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Azure file server disk limitation of 1023 Gb (1 TB)

Hi Experts,

We would like to migrate our on-premises file server to an Azure Windows VM.  We have single file shares with over 1 TB of data.  Azure VMs can only attach a 1 TB sized volume,  What would be the recommended approach (best practice) to migrate the data to an Azure Windows VM and give users SMB file access to a larger than 1 TB file share? Ideally I'd like to have a 2 TB file share.

Potential options:

1. Break the data up and share out multiple SMB file shares (multiple mapped drive letters).
2. Use Windows Storage Spaces.
3. Use Disk spanning within disk management.

I performed a bit of research on Storage Spaces, and it does seem like a viable, and supported option within Azure.  Therefore, I am leaning towards Storage Spaces.  What do you think?  Are there any other good options?

Thanks!
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lighthousekeeper
Asked:
lighthousekeeper
4 Solutions
 
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
Storage Spaces is the way to go.

If you need more IOPS then set up a high-end VM, attach the necessary storage (Azure disks are limited to about 500 IOPS each), then set up Storage Spaces, then back the VM off to the needed level. The subscription will continue to be billed for the "extra" storage.

Same applies for space.

Keep that IOPS limitation in mind. It can bite at unexpected times.
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Aaron TomoskyTechnology ConsultantCommented:
Agree with storage spaces. Note that the number of disks you can attach to a VM varies based on the VM level. Additionally you are only billed as used so attaching 8 disks for an 8tb volume (no parity or redundancy needed) costs no more than one disk on the same VM until you add data.
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lighthousekeeperAuthor Commented:
Thanks Aaron, that is a good point.  Do you think Microsoft would charge more for consumption when using Fixed provisioning versus thin provisioning, even if no data is added?  My guess would be no, but what do you think?
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Restore full virtual machine or individual guest files from 19 common file systems directly from the backup file. Schedule VM backups with PowerShell scripts. Set desired time, lean back and let the script to notify you via email upon completion.  

 
Aaron TomoskyTechnology ConsultantCommented:
I've always seen it billed as used.
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Zachariah BrowningCommented:
Also keep in mind that the 500 IOPS limit is per disk, so if you stripe several disks together on the VM you can increase that greatly, on an A7+, D4, D13+, machines you can get 16 disks striped together for a max of 8,000 IOPS. Storage Spaces might be your best solution though.
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Aaron TomoskyTechnology ConsultantCommented:
All comments agree: Storage spaces is how you stripe volumes in azure for size and performance. Number of disks is tied to VM size and storage is billed as used.
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