Last week Azure had some big news! My pun is weak as the big news is for bigger file shares. Larger file shares went public on 17-October 2019 in Microsoft Azure.

This is indeed a significant step forward in scalability. Before this, file shares could not go larger than around 5.5 TB (5 TiB). Now, file shares can be over 109 TB (100 TiB). While this is indeed good news, there are a few steps that need to be taken in order to use these immediately. This comes from a much anticipated first announcement and broad preview.

Luckily, Microsoft provided a guide on how to enable and create large file shares. This is important as not every configuration in Azure can currently use this configuration. For example, I went to create a large file share in my account that I do most of my work currently and it was not available. However, if I selected a different region and configuration, I was able to add it. Additionally, please note that not all regions have the same redundancy offerings for large file shares (See this outlined). Note that it becomes even more interesting in that for example in the East US region large file shares are supported for new accounts, but some accounts must be upgraded (Upgrading can be easy by the way).

To give some perspective, take the current list of North American regions:

  • East US
  • East US 2
  • South Central US
  • West US 2
  • Central US
  • North Central US
  • West US
  • Canada Central
  • West Central US
  • Canada East

Of the list of North American Azure regions, there are 4 regions where large file shares are available:

  • East US
  • West Central US
  • West US
  • West US 2

After you have found regions that work for your use cases for Azure large file shares, which I do not expect this to be a long-term limitation, you can deploy storage accounts with the new capabilities. Here is an example of a file share being made with the larger limit:

It is important to find a supported region and redundancy policy for large file shares.

This configuration is supported for larger files and on the Advanced tab you can see the explicit support that is required to create the larger file shares:

You can have a 100 TiB file share here too!

With these supported configurations, redundancy configuration and regions; you will be able to use these larger shares up to 100 TiB. You may wonder, what is a Tebibyte anyway?

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