Release notes for the Azure File Sync agent (preview)

Azure File Sync allows you to centralize your organization's file shares in Azure Files without giving up the flexibility, performance, and compatibility of an on-premises file server. Your Windows Server installations are transformed into a quick cache of your Azure file share. You can use any protocol that's available on Windows Server to access your data locally (including SMB, NFS, and FTPS). You can have as many caches as you need around the world.

This article provides the release notes for the supported versions of the Azure File Sync agent.

Supported versions

The following versions are supported for the Azure File Sync agent:

Milestone Agent version number Release date Status
Refresh 2 3.0.12.0 May 22, 2018 Supported (recommended version)
April update rollup 2.3.0.0 May 8, 2018 Supported
March update rollup 2.2.0.0 March 12, 2018 Supported
February update rollup 2.1.0.0 February 28, 2018 Supported
Refresh 1 2.0.11.0 February 8, 2018 Supported
January update rollup 1.4.0.0 January 8, 2018 Supported
November update rollup 1.3.0.0 November 30, 2017 Supported
October update rollup 1.2.0.0 October 31, 2017 Supported
Initial preview release 1.1.0.0 September 26, 2017 Supported

Azure File Sync agent update policy

The Azure File Sync agent is updated on a regular basis to add new functionality and to address issues. We recommend you configure Microsoft Update to get updates for the Azure File Sync agent as they're available.

Major vs. minor agent versions

  • Major agent versions often contain new features and have an increasing number as the first part of the version number. For example: *2.*.**
  • Minor agent versions are also called "patches" and are released more frequently than major versions. They often contain bug fixes and smaller improvements but no new features. For example: **.3.**

Upgrade paths

There are three approved and tested ways to install the Azure File Sync agent updates. These update paths work for both major and minor versions.

  1. (Preferred) Configure Microsoft Update to automatically download and install agent updates.
    We always recommend taking every Azure File Sync update to ensure you have access to the latest fixes for the server agent. Microsoft Update makes this process seamless, by automatically downloading and installing updates for you.
  2. Patch an existing Azure File Sync agent by using a Microsoft Update patch file, or a .msp executable. The latest Azure File Sync update package can be downloaded from the Microsoft Update Catalog.
    Running a .msp executable will upgrade your Azure File Sync installation with the same method used automatically by Microsoft Update in the previous upgrade path. Applying a Microsoft Update patch will perform an in-place upgrade of an Azure File Sync installation.
  3. Download the newest Azure File Sync agent installer from the Microsoft Download Center. The installer download is a Microsoft Installer package, or a .msi executable.
    To upgrade an existing Azure File Sync agent installation, uninstalled the older version and then install the latest version from the downloaded installer. The server registration, sync groups, and any other settings are maintained by the Azure File Sync installer.

Agent lifecycle and change management guarantees

Azure File Sync is a cloud service, which enables continuously introduction of new features and functionality. This means that a specific Azure File Sync agent version can only be supported for a limited time. To facilitate your deployment, the following rules to guarantee you have enough time and notification to accommodate agent updates/upgrades in your change management process:

  • Major agent versions are supported for at least six months from the date of initial release.
  • We guarantee there is an overlap of at least three months between the support of major agent versions.
  • Warnings are issued for registered servers using a soon-to-be expired agent at least three months prior to expiration. You can check if a registered server is using an older version of the agent under the registered servers section of a Storage Sync Service.
  • The lifetime of a minor agent version is bound to the associated major version. For example, when agent version 3.0 is released, agent versions 2.* will all be set to expire together.

Note

Installing an agent version with an expiration warning will display a warning but succeed. Attempting to install or connect with an expired agent version is not supported and will be blocked.

Agent version 3.0.12.0

The following release notes are for version 3.0.12.0 of the Azure File Sync agent (released May 22, 2018).

Agent installation and server configuration

For more information on how to install and configure the Azure File Sync agent with Windows Server, see Planning for an Azure File Sync (preview) deployment and How to deploy Azure File Sync (preview).

  • The agent installation package must be installed with elevated (admin) permissions.
  • The agent is not supported on Windows Server Core or Nano Server deployment options.
  • The agent is supported only on Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
  • The agent requires at least 2 GB of physical memory.
  • The Storage Sync Agent (FileSyncSvc) service does not support server endpoints located on a volume that has the system volume information (SVI) directory compressed. This configuration will lead to unexpected results.

Interoperability

  • Antivirus, backup, and other applications that access tiered files can cause undesirable recall unless they respect the offline attribute and skip reading the content of those files. For more information, see Troubleshoot Azure File Sync (preview).
  • Don't use File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) or other file screens. File screens can cause endless sync failures when files are blocked because of the file screen.
  • Running sysprep on a server which has the Azure File Sync agent installed is not supported and can lead to unexpected results. Agent installation and server registration should occur after deploying the server image and completing sysprep mini-setup.
  • Data deduplication and cloud tiering aren't supported on the same volume.

Sync limitations

The following items don't sync, but the rest of the system continues to operate normally:

  • Paths that are longer than 2,048 characters.
  • The discretionary access control list (DACL) portion of a security descriptor if it's larger than 2 KB. (This issue applies only when you have more than about 40 access control entries (ACEs) on a single item.)
  • The system access control list (SACL) portion of a security descriptor that's used for auditing.
  • Extended attributes.
  • Alternate data streams.
  • Reparse points.
  • Hard links.
  • Compression (if it's set on a server file) isn't preserved when changes sync to that file from other endpoints.
  • Any file that's encrypted with EFS (or other user mode encryption) that prevents the service from reading the data.

    Note

    Azure File Sync always encrypts data in transit. Data is always encrypted at rest in Azure.

Server endpoints

  • A server endpoint can be created only on an NTFS volume. ReFS, FAT, FAT32, and other file systems aren't currently supported by Azure File Sync.
  • Cloud tiering is not supported on the system volume. To create a server endpoint on the system volume, disable cloud tiering when creating the server endpoint.
  • Failover Clustering is supported only with clustered disks, but not with Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs).
  • A server endpoint can't be nested. It can coexist on the same volume in parallel with another endpoint.
  • Don't store an OS or application paging file that's within a server endpoint.
  • Tiered files will become unusable if the files are not recalled prior to deleting the server endpoint.

Cloud tiering

  • If a tiered file is copied to another location by using Robocopy, the resulting file isn't tiered. The offline attribute might be set because Robocopy incorrectly includes that attribute in copy operations.
  • When you're viewing file properties from an SMB client, the offline attribute might appear to be set incorrectly due to SMB caching of file metadata.

Agent version 2.3.0.0

The following release notes are for version 2.3.0.0 of the Azure File Sync agent released May 8, 2018. These notes are in addition to the release notes listed for version 2.0.11.0.

This release includes the following fixes:

  • Agent updates may hang if the cloud tiering filter driver does not unload.
  • Sync performance may decrease when syncing lots of files.

Agent version 2.2.0.0

The following release notes are for version 2.2.0.0 of the Azure File Sync agent released March 12th, 2018. These notes are in addition to the release notes listed for version 2.1.0.0 and 2.0.11.0

Installation of v2.1.0.0 for some customers would fail due to the FileSyncSvc not stopping. This update fixes that issue.

Agent version 2.1.0.0

The following release notes are for version 2.1.0.0 of the Azure File Sync agent released February 28, 2018. These notes are in addition to the release notes listed for version 2.0.11.0.

This release includes the following changes:

  • Improvements for cluster failover handling.
  • Improvements for the reliable handling of tiered files.
  • Support for installing the agent on domain controller machines that are added to a Windows Server 2008 R2 domain environment.
  • Fixed in this release: generation of excessive diagnostics on servers with many files.
  • Improvements for error handling of session failures.
  • Improvements for error handling of file transfer issues.
  • Changed in this release: the default interval to run cloud tiering when it's enabled on a server endpoint is now 1 hour.
  • Temporary blocking issue: moving Azure File Sync (Storage Sync Service) resources to a new Azure subscription.

Agent version 2.0.11.0

The following release notes are for version 2.0.11.0 of the Azure File Sync agent (released February 9, 2018).

Agent installation and server configuration

For more information on how to install and configure the Azure File Sync agent with Windows Server, see Planning for an Azure File Sync (preview) deployment and How to deploy Azure File Sync (preview).

  • The agent installation package (MSI) must be installed with elevated (admin) permissions.
  • The agent isn't supported on Windows Server Core or Nano Server deployment options.
  • The agent is supported only on Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
  • The agent requires at least 2 GB of physical memory.

Interoperability

  • Antivirus, backup, and other applications that access tiered files can cause undesirable recall unless they respect the offline attribute and skip reading the content of those files. For more information, see Troubleshoot Azure File Sync (preview).
  • This release adds support for DFS-R. For more information, see the Planning guide.
  • Don't use File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) or other file screens. File screens can cause endless sync failures when files are blocked because of the file screen.
  • The duplication of Registered Servers (including VM cloning) can lead to unexpected results. In particular, sync might never converge.
  • Data deduplication and cloud tiering aren't supported on the same volume.

Sync limitations

The following items don't sync, but the rest of the system continues to operate normally:

  • Paths that are longer than 2,048 characters.
  • The discretionary access control list (DACL) portion of a security descriptor if it's larger than 2 KB. (This issue applies only when you have more than about 40 access control entries (ACEs) on a single item.)
  • The system access control list (SACL) portion of a security descriptor that's used for auditing.
  • Extended attributes.
  • Alternate data streams.
  • Reparse points.
  • Hard links.
  • Compression (if it's set on a server file) isn't preserved when changes sync to that file from other endpoints.
  • Any file that's encrypted with EFS (or other user mode encryption) that prevents the service from reading the data.

    Note

    Azure File Sync always encrypts data in transit. Data is always encrypted at rest in Azure.

Server endpoints

  • A server endpoint can be created only on an NTFS volume. ReFS, FAT, FAT32, and other file systems aren't currently supported by Azure File Sync.
  • A server endpoint can't be on the system volume. For example, C:\MyFolder isn't an acceptable path unless C:\MyFolder is a mount point.
  • Failover Clustering is supported only with clustered disks, but not with Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs).
  • A server endpoint can't be nested. It can coexist on the same volume in parallel with another endpoint.
  • This release adds support for the sync root at the root of a volume.
  • Don't store an OS or application paging file that's within a server endpoint.
  • Changed in this release: added new events to track the total runtime for cloud tiering (EventID 9016), sync upload progress (EventID 9302), and files that didn't sync (EventID 9900).
  • Improved in this release:
  • Fast DR namespace sync performance is increased dramatically.
  • Deleting large numbers (over 10,000) of directories does not need to be done in batches with v2*.

Cloud tiering

  • Changed from the previous version: new files are tiered within 1 hour (previously 32 hours) subject to the tiering policy setting. We provide a PowerShell cmdlet to tier on demand. You can use the cmdlet to evaluate tiering more efficiently without waiting for the background process.
  • If a tiered file is copied to another location by using Robocopy, the resulting file isn't tiered. The offline attribute might be set because Robocopy incorrectly includes that attribute in copy operations.
  • When you're viewing file properties from an SMB client, the offline attribute might appear to be set incorrectly due to SMB caching of file metadata.
  • Changed from the previous version: files are now downloaded as tiered files on other servers provided that the file is new or is already a tiered file.

Agent version 1.1.0.0

The following release notes are for version 1.1.0.0 of the Azure File Sync agent (released September 9, 2017, initial preview).

Agent installation and server configuration

For more information on how to install and configure the Azure File Sync agent with Windows Server, see Planning for an Azure File Sync (preview) deployment and How to deploy Azure File Sync (preview).

  • The agent installation package (MSI) must be installed with elevated (admin) permissions.
  • The agent isn't supported on Windows Server Core or Nano Server deployment options.
  • The agent is supported only on Windows Server 2016 and 2012 R2.
  • The agent requires at least 2 GB of physical memory.

Interoperability

  • Antivirus, backup, and other applications that access tiered files can cause undesirable recall unless they respect the offline attribute and skip reading the content of those files. For more information, see Troubleshoot Azure File Sync (preview).
  • Don't use FSRM or other file screens. File screens can cause endless sync failures when files are blocked because of the file screen.
  • The duplication of Registered Servers (including VM cloning) can lead to unexpected results. In particular, sync might never converge.
  • Data deduplication and cloud tiering aren't supported on the same volume.

Sync limitations

The following items don't sync, but the rest of the system continues to operate normally:

  • Paths that are longer than 2,048 characters.
  • The DACL portion of a security descriptor if it's larger than 2 KB. (This issue applies only when you have more than about 40 ACEs on a single item.)
  • The SACL portion of a security descriptor that's used for auditing.
  • Extended attributes.
  • Alternate data streams.
  • Reparse points.
  • Hard links.
  • Compression (if it's set on a server file) isn't preserved when changes sync to that file from other endpoints.
  • Any file that's encrypted with EFS (or other user mode encryption) that prevents the service from reading the data.

    Note

    Azure File Sync always encrypts data in transit. Data is always encrypted at rest in Azure.

Server endpoints

  • A server endpoint can be created only on an NTFS volume. ReFS, FAT, FAT32, and other file systems aren't currently supported by Azure File Sync.
  • A server endpoint can't be on the system volume. For example, C:\MyFolder isn't an acceptable path unless C:\MyFolder is a mount point.
  • Failover Clustering is supported only with clustered disks and not with CSVs.
  • A server endpoint can't be nested. It can coexist on the same volume in parallel with another endpoint.
  • Deleting a large number (over 10,000) of directories from a server at a single time can cause sync failures. Delete directories in batches of less than 10,000. Make sure the delete operations sync successfully before deleting the next batch.
  • A server endpoint at the root of a volume is not currently supported.
  • Don't store an OS or application paging file that's within a server endpoint.

Cloud tiering

  • To ensure that files can be correctly recalled, the system might not automatically tier new or changed files for up to 32 hours. This process includes first-time tiering after a new server endpoint is configured. We provide a PowerShell cmdlet to tier on demand. You can use the cmdlet to evaluate tiering more efficiently without waiting for the background process.
  • If a tiered file is copied to another location by using Robocopy, the resulting file isn't tiered. The offline attribute might be set because Robocopy incorrectly includes that attribute in copy operations.
  • When you're viewing file properties from an SMB client, the offline attribute might appear to be set incorrectly due to SMB caching of file metadata.