Migrate File Server to Microsoft Azure

White Paper

Migrate your file server to Azure Blob Storage with a mapped network drive on Windows and Mac with mobile applications and web browser access!

Microsoft Azure Cloud Strategy

CentreStack offers business owners and managed service providers a better cloud strategy for file servers on-premises using the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform and services. With CentreStack, you can immediately add secure remote access with a network mapped drive letter in Windows Explorer, a mounted virtual volume on Mac Finder or add mobile access from iOS and Android devices or web browsers. CentreStack can also be setup to synchronize file server shares to Azure Blob Storage for business continuity, secure file access and sharing.

Challenges of Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure's cloud computing platform and services, for the most part, are designed for independent software vendors (ISVs) to build business solutions, and not for direct use.

There are some that are more user friendly, like Azure AD and Azure Virtual Machines, but most are meant to be used via API by ISVs.

CentreStack Solution

CentreStack adds secure remote access and file sharing, disaster prevention and recovery, to file servers on-premises with easy cloud migration to Microsoft Azure.

Secure Access & File Sharing

CentreStack bridges file servers and Azure for secure remote access and file sharing.

Disaster Recovery

CentreStack leverages Azure as a central cloud file repository with version control, file change history and audit tracing to provide business continuity for file servers on-premises.

Easy Cloud Migration

CentreStack sets up a hybrid deployment between local file servers and Azure that can be seamlessly converted to Azure only.

CentreStack Feature Highlights

Cloud Mapped Drive

Remotely access file shares from a drive letter, without the need for a VPN. Mobile applications included!

On-Demand Sync

Minimize storage and bandwidth consumption by automatically syncing and caching only the files you need.

Version Control

CentreStack adds version control and file protection from Microsoft Azure to the local file server.

Folder Permission

Granular folder permissions that can mirror NTFS permissions or start from scratch.

Active Directory

Preserve NTFS permissions and Active Directory (Azure AD) identities when connecting file servers to Microsoft Azure.

Hybrid File Server

Local file server and Azure blob storage synchronize with each other for business continuity and easy cloud migration.

Deployment Option #1

Hybrid Local File Servers with Azure Blob Storage

Install the CentreStack File Server Agent on the file server that will migrate to Azure over time. Supports Windows 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019 (32-bit/64-bit).

If the file server is in the same network as the CentreStack server, a direct connection is also possible (see Option #2). The file server is optional if you have other ways to migrate data to Azure Blob Storage and just want a mapped drive to access the files and folders.

Deployment Option #2

File Servers with Direct Cloud Access

If you've already migrated local file server data into the Azure data center with Azure virtual machines, CentreStack provides a direct file access solution from remote devices and mobile devices.

Problems Solved

CentreStack file server integration and enablement solves these problems by installing agent software on your file server or directly mounting your file server network share into CentreStack when direct access is available. It intelligently manages local and cloud storage together to provide a range of cloud enablement options.

More importantly, the active directory and NTFS security model is maintained as if it was never changed. And drive mapping functionality is maintained so end users get a familiar drive letter to access files from remote locations. File locking is also maintained for multiple users collaborating on the same file at the same time.

The end result is that the file server network shares are synchronized into Azure Blob Storage and CentreStack provides a complete access solution from Windows mapped drive, Mac Finder mounted volume to iOS and Android applications to access the Azure Blob Storage securely.

Secure Access and File Sharing

Attach local file server folders to your CentreStack server. Once attached, it is accessible online, enabling remote access. At the same time, the original network shares remain accessible over the local area network.

Migrate Existing File Shares to Azure

Alternatively, file server content can be migrated over time to Azure blob storage to form a hybrid environment. In addition to remote access, this enables a background backup process for business continuity.

Global Workspace

Create a global name space directory structure unifying different file servers into a single folder structure, enabling mult-site collaboration. It is a distributed file system in the cloud, backed by Azure Blob Storage.

Server in the Cloud

You can also leverage the features above by using the existing file server from Azure Virtual Machines as a private cloud.