2019: How-To: Storing data on an Azure File Storage Object

2019: How-To: Storing data on an Azure File Storage Object

Titan FTP Server and Cornerstone MFT Server have the ability to access data files stored both locally, through a drive letter, and remotely using SMB and a UNC (Universal Naming Convention).

An example of a UNC which would reference a network based resource would be \\MyServer\MyShare\MyFiles where 'MyFiles' would be folder/directory which resides physically on the computer named 'MyServer' somewhere on your network. The files and directories on 'MyServer' are made available, or shared, through the 'MyShare' Network Share.

Azure File Storage over a UNC

When running Titan FTP Server or Cornerstone MFT Server on a Virtual Machine in the Microsoft Azure Cloud, you have the option to store your data locally on the C:, D:, or E: drive of the Azure VM, or you can store your data files securely on a remote Azure File Storage Account.

Use the following steps to configure an Azure File Storage account in the Azure Portal and then access that File Storage object from a UNC.

  1. In the Azure Portal, create a Storage Account, our test storage object is named cstest12345
  2. Once the storage account is created, navigate to the Files blade and create a new share, our share is called 'MyFiles'
  3. Navigate to the Access Keys blade and make note of the storage account name and the Access Keys.
  4. On the Windows VM, open a command prompt and use Net Use to mount the file storage object. The Azure format is 'objectname'.file.core.windows.net
  5. Issue NET USE \\<objectname>.file.core.windows.net\<sharename>
  6. You will be prompted for the credentials. Enter the object name as the username and one of the Access Keys as the password 
  7. You will be authenticated and the object will now be available in Windows Explorer.
  8. The next step is to persist these credentials in the Windows Credentials Manager to ensure that the Titan/Cornerstone service will have access to the UNC share. To do this, run Windows Credential Manager from the Start Menu

  9. Set up a new Windows Credential to point to your 'objectname'.file.core.windows.net
  10. Just as before, use the object name as the username and the Access Key as the password.
  11. Once this information is saved, you may reboot the Windows VM and you will persist access to the UNC share at next log in.

Accessing UNC based data from Titan FTP Server or Cornerstone MFT Server

Accessing UNC based data is very easy, the main point to remember is that you'll always want to access the data using the fully qualified UNC. Do not try to map a drive letter to the UNC and then access the data through a drive letter. Drive letters are a 'Windows User' concept and if you enter the mapped drive into the Titan/Cornerstone Admin Console (which runs under the Network or System User context), you will receive an error since the Network/System User does not know about drive letters.

Launch the Titan/Cornerstone Admin Console and then set any user directory to leverage the UNC created in the previous steps. Your data will be automatically stored out to the Azure FIle Storage Object.

See Also

  1. System Requirements
  2. Titan FTP Server in the Azure Marketplace
  3. Cornerstone MFT Server in the Azure Marketplace

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