FSLogix Storage Solutions
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Your Storage is your data, so in Azure Virtual Desktop we need to address your storage needs. This comes in a few flavors: FSLogix User Profiles and Office Profiles as well as the Storage solution that they will be mounted from and the disks for your Operating Systems and data drives.  

In this course, we will help you design your Azure Virtual Desktop storage components so you can get the most out of them in your AVD solution but also control cost to make AVD a more cost-effective solution with a dedicated focus on preparing you for the Azure Virtual Desktop Specialty exam.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand Azure Virtual Desktop Storage requirements
  • Recommend an appropriate storage solution 
  • Configure storage for FSLogix components
  • Configure storage solution
  • Configure disks
  • Create and configure file shares
  • Protect your storage using Azure Backup
  • Understand high availability and disaster recovery

Intended Audience

  • Azure administrators with subject matter expertise in planning, delivering, and managing virtual desktop experiences and remote apps, for any device, on Azure
  • Anyone looking to learn more about Azure Virtual Desktop


To get the most out of this course, you should already have some knowledge of:

  • Azure Storage accounts
  • Storage capacity planning
  • Storage performance 
  • Windows PowerShell

There are three supported storage solutions for FSLogix in Azure Virtual Desktop, Azure Files, Azure NetApp Files, and a Windows Storage Spaces Direct File Server Cluster. There are many reasons for choosing one particular solution over another, but I could best sum it up this way. Storage Spaces Direct is a self-managed storage solution built on top of a Windows File Server Cluster. It needs a minimum of two Azure virtual machines to function. Each Server in the cluster will also need to have multiple high-performance disks and to make the cluster work, you will need Azure blob storage as a cloud witness.

Now managing your own server for this kind of thing means that you will have more control over the VM size, disk configuration, security, and cost, however, it's not as scalable as the other solutions and troubleshooting is all on you. So, if you've never managed a storage spaces direct cluster before, I would not suggest that you start now. Especially because you can get more scale with less management out of the other cloud platform services.

Azure NetApp Files is a true first-party service in Azure. Its NetApp storage technology that is operated and supported by internal Microsoft personnel who are NetApp experts. Azure NetApp files is the highest performing storage solution in the cloud today. You can have 12.5 petabytes of storage per subscription with speeds up to 400,000 IOPS. ANF is also a special service in Azure that you must sign up to enable so we will not be using it as part of this course.

Azure files are built on top of Azure storage accounts and there are two performance tiers, standard and premium, both of which can support up to 100 terabytes per share. Standard File shares by default can have 1,000 IOPS per share but there's a switch that you can enable called large file shares which will enable up to 10,000 IOPS. And notice I said, up to 10,000 IOPS.

Standard does not have guaranteed performance and performance is more volatile because standard storage is built on hard disk drives. Premium File Shares have a maximum of 100,000 IOPS. Premium does have guaranteed performance because it is built on SSDs. Premium also has a benefit that's called SMB multi-channel. This is where you can increase the number of network connections between the File Share and your Session Hosts, and you can get more threads, which means more processing and more performance. Since Azure premium files is the recommended solution for production workloads that's what we'll be using today.

About the Author

Dean Cefola is a Principal Azure Engineer at Microsoft and has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years. Dean has been supporting Azure Virtual Desktop from the beginning and is the Microsoft FastTrack Global Leader for AVD.