File storage aka network-attached storage NAS provides file-level access to applications to read and update information that can be shared across multiple machines. Some on-premises file storage solutions have a scale-up architecture and simply add storage to a fixed amount of compute resources. Other file storage solutions have a scale-out architecture where capacity and compute performance can be incrementally added to an existing file system as needed. In both storage architectures, one or multiple virtual machines VMs can access the storage.
Summary of file server options
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Fully control where your data is stored at all times
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Windows 10 Help. File Services Windows Server Protocols. Windows Storage Server R2. File and Storage Services includes technologies that help you set up and manage one or more file servers, which are servers that provide central locations on your network where you can store files and share them with users. If your users need access to the same files and applications, or if centralized backup and file management are important to your organization, you should set up one or more servers as a file server by installing the File and Storage Services role and the appropriate role services. The File and Storage Services role and the Storage Services role service are installed by default, but without any additional role services. This basic functionality enables you to use Server Manager or Windows PowerShell to manage the storage functionality of your servers. However, to set up or manage a file server, you should use the Add Roles and Features Wizard in Server Manager or the Install-WindowsFeature Windows PowerShell cmdlet to install additional File and Storage Services role services, such as the role services discussed in this topic. Administrators can use the File and Storage Services role to set up and manage multiple file servers and their storage capabilities by using Server Manager or Windows PowerShell.