Microsoft has introduced a new Microsoft Azure File Service which provides a cloud based file share that is accessible across all of your virtual machines running in Azure. Unlike Azure’s BLOB storage, the Microsoft Azure File Service provides access via the standard SMB 2.1 protocol used by on premise file shares. If you’re running a VM either using Windows or Linux, you can copy, create, move or delete files just like a traditional network file share.
This requirement is key for moving legacy applications to the cloud. Many of these applications use traditional file shares for storing files and without the Microsoft Azure File Service you were limited to file shares that were local to the VM instead of being shared across a number of VMs. With the new File Service, your legacy apps can run within a VM and manipulate files in the exact same way as if they were running on premise.
In addition to traditional file share protocols, there is also supplied REST protocols for managing files from your client side or server side custom applications.