Azure Integration ConsultantsProgent has assisted businesses of all sizes to design, deploy, and administer networks based on a variety of hybrid models that mix Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure and services with local datacenters, private clouds, and additional public clouds. Progent is unmatched in the ability to provide fast and economical online access to IT consulting experts to assist you to assess the possible benefits of various Azure products and services for your specific business. Progent's virtualization experts can assist you to plan and configure virtual machines on Azure Virtual Machines. Progent's certified data security experts can help you unify identity management using Azure Active Directory. Progent's data protection experts can assist you to plan backup/recovery solutions with Azure Backup. Also, Progent's VPN and security appliance experts can show you how to set up secure and reliable connections to Microsoft Azure.

About Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure, previously called Windows Azure, is a popular cloud platform that allows you to utilize IT infrastructure, servers, and business-critical applications residing on Microsoft's vast cloud. The Azure ecosystem includes over 60 cloud-based services including the ability to host Windows and Linux-powered virtual machines, scalable cloud storage, messaging, development, and backup/recovery. Azure services are delivered on a subscription basis and allocated dynamically, so organizations can instantly scale up or reduce compute and storage capacity. Because you pay only for the capacity you need, utilization is very high, which is one of the major attractions of public clouds.

Popular Microsoft Azure Cloud Products and Services
Microsoft Azure offers dozens of infrastructure and PaaS options and hundreds of cloud services. This expanding family of integrated cloud services addresses practically all facets of IT such as compute, data and storage, network infrastructure, administration, security, web, mobility, business applications, and software development. Additional popular products like Office 365 Exchange Online rely on Azure cloud infrastructure. (Visit Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online integration and troubleshooting consulting services.)

Major Azure offerings for which Progent provides advanced consulting expertise and technical support services include:

Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines Integration ConsultingAzure Virtual Machines makes it easy for you to configure, scale and manage virtual machines (VMs) on the Azure cloud. Your Azure Storage account takes care of storage for the OS disk and associated data disks. Azure Virtual Machines supports Microsoft Windows Server, major distributions of Linux, SAP, Oracle Database, and additional platforms. Various categories of virtual machines (VMs) are available and priced based on CPU performance, memory and disk capacity, and I/O throughput. You can connect with Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines via Remote Desktop Connection. The PaaS features of Azure Virtual Machines allows you to run Windows workloads such as SQL Server, Exchange Server, and SharePoint as well as major Linux distributions like Red Hat, CentOS, Ubuntu, and RancherOS.

The enhanced deployment model for Azure Virtual Machines, branded Azure Resource Manager and introduced in 2014, replaces what is now called Azure Classic and enables more efficient virtual machine management by allowing VM groups with a shared lifecycle. Before, Microsoft Azure services for provisioning, scaling, and managing VMs had to be performed individually. Resource Manager deployment options include a cloud portal, Azure Resource Manager template, Azure PowerShell, and Visual Studio support. Progent's Azure specialists can show you how to create and administer Azure solutions quickly and economically by providing expertise with all these technologies for supporting Azure Virtual Machines.

Azure Storage ExpertiseAzure Storage offers dynamic scale and load balancing for primary storage on Azure. A General Purpose Storage account gives Azure subscribers access to storage services for Blobs, Tables, Files, Queues, and VM drives. Every storage account has a 500 TB storage maximum. To get faster performance, you can upgrade to Azure's Premium storage class and run virtual machine workloads on solid state disks (SSDs).

Azure Blob storage for General Purpose Storage accounts is designed for large volumes of unstructured object data such as documents, social media, archives, web content, and logs. Blobs are arranged as containers, which makes it simpler to designate policies to object groups. To export blobs that are too massive to move via the Internet, you can mail physical media to Microsoft.

A separate class of Blob Storage is intended for applications that only require block or append blob storage. You can specify Hot or Cool access patterns for block and append blobs (but not for page blobs). Being able to classify access characteristics in Microsoft Azure storage accounts enables you to achieve an appropriate trade-off between price and performance.

Table storage is affordably-priced storage for developers using NoSQL metadata such as contact books, device information, or web applications. Azure Table Storage works with the OData protocol for querying and allows JSON and XML-based AtomPub formats. Queue storage facilitates the creation of messaging apps by supporting asynchronous communication between application components across cloud-based and physical systems. Azure File storage accommodates SMB file shares, which simplifies moving legacy apps to the Azure cloud.

Microsoft Azure Active Directory ExpertiseMicrosoft Azure Active Directory is a cloud-based directory and authentication management service that provides password synchronization and single sign-on across on-premises and cloud-hosted infrastructure. Azure Active Directory (AD) is built into Office 365, Salesforce.com, DropBox, Dynamics 365, and many other cloud applications. Features include multi-factor authentication (MFA), device registration, self-service password synchronization across cloud-hosted and on-premises systems, group management, granular role-based access management, auditing, security monitoring and reporting, and alerts. Microsoft Azure AD works transparently with Windows Server AD to make it simple to unify on-premises and cloud authentication. Azure offers high availability by storing your directories on at least three separate facilities.

Azure Active Directory Consultants

Microsoft Azure AD allows single sign-on and self-service passwords to access cloud and local resources

The Microsoft Azure AD Connect tool has superseded Windows Azure DirSync, Azure AD Sync (AAD Sync) and Forefront Identity Manager as the preferred way to connect on-premises directories and synchronize identity data with Active Directory, Office 365 and SaaS cloud-hosted applications.

Microsoft Azure Backup ConsultantsAzure Backup is a managed cloud-based backup service that simplifies offsite backup of local, cloud, and hybrid data. Three backups are kept in the same Azure datacenter, and three additional copies of target data can be housed in a geographically separate Azure location. Microsoft offers Service Level Agreements for 99.9% availability, and retention in Azure is available for as long as 99 years. Backups can be scheduled for daily, monthly, weekly, and yearly periods, and restoration is faster and less expensive than old-style tape-based solutions. Backups are encrypted prior to being sent across a protected link to Azure, and backups are stored encrypted. The encryption key is kept locally for better security compliance. Additional features include throttling to take advantage of low-traffic hours, 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 drive to the closest Azure facility.

Azure Backup integrates closely with System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) to offer in-depth support for Microsoft's key workloads including Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint, and Windows Hyper-V. Data Protection Manager works seamlessly with Windows Hyper-V VSS to protect virtual machines without interrupting their operation. DPM also offers platform-specific granular restore features such as mailbox restoration for Exchange, database-level restore for Microsoft SQL Server, and Item Level Recovery for SharePoint. Azure Backup environments integrated with SCDPM can be tracked with System Center Operations Manager to watch over system health, throughput, and utilization.

How Progent Can Help You with Azure Integration
If you want to move your organization's network to the Microsoft Azure cloud or create a hybrid ecosystem that combines on-premises and cloud-based resources, Progent can help you evaluate the benefits of the Azure line of services compared to other public clouds or alternative networking strategies like using colo centers. Progent can help your business with any and every phase of Microsoft Azure migration such as benefits analysis, system design, proof of concept, implementation, unified management and monitoring, performance tuning, license control, disaster recovery strategies, cybersecurity planning, and compliance validation.

Progent can assist you to decide which of your critical applications are a good fit for Microsoft Azure and help you make your older applications are cloud compatible. Progent can provide affordable on-demand expertise to help you immediately deal with stubborn technical hurdles or Progent can deliver comprehensive project management consulting expertise to make sure your Microsoft Azure integration initiative is completed on time and within your budget.

To help you implement unified management of a hybrid network that includes Microsoft 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 consulting, and Microsoft Intune mobile device management consulting.

Hybrid cloud networks must furnish a safe, easy-to-manage, seamless, and resilient way for user to connect to both local cloud-based resources. Progent has extensive experience configuring VPN tunnels and setting up or troubleshooting firewalls to connect to Azure. Progent can provide rapid remote access to Cisco-certified CCIE infrastructure consultants and to firewall experts certified by leading vendors such as Symantec, Barracuda, and Check Point to help you to set up or troubleshoot firewalls for connecting your local resources with Microsoft Azure. Progent also provides mobility support by offering the help of iPhone and iPad technology consultants and Android integration consultants to help you to set up and administer smartphones and tablets that utilize your Microsoft Azure ecosystem. When you encounter glitches with your Azure solution, Progent has extensive experience working with Microsoft's Azure support personnel to resolve problems with Azure.

Some samples of remote expertise Progent has provided to organizations to create and maintain their Azure-connected ecosystems are:

  • Set up and troubleshoot IPsec VPN connections forremote access to Azure
  • Plan or analyze the architecture of hybrid Azure/on-premises environments
  • Create Virtual Machine images for Windows or Linux systems to be located on Azure
  • Implement Azure AD, AD Connect, and Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)
  • Plan and test data protection systems based on Azure Backup services
  • Prep and debug VHDs for Azure
  • Define and deploy security policies
  • Fix problems with IP addresses
  • Resolve sync problems with Office 365
  • Configure, patch, and debug firewalls from Cisco, Barracuda, SonicWall and other leading vendors
  • Set up Cisco AnyConnect technology for accessing Microsoft Azure products and services
  • Streamline license management
  • Resolve problems with certificate management
  • Select and configure centralized management, monitoring and reporting platforms that span hybrid cloud/on-premises networks
  • Set up Configuration Manager to deploy apps
  • Install SCVMM on premises and on Microsoft Azure
  • Plan and configure hybrid Exchange deployments
  • Optimize query performance on SQL Server hosted by Azure
  • Move Citrix XenDesktop to the Azure cloud
  • Resolve PowerShell issues for uploading modules to Azure
Contact Progent for Cloud Integration Consulting
If you are looking for help with any facet of integrating your network with Azure or other public cloud platform, phone Progent at 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

Additional Public Cloud Services Supported by Progent
Services available on public clouds are growing quickly in volume and sophistication. Choosing the best options is a challenge. The majority of enterprises maintain hybrid networks that utilize multiple public cloud and at the same time maintain on-premises datacenters. Microsoft's Office 365 family of applications, such as Exchange Online and Skype for Business Online, rely on the Azure cloud and offer alternatives to Azure's Infrastructure-as-a-Service products. Progent can help your organization to assess the business benefits of the service portfolios of the major public clouds and can show you how to plan, integrate, and administer IT ecosystems that incorporate an assortment of public and private clouds plus on-premises datacenters.

Other public cloud platforms supported by Progent include:

Office 365 Integration with On-premises ExchangeMicrosoft allows you to create transparent hybrid networks that integrate Office 365 Exchange Online and on-premises Exchange deployments. This allows you to have some mailboxes hosted at your physical datacenter and other mailboxes resident on Office 365. Progent's Microsoft-certified Exchange consultants can assist your organization with any facet of designing, implementing and troubleshooting your hybrid Office 365/Exchange network. Progent's Exchange specialists can provide as-needed support to help you resolve challenging technical issues and also can provide extensive project management outsourcing or co-sourcing to make sure your hybrid Office 365 initiative is completed on schedule and within budget. For more information about Progent's consulting expertise for hybrid Office 365 and on-premises Exchange environments, visit Office 365 Exchange Online integration solutions with on-premises Exchange.

Office 365 Support ConsultantsProgent's certified Microsoft Office and Office 365 consultants can help businesses to integrate Office desktop and Office 365 apps including Office Excel, Office Word, PowerPoint, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Access, Project and OneNote into a cohesive productivity solution that provides fast return on investment and promotes better business results. Progent can assist you to interface Office or Office 365 applications with each other and with other core Microsoft platforms including SharePoint Server, Exchange Server and SQL Server running locally or in the cloud. Progent's consultants can also assist you to fix compatibility problems between different versions of Microsoft Office and can provide live online Microsoft Office and Office 365 training to individual users and groups.

Amazon AWS Configuration ConsultingProgent's Amazon AWS integration consultants offer cost-effective online support to help companies to integrate Amazon AWS cloud services such as Amazon EC2 for virtual server hosting, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for scalable low-latency storage, and Amazon Glacier for value-priced long-term archiving. Progent can help you with every phase of Amazon AWS migration and troubleshooting including requirements analysis, readiness evaluation, architectural design, pilot testing, configuration, centralized administration, performance optimization, licensing management, disaster recovery solutions, and security and compliance. Progent offers advanced expertise with firewall configuration and VPN access and can show you how to create all-cloud or hybrid networking models that seamlessly integrate Amazon AWS resources. Progent can provide as-needed expertise or Progent can deliver project management outsourcing to help you move efficiently to the Amazon AWS cloud.

Amazon MWS Software Development ExpertsAmazon Marketplace Web Service is a collection of APIs that enables Amazon sellers to streamline their business processes by automating key sales functions including listings, orders, payments, inbound and outbound fulfillment, and finances. By leveraging Amazon's vast online selling environment and automating their sales, merchants can expand their reach, reduce their cost of sales, accelerate reaction time to customers, and add to their profits. Progent's Amazon Marketplace Web Service consultants can work with your development team and provide programming, workflow integration, project management support, and mentoring so you can shorten development time and get to market quickly.

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