NFS 3.0 support for Azure Blob storage is now in preview

Posted on July 27, 2020

Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Azure

Many enterprise and organizations are moving their data to Microsoft Azure Blob storage for its massive scale, security capabilities, and low total cost of ownership. At the same time, they continue running many apps on different storage systems using the Network File System (NFS) protocol. Companies that use different storage systems due to protocol requirements are challenged by data silos where data resides in different places and requires additional migration or app rewrite steps.

To help break down these silos and enable customers to run NFS-based applications at scale, we are announcing the preview of NFS 3.0 protocol support for Azure Blob storage. Azure Blob storage is the only storage platform that supports NFS 3.0 protocol over object storage natively (no gateway or data copying required), with object storage economics, which is essential for our customers.

One of our Media and Entertainment (M&E) customers said, “NFS access to blob storage will enable our customers to preserve their legacy data access methods when migrating the underlying storage to Azure Blob storage.” Other customers have requested NFS for blob storage so they can reuse the same code from an on-premises solution to access files while controlling the overall cost of the solution. Financial services customers want NFS based offering for their analytic workloads. These are a few of the many examples from customers that have embraced private preview of NFS 3.0 support for Azure Blob Storage.

NFS 3.0 support for Azure Blob storage helps with large scale read-heavy sequential access workloads where data will be ingested once and minimally modified further including large scale analytic data, backup and archive, NFS apps for seismic and subsurface processing, media rendering, genomic sequencing, and line-of-business applications.

During the preview, NFS 3.0 is available to BlockBlobStorage accounts with premium performance in the following regions: US East, US Central, and Canada Central. Support for GPV2 accounts with standard tier performance will be announced soon.

Mount blob container using NFS 3.0

Each container in a newly created NFS 3.0 enabled storage account is automatically exported. NFS clients within the same network can mount it using this sample command:

mount -o sec=sys,vers=3,nolock,proto=tcp <storage-account-name>.blob.core.windows.net:/<storage-account-name>/<container-name> /mnt/test

  • Replace the <storage-account-name> placeholders with the name of your storage account.
  • Replace the <container-name> placeholder with the name of your container.

During preview, the test data stored in your NFS 3.0 enabled storage accounts are billed the same capacity rate that Azure Blob Storage has per GB per month. Pricing for transactions is subject to change and will be determined when it is generally available. To learn more, visit our documentation, NFS 3.0 protocol support in Azure Blob storage (preview).

Next steps

We are confident that NFS 3.0 on Azure Blob storage can simplify your workload migration to Azure. To register the NFS 3.0 protocol feature with your subscription, see the step-by-step guide. We look forward to hearing your feedback on this feature and suggestions for future improvements through email at azurenfspreview@microsoft.com.