Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sharing Windows Azure Drives

One question I get a lot from customers is how to share a Windows Azure drive with read-write access among multiple role instances. At first you should think this is possible, but this is not the case. Windows Azure drives does not behave like a normal drive. It uses a concept of leasing, meaning that only one role instance can have write access to a drive. Drives can only be shared between multiple role instances as a read-only snapshot. This of course limits the usability of drives in our cloud applications.

However the Windows Azure Storage team created a blog post explaining an alternative solution allowing you to still share a drive for read-write access. In this solution they are using SMB(Server Message Block) the same technology used to implement the Shared Folders/Printers/… functionality in Windows.

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