A Step-by-Step Guide to Integrating Azure Active Directory with Azure Files
Microsoft Azure offers a wide range of services to cater to various business needs. Among these, Azure Files is a popular choice for creating, sharing, and managing file shares in the cloud. To ensure secure access to these file shares, Azure Files can be integrated with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), Microsoft’s cloud-based identity and access management service. This blog post will provide a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to integrate Azure AD with Azure Files.
Understanding Azure Files and Azure AD
Azure Files is a managed file storage service provided by Microsoft Azure. It supports both Server Message Block (SMB) and Network File System (NFS) protocols, making it compatible with a wide range of applications and platforms.
Azure AD, on the other hand, is a cloud-based identity and access management service. It provides a range of features such as single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, and identity protection, helping businesses ensure secure access to their applications and services.
Why Integrate Azure AD with Azure Files?
Integrating Azure AD with Azure Files provides several benefits:
- Secure Access: Azure AD provides a range of features such as single sign-on and multi-factor authentication, ensuring secure access to your Azure Files shares.
- Identity Management: With Azure AD, you can manage access to your file shares based on user identity, making it easier to manage permissions and access controls.
- Audit and Compliance: Azure AD provides detailed logs and reports, helping you audit access to your file shares and ensure compliance with regulations.
Setting Up Azure AD Integration with Azure Files
Now, let’s dive into the steps to integrate Azure AD with Azure Files.
Step 1: Enable Azure AD DS
Before you can integrate Azure AD with Azure Files, you need to enable Azure AD Domain Services (Azure AD DS) for your Azure AD tenant. Azure AD DS provides managed domain services such as domain join, group policy, and Kerberos/NTLM authentication.
- Log in to the Azure portal.
- In the left-hand menu, click on “Azure Active Directory”.
- In the Azure AD menu, click on “Azure AD Domain Services”.
- Click on “+ Add” to create a new Azure AD DS instance.
- Follow the prompts to configure your Azure AD DS instance.
Step 2: Enable Azure Files Authentication with Azure AD
Next, you need to enable Azure Files to use Azure AD for authentication.
- Navigate to your storage account in the Azure portal.
- In the left-hand menu, click on “Configuration”.
- In the “Azure Files identity-based authentication” section, select “Azure Active Directory Domain Services (Azure AD DS)”.
- Click on “Save” to save your changes.
Step 3: Assign Azure AD Identities to Your File Shares
Once you have enabled Azure AD authentication for Azure Files, you can assign Azure AD identities to your file shares.
- Navigate to your file share in the Azure portal.
- In the left-hand menu, click on “Access control (IAM)”.
- Click on “+ Add” and select “Add role assignment”.
- In the “Add role assignment” pane, select the role you want to assign (such as “Storage File Data SMB Share Contributor”), select the Azure AD identity you want to assign the role to, and click on “Save”.
Step 4: Access Your File Share with Azure AD Credentials
After assigning Azure AD identities to your file shares, you can access your file shares using these credentials.
- On your client machine, open File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (macOS).
- Enter the UNC path for your file share in the format
- When prompted, enter your Azure AD credentials.
Integrating Azure AD with Azure Files provides a robust solution for secure access and identity management for your file shares. By leveraging Azure AD’s features such as single sign-on and multi-factor authentication, you can ensure secure access to your file shares, manage permissions and access controls based on user identity, and audit access to your file shares for compliance.
Remember, setting up Azure AD integration is just one aspect of managing your Azure Files service. It’s also important to consider other aspects such as performance optimization, cost management, and encryption. By taking a holistic approach to managing your Azure Files service, you can ensure optimal performance, security, and compliance for your file shares.
Please note that the information provided in this blog post is based on the features and usage available as of the time of writing. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the official Azure documentation.