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How to know if moving our on-prem file server to an Azure VM is better than using Azure File Sync

rivkamak asked

I am looking into azure for possible migration solution to move my on-premise file server.

I currently have office 365 so I have our on prem AD synced to azure via AD Connect. We also have a site to site vpn with azure.  i know there is an issue with givng file permissions to users based on windows AD credentials.  I also know Azure now has Azure AD DS.

My question is if I create a azure domain joined VM file server (Azure AD DS enabled) will I be able to have this file server mapped to everyone windows explorer (just like they are currently doing) and use it the same way with their on-prem file server.  Their machines are regular on prem domain joined. If I make a change to the ACL rules in a folder will it have to be done directly from the azure vm file server? Will the ACL permissions carry over when this file server is mapped to on prem domain joined machines?

If no, then I guess I would just use azure file sync although the storage there is more expensive.

Thank you.
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David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

You can do this.

The real question is should you do this.

If you can tolerate incredibly slow file access (network connection slow) + sometimes no file access (network connection down), this will be a solution you can consider.

If your file access much be fast + occur 100% of the time, moving to Azure or any remote file solution will likely be a shock to your normal workflow.
Shaun VermaakSenior Consultant
Awarded 2017
Distinguished Expert 2018

Move a chunk of your data, perhaps a department to Azure. Use enable remote junction points and create a junction point from your on-prem server to the remote SMB share.

This way you can test and easily revert.

Do you have express route or Site-to-Site VPN?


Thank you for the responses.

Actually I just checked and it doesnt seem lik  we have  anything setup yet but I imagine we would create a site to site VPN.

Do you think there is really that much of a difference for end users? if i create a azure file sync I can have an on prem server act as a hot file cache (maybe start at 50% cache at the begining)

Will do testing on azure sync.