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Azure Server Question

We have a network of 15 computers and a Windows Essentials 2012 Server.
Lately we've been talking about cloud storage and cloud backup - and that got me thinking that maybe I could find a solution on Azure.

Is it possible to create network drives that connect to Azure so that people could store data directly online?
Ideally I'm asking if a Azure Windows Server drive could be mapped to a lettered drive on a local computer.

I'm thinking, if bandwidth allows, that this could be a good solution for our network.  Files would be backed up and offsite.  I'm assuming there would a performance hit, but since we're not dealing with huge files, it might not be so bad...

Anyway, is something like that possible?
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slightlyoff
Asked:
slightlyoff
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btanExec ConsultantCommented:
Yes you are able to do it.

Created File Share using Azure File Service - Using this as you activated in your Azure account,  you can have a cloud accessible file share that is accessible from remote locations. It can be accessed by Azure Virtual Machine (itself), or even from your computer. You can also add files to the file share using a variety of methods, including AzCopy, which is a command-line tool for uploading and downloading data to and from Microsoft Azure blog and file storage. It is as previously shared to be have Azure Files storage supports up to 5TB per share and individual files can be as large as 1TB.

Azcopy - http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/storage-use-azcopy/
Steps for Azure file share - http://www.gregpakes.co.uk/post/create-a-shared-drive-using-azure-files

Backup using Azure Backup Service - There is Azure Backup Agent that you can schedule file and folder backups from your computer or server to Microsoft Azure Backup. There is PowerShell, that can be used as Azure Backup cmdlets to transfer data between your computer or servers and your Azure Backup vault in the cloud. Specifically, you need to register a computer in the online portal and a certificate that can be used to register the server with the vault. https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831677.aspx

You can stretch your use case to even such as

Local Network (extended from on-premise to Azure LAN) - It is connecting  your on-premise environment to Azure via VPN, and using 2012/R2 RRAS. As a whole it is as a use case for Azure IaaS, extending your network into the Virtual Networks in Azure http://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfeplat/archive/2014/03/03/connect-an-on-premises-network-to-azure-via-site-to-site-vpn-and-extend-your-active-directory-onto-an-iaas-vm-dc-in-azure.aspx
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slightlyoffAuthor Commented:
Thank you very much for the detailed  information!  Its gonna take a bit to go through all that!  

I appreciate  your  time!
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btanExec ConsultantCommented:
noted with thanks!
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