo, we will illustrate how to create a file share directly from within the Azure portal. Let's go there now, and get started. In this demo, we illustrate how to create a file share directly within the Azure portal. We'll use the same storage count as we did for Blobs. In the portal, first select file selection in the middle here. At the top of the menu, click the plus symbol with file share. We can then specify the name, and size, in gigabytes, to share. Let's call this one movie share, and we will just give it 10 GB. It has a maximum size of 5120 GB, so there should be plenty of room for most things. Once you've done that, we can click create. Now we can select our movie share, and we can add some directories as required. We are going to add two directories, one for sci-fi, and one for comedy.

You could then upload files just using the Azure portal. Instead, why don't you use the file share from within Windows. To do this, just open a command prompt, and map a drive, using net use, just as this example here shows. Note that you need to provide the access key found under your user account settings for the storage account. Once you run the command, you can simply use file Explorer to work with the file share.

Stay tuned. Next, we'll be looking at what tables are, within the context of Azure.

About the Author

Isaac has been using Microsoft Azure for several years now, working across the various aspects of the service for a variety of customers and systems. He’s a Microsoft MVP and a Microsoft Azure Insider, as well as a proponent of functional programming, in particular F#. As a software developer by trade, he’s a big fan of platform services that allow developers to focus on delivering business value.