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Microsoft has announced a new file tier for its cloud customers. Called Azure Files premium, the files provide customers with greater performance. By leveraging solid-state drives (SSD), the files are ideal for Azure users optimizing file sharing on the cloud.

Azure premium has been created to provide constant performance for IO-intensive workloads that need capability and low latency. Because data is stored on the latest SSD technology, they are perfect across a variety of scenarios.

Microsoft says its standard file tier will remain intact and continue to offer affordable reliable performance for less intensive workloads.

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The company worked with hundreds of customers to develop the new Azure Files premium tier. In a blog post today, some of the early testers discussed the benefits of the tier:

“Working with clients that have large amounts of data that is under FDA or HIPAA regulations, we always struggled in locating a good cloud storage solution that provided SMB access and high bandwidth… until Azure Files premium tier. When it comes to a secure cloud-based storage that offers high upload and download speeds for cloud and on-premises VM clients, Azure premium files definitely stands out.” – Christian Manasseh, Chief Executive Officer, Mobius Logic

Performance and Availability

Premium tier in Azure allows users to individually determine their performance. Customers can scale performance up to down depending on what is needed for the workload. At the higher end, Azure premium files can scale up to 100 TiB and 100K IOPS. Microsoft has also included a bust mode to deliver intense short bursts of peak performance.

Microsoft has rolled out Azure Files premier tier are available in 19 of the company’s Azure regions.

“Premium tier provides the most cost-effective way to create highly-performant and highly-available file shares in Azure. Pricing is simple and cost is predictable–you only pay a single price per provisioned GiB. Refer to the pricing page for additional details”

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