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What are Azure Files?

Azure Files is a fully managed, cloud-based file storage service provided by Microsoft Azure that allows you to share files across multiple servers and platforms. One of the key features of Azure Files is the ability to create and organize files in folders, similar to how you would on a traditional file server. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at how folders work in Azure Files and how you can use them to share files with others.


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Azure Files Overview.

First, it’s important to understand the difference between a file share and a folder in Azure Files. A file share is the top-level object in Azure Files and acts as a logical grouping of file data. Each file share can have an unlimited number of files and folders, but cannot have sub-shares. On the other hand, a folder is a virtual directory within a file share, and can contain both other folders and files.

Folders in Azure Files are not actual directories, but rather a virtual way of organizing your files. When you upload a file to a share, you can specify the path of the file within the share using a forward slash (/) as a delimiter. This creates the appearance of a hierarchical file system, where the forward slashes indicate the level of nesting. For example, if you upload a file to the share “myshare” with the path “documents/finance/budget.xlsx,” this creates the appearance of a folder “documents” within the share “myshare” containing a subfolder “finance” which in turn contains the file “budget.xlsx”.


How do you use Azure Files?

Folders in Azure Files can be created, deleted and listed in the same way as files, but the main difference is that folders do not have any properties and do not consume any storage. Instead, the size of a folder is determined by the size of the files within it.

One of the main benefits of using folders in Azure Files is the ability to share files with others. Azure Files allows you to create a shared access signature (SAS) for a specific folder, which can be used to grant read or write access to the files within that folder. This can be useful in scenarios where you need to share a group of files with a specific set of users, without giving them access to the entire file share.

Another benefit of using folders in Azure Files is that it allows for better organization and management of your files. By using folders, you can easily group files by project, department, or date, making it easier to find and manage your data, especially if you have a large amount of files in your share.

Folders in Azure Files also integrate well with other Azure services like Azure Data Factory, Azure Logic Apps and Azure Functions, with the ability to mount the file share as a network drive and access the data with the standard file system operations, you can easily automate data movement, workflows and integration with other services that need access to the files in the share.

In conclusion, folders in Azure Files are a powerful feature that can help you share and organize files more effectively. They can help you create a hierarchical file system, grant access to specific groups of users, and integrate with other Azure services. If you’re working with large amounts of files and need to share them with others, it’s worth taking the time to consider how you can use folders in Azure Files to make it more manageable and organized.

Now that you know a little about Azure Files, be sure to download a Trial of Cloud Storage Manager, which provides you further insights not only in to your Azure Files storage, but also Azure Blob Storage