Simple Offsite File Storage

by | Apr 6, 2018 | Infrastructure | 0 comments

Do you need offsite storage of your files in case of a site failure?

Is fast file recovery in case of disaster important?

Disaster Recovery (DR) is something that is very important to all organizations.  However, it doesn’t need to be overly complex or overly expensive.  Microsoft has two offerings that help many organizations meet their DR goals: Azure File Sync and StorSimple Virtual Array. These solutions will automatically copy files to cloud storage, keeping local copies of those that have been accessed recently, while still providing seamless access to all of them.

Both solutions are great for archival data, user documents, photos, drawings, etc.  Both are also designed to automatically copy data and files to cloud storage while leaving a placeholder for blocks or files that have not been accessed recently enabling easy download if needed.

Azure File Sync

  • This solution is still in preview but releasing very soon; it should be generally available by June 2018.
  • It installs as an application on an existing server and synchronizes shared drives up to the cloud.
  • You can choose to keep a copy of everything on a local share or have it automatically migrate files that have not been accessed to cloud storage.
  • This solution is seamless to the users; they keep using their same share location.
  • You can also connect another server to that share. This is good for remote sites that may need access to the same shares from a different server.
  • It makes disaster recovery testing simple since you can have it running before the testing.

The easiest way to think of Azure File Sync is like a Branch Cache server – it is essentially caching it locally and the real copies are in Azure (which is why it is easy to point other branches to the data as well).

StorSimple Virtual Array

  • It installs as a guest on Hyper-V or VMware.
  • The solution works best best as an iSCSI target. You would then present the shares from a file server connected to the iSCSI target.
  • This also could be configured as a SMB file server or NAS but there are more limitations for growth and scale.
  • You can’t connect more than one server to the cloud data. However, creation of a new appliance in the event of a failure takes minutes, and the data is available as soon as it connects to the cloud.
  • You can also pin data so there is always a local copy.

As you can see, both options are good solutions to enable you to replicate your data to the cloud.  This allows you to free up (expensive) space used by files that need to be accessible while providing a solid option for DR.

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