hands-on lab

Synchronize Files Across Servers with Azure File Sync

Up to 2h
Get guided in a real environmentPractice with a step-by-step scenario in a real, provisioned environment.
Learn and validateUse validations to check your solutions every step of the way.
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Azure File Sync centralizes your company's file shares in Azure Files. Azure File Sync transforms Windows Servers running on-premises or in the cloud into a quick cache of your Azure file share. When you choose Azure File Sync, you do not need to sacrifice the flexibility, performance, or compatibility of an on-premises file server. Any protocol supported by Windows Server, including SMB, NFS, and FTPS, can be used to access the data locally.

In this Lab, you will create an Azure File Sync sync topology consisting of two Windows Server 2019 VMs running in Azure. You will then try out the synchronization and cloud tiering capabilities of Azure File Sync to better understand how the service works.

Lab Objectives

Upon completion of this Lab, you will be able to:

  • Explain when to use and when not to use Azure File Sync
  • Create and test a multi-server sync group in Azure File Sync
  • Understand cloud tiering and how it can improve file sharing performance and save costs
  • Understand the fast disaster recovery feature of Azure File Sync

Lab Prerequisites

You should be familiar with:

  • Basic Azure compute and storage services, particularly VMs and storage accounts

The following Cloud Academy content can be used to meet the Lab's prerequisites:


April 16th, 2024 - Resolved Sync Group issue

January 12th, 2023 - Updated instructions to improve clarity

December 26th, 2023 - Addressed user ban issue and added warning

July 17th, 2023 - Updated the instructions and screenshots to reflect the latest UI

November 28th, 2022 - Updated screenshots & Instructions to match new UI.

July 19th, 2022 - Resolved sync agent installation issue

April 1st, 2022 - Updated steps to improve instruction clarity

January 24th, 2022 - Updated the instructions and screenshots to reflect the latest UI

December 29th, 2021 - Provided additional instruction regarding error handling

May 14th, 2021 - Resolved an issue causing the lab provisioning to fail in some cases

March 8th, 2021 - Added to the prior warning about the storage account not being visible in the sync group wizard. Microsoft confirmed it can take up to 15 minutes to appear.

March 1st, 2021 - Added workaround instructions to sign out and sign back into the Azure Portal when the sync group fails to detect any storage accounts are available

February 25th, 2021 - Added a warning to let lab setup complete before creating the sync group to avoid issues where no storage accounts are listed, and extended the time limit

February 11th, 2021 - Added troubleshooting tips in case the Storage Sync Service deployment fails, and clarified some instructions.

July 8th, 2020 - Updated the screenshots to match the new Azure UI

May 5th, 2020 - Added a validation check function to check the work done in the lab

January 14th, 2020 - Updated lab startup resources to avoid unsupported regions

November 15th, 2019 - Changed lab region to South Central US to avoid an issue that prevented completion of the lab in West US

June 26th, 2019 - Updated instructions for creating the Storage Sync Service to match the latest Portal experience

May 7th, 2019 - Added instructions to workaround an Azure bug that causes the create cloud endpoint permission check to fail despite the student user having the required permissions

Environment before

Environment after

About the author

Logan Rakai, opens in a new tab
Lead Content Developer - Labs
Learning paths

Logan has been involved in software development and research since 2007 and has been in the cloud since 2012. He is an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional, AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional, Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert, MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer, Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS), Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA), Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD), and Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA). He earned his Ph.D. studying design automation and enjoys all things tech.

LinkedIn, Twitter, GitHub

Covered topics

Lab steps

Logging in to the Microsoft Azure Portal
Creating a Storage Sync Service
Creating a File Share in Azure Files
Creating a Sync Group
Connecting to the Azure Virtual Machine (RDP)
Installing the File Sync Agent and Registering the Windows VM
Creating a Server Endpoint in the Sync Group
Testing the Sync Group with One Server Endpoint
Testing the Sync Group with Two Server Endpoints