Progent has helped organizations of all types and sizes to plan, deploy, and administer information networks that use a range of hybrid models that combine Microsoft Azure cloud-based resources with physical datacenters, private clouds, and additional public clouds. Progent is unique in the ability to provide rapid and affordable online access to IT consulting experts to assist you to assess the possible benefits of various Azure services for your particular organization. Progent's virtualization consultants can assist you to plan and configure VMs on Azure Virtual Machines. Progent's certified data security consultants can help you unify identity management with Azure Active Directory. Progent's data protection experts can help you to configure backup/recovery solutions with Azure Backup. Also, Progent's VPN and security appliance specialists can help you create safe and reliable connections to Azure.
About Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure, previously branded Windows Azure, is a popular public cloud platform that allows you to use network infrastructure, servers, and key application software residing on Microsoft's vast public cloud. The Azure ecosystem includes dozens of cloud-based services including hosting Windows and Linux-based virtual machines (VMs), scalable cloud storage, messaging, application development with Visual Studio, and backup/restore. Microsoft Azure services are delivered by subscription and provided as-needed, so you can instantly expand or reduce compute and data storage resources. Since you are billed just for the computer resources you need, efficiency is very high, which is the key of cloud computing.
Popular Microsoft Azure Cloud Services
Microsoft Azure provides more than 60 IaaS and PaaS options and many hundreds of services. This growing family of integrated cloud services covers virtually all facets of IT including compute, data and storage, network infrastructure, management, cybersecurity, web hosting, mobile, applications, and development. Additional popular products such as Office 365 Exchange rely on Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure. (See Office 365 Exchange Online integration and technical support consulting services.)
Key Azure offerings for which Progent can deliver high-level expertise and troubleshooting include:
Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines makes it easy for you to provision, scale and manage virtual machines on Azure. Your Azure Storage subscription takes care of storage for the operating system disk and any data disks. Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines works with Windows Server, Linux, IBM, Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server, and other platforms. Various classes of virtual machines (VMs) are available and priced based on processor power, memory and disk capacity, and I/O latency. You can connect with Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines through Remote Desktop Connection. The Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) features of Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines permits organizations to run Windows applications such as SQL Server, Exchange Server, and SharePoint plus leading Linux distributions like Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, and RancherOS.
The enhanced deployment model for Azure Virtual Machines, referred to as Azure Resource Manager, replaces what is now called Azure Classic and offers more efficient virtual machine management by allowing VM groups with a common lifecycle. Previously, Azure services for provisioning, sizing, and administering virtual machines had to be performed one VM at a time. Resource Manager provisioning options include Azure Portal, Azure Resource Manager template, Azure PowerShell, and Azure Tools for Visual Studio. Progent's consultants can help you create and maintain Azure environments efficiently and economically by providing expertise with these technologies for supporting Azure Virtual Machines.
Microsoft Azure Storage delivers on-demand capacity and load balancing for primary storage hosted on the Azure cloud. A General Purpose Storage account provides Azure clients the use of storage services for Blobs, Tables, Files, Queues, and VM disks. Every storage account has a 500 TB capacity limit. To get higher throughput, you can upgrade to a Premium storage tier and run virtual machine applications on SSDs.
Azure Blob storage for General Purpose Storage accounts is designed for massive amounts of unstructured data like documents, social media, archives, web pages, and logs. Azure Blobs are arranged as containers, making it simpler to assign policies to object groups. To send blobs that are too massive to move via an Internet connection, you can mail a physical drive to Microsoft.
A special class of Blob Storage is designed for applications that use only block or append blob storage. You can specify Hot or Cool access characteristics for block and append blobs (but not for page blobs). Being able to define access characteristics in Azure Storage allows you to establish the right trade-off between cost and speed.
Table storage is low-cost cloud storage designed for developers creating schemaless metadata such as address lists, device information, or web apps. Table Storage supports the OData protocol for querying and supports JSON and XML-based AtomPub formats. Queue storage simplifies the creation of messaging apps by handling asynchronous exchanges between software components across cloud-based and physical systems. Microsoft Azure File storage accommodates SMB shares, which streamlines moving legacy applications to Azure.
Microsoft Azure Active Directory is a cloud-based directory and identity management service that enables password synchronization and single sign-on (SSO) spanning local and cloud-hosted environments. Azure Active Directory is built into Office 365, Salesforce.com, DropBox, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and many other cloud apps. Features include multi-factor authentication (MFA), endpoint registration, self-service password synchronization across cloud-hosted and on-premises environments, privileged account management, granular role-based access management, auditing, security monitoring and reporting, and alerts. Microsoft Azure AD integrates transparently with your Windows Server Active Directory to make it easy to unify on-premises and cloud authentication. Azure provides high availability by locating your directories on at least three geo-dispersed facilities.
Microsoft Azure AD allows single sign-on and self-service passwords for cloud and on-premises resources
The Azure AD Connect tool has superseded Windows Azure DirSync, Azure AD Sync (AAD Sync) and Forefront Identity Manager as the recommended way to integrate on-premises directories and synchronize identity data with Active Directory, Office 365 and SaaS cloud-hosted applications.
Azure Backup is an automated backup service that simplifies offsite backup of local, cloud-resident, and hybrid data. Three backups are kept in the same Azure facility, and three additional backups can be stored in a geographically separate Azure location. Microsoft offers SLAs for 99.9% reliability, and archiving in Azure can be as long as 99 years. Backups can be scheduled for daily, monthly, weekly, and yearly cycles, and restoration is quicker and less expensive than old-school tape technology. Azure encrypts backups prior to transmission across a secure link to Azure, and backups are retained encrypted. The encryption key is kept locally for enhanced compliance. Additional features include throttling to utilize off-peak periods, data compression to improve throughput and lower storage requirements, and incremental backups to conserve bandwidth. Azure Import/Export allows you to perform your initial backup locally and send a physical storage device to the closest Azure facility.
Azure Backup integrates closely with System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) to offer specialized support for Microsoft's mission-critical workloads like Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint, and Hyper-V. Data Protection Manager works transparently with Hyper-V Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) to protect virtual machines without interfering with their operation. SCDPM also offers product-specific granular recovery capability like mailbox restoration for Exchange, database-level recovery for Microsoft SQL Server, and Item Level Recovery (ILR) for SharePoint Server. Azure Backup solutions integrated with SCDPM can be tracked with SCOM to watch over system health, throughput, and utilization.
How Progent's Experts Can Help You with Azure Solutions
If you want to move your IT infrastructure to the Microsoft Azure cloud or create a hybrid environment that combines on-premises and cloud-based resources, Progent's consultants can help you evaluate the benefits of the Azure line of services compared to other public clouds or different architectural strategies like using colo centers. Progent can help you with any stage of Azure integration including ROI analysis, solution design, pilot testing, implementation, unified management and monitoring, performance tuning, license control, disaster recovery strategies, security solutions, and compliance analysis.
Progent can assist you to determine which of your mission-critical applications are a good fit for Azure and help ensure your older apps are cloud ready. Progent can provide affordable as-needed support so you can immediately get past stubborn technical hurdles or Progent can deliver end-to-end project management outsourcing services to ensure your Azure integration initiative is completed on schedule and within your budget.
To help you implement centralized administration of a hybrid cloud network that includes Azure services, Progent offers System Center support including System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) consulting, System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) support, System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) expertise, SCVMM hybrid cloud management expertise, and Microsoft Intune mobility management consulting.
Hybrid cloud networks need to furnish a secure, manageable, transparent, and reliable environment for user to access both on-premises cloud-based resources. Progent has extensive experience deploying IPsec VPN connections and setting up or troubleshooting firewalls to link to Microsoft Azure. Progent can provide rapid remote access to Cisco-certified CCIE infrastructure experts and to firewall experts certified by leading vendors like Symantec, Barracuda, and Check Point to assist you to set up or troubleshoot firewalls for integrating your local resources with Microsoft Azure. Progent also supports mobile users by offering the help of iPhone and iPad technology consultants as well as Google Android connectivity consultants to show you how to configure and administer handheld devices connected to your Microsoft Azure ecosystem. When you come up against problems with your Microsoft Azure solution, Progent has experience teaming with Microsoft's Azure technical personnel to resolve problems with Azure.
Common samples of online expertise Progent has delivered to businesses to integrate and manage their Azure-connected networks include:
Contact Progent for Cloud Integration Expertise
- Set up and debug IPsec VPN tunnels forremote connectivity to Microsoft Azure
- Plan or review the architecture of hybrid Azure/on-premises environments
- Create VM images for Windows or Linux systems to be hosted on Microsoft Azure
- Implement Azure AD, AD Connect, and ADFS
- Plan and validate backup/restore solutions that utilize Azure Backup
- Set up and troubleshoot virtual hard disks (VHDs) for Azure
- Define and implement policies
- Fix issues involving IP addresses
- Resolve synchronization problems associated with Office 365
- Configure, update, and troubleshoot firewalls from Cisco, Barracuda, Symantec and other leading providers
- Configure Cisco AnyConnect for remote access to Microsoft Azure products and services
- Simplify license administration
- Fix issues with certificates
- Identify and configure centralized management, monitoring and reporting platforms across hybrid environments
- Set up System Center Configuration Manager to deploy applications
- Install System Center Virtual Machine Manager locally and on Azure
- Design and implement hybrid Exchange deployments
- Optimize query performance on SQL Server hosted by Microsoft Azure
- Move Citrix XenDesktop to the Azure cloud
- Resolve PowerShell issues for uploading modules to Azure
If you need assistance with any facet of integrating your IT network with Azure or other public cloud, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.
Other Public Cloud Services Supported by Progent's Cloud Integration Experts
Products and services offered on leading public clouds are expanding rapidly in number and sophistication. Choosing the right solution can be increasingly difficult. Most large businesses have hybrid networks that use more than one public cloud and at the same time maintain on-premises facilities. Microsoft's Office 365 line of apps, such as Exchange Online, rely on Azure infrastructure and provide alternative paths to Azure's Infrastructure-as-a-Service options. Progent's cloud experts can help your organization to evaluate the business advantages of the service portfolios of the major public clouds and can show you how to design, configure, and administer IT environments that include an assortment of public and private clouds along with physical local datacenters.
Additional public clouds supported by Progent's experts include:
Microsoft allows you to create transparent hybrid environments that combine Office 365 and on-premises Exchange. This permits you to have specific Exchange mailboxes located at your on-premises datacenter and other mailboxes resident on Office 365. Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help your organization with any facet of designing, implementing and troubleshooting your hybrid Exchange solution. Progent's Exchange consultants can provide as-needed support to help you resolve challenging technical problems and also offer comprehensive project management outsourcing or co-sourcing to make sure your hybrid Office 365 initiative is completed on time and within budget. To find out more about Progent's consulting expertise for hybrid Office 365 and on-premises Exchange systems, see Exchange Online integration solutions with on-premises Exchange.
Progent's Office and Office 365 experts can assist companies to incorporate Office desktop and Microsoft Office 365 apps including Office Excel, Office Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Microsoft Access, Project and Publisher into a seamless solution that offers fast return on investment and promotes better business results. Progent can assist you to integrate Office or Office 365 applications with one another and with additional key Microsoft technologies such as SharePoint, Exchange Server and Microsoft SQL Server deployed on-premises or hosted in the cloud. Progent can also help you to fix compatibility issues with various releases of Microsoft Office desktop and offers live online Microsoft Office and Office 365 training to individual users and teams.
Progent's Amazon AWS planning and integration consultants can provide affordable remote consulting to help businesses of any size to access Amazon AWS cloud services such as Amazon EC2 for virtual server hosting, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for expandable cloud storage, and Amazon Glacier for value-priced archival storage. Progent can help your IT team with every phase of Amazon AWS migration and troubleshooting including requirements analysis, preparedness assessment, architectural design and review, pilot testing, deployment, administration, performance optimization, software license management, backup/restore mechanisms, and security. Progent offers advanced expertise with firewalls and VPN access and can show you how to create cloud-centric or hybrid environments that efficiently incorporate Amazon AWS cloud services. Progent can provide occasional consulting or Progent can provide project management outsourcing services to help you migrate efficiently to the Amazon AWS cloud platform.
Amazon Marketplace Web Service is a collection of APIs that allows Amazon sellers to streamline their business processes by automating crucial sales activities such as listings, orders, shipments, fulfillment, and reports. By leveraging Amazon's extensive online ecosystem and automating their sales processes, vendors can expand their market, lower their cost of sales, improve response time to customers, and add to their bottom line. Progent's Amazon Marketplace Web Service developers can work with your development team and provide application programming, workflow integration, project management support, and training so you can cut development time and expedite your ROI.
Progent's Google Cloud Platform (GCP) integration experts can provide cost-effective remote and onsite consulting to assist businesses of any size to migrate any portion of their critical IT infrastructure to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). This can save management hassle and hardware costs and allow the use of Google's cutting edge AI and machine learning tools. Progent can assist you with every phase of Google Cloud Platform migration and troubleshooting including needs analysis, preparedness assessment, architectural design and review, testing, deployment, centralized administration, performance optimization, software license management, disaster recovery solutions, and security and compliance.