Progent has helped businesses of all types and sizes to plan, configure, and administer information networks that use a variety of hybrid models that mix Azure cloud infrastructure and services with physical datacenters, private clouds, and additional public clouds. Progent is unmatched in the ability to provide immediate and economical online access to IT experts to help you to understand the possible benefits of different Azure services for your specific organization. Progent's virtualization experts can help you to configure virtual machines on Azure Virtual Machines. Progent's certified information security experts can help you unify identity management with Azure Active Directory. Progent's data protection consultants can help you to design backup/recovery systems based on Azure Backup. In addition, Progent's VPN and security appliance experts can help you set up secure and dependable connections to Microsoft Azure.
About Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure, formerly branded Windows Azure, is a leading public cloud service that lets you use IT infrastructure, servers, and business-critical application software residing on Microsoft's massive public cloud. Microsoft Azure supports over 100 cloud-based services such as the ability to host Windows and Linux-based VMs, on-demand storage, unified messaging, application development with Visual Studio, and backup/restore. Microsoft Azure products are available on a subscription basis and allocated dynamically, so you can instantly expand or reduce processing and data storage resources. Because you are billed only for the capacity you consume, efficiency is very high, which is one of the major attractions of public clouds.
Key Microsoft Azure Cloud Services
Microsoft Azure offers dozens of IaaS and PaaS products and hundreds of services. This expanding line of cloud-based services addresses virtually all areas of information technology including processing, data and storage, network infrastructure, management, security, web hosting, mobile, business applications, and software development. Other Microsoft products like Office 365 Exchange Online depend Microsoft Azure network infrastructure. (See Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online consulting and troubleshooting expertise.)
Key Microsoft Azure products and services for which Progent provides high-level consulting expertise and technical support include:
Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines allows you to configure, scale and manage virtual machines (VMs) on Azure. Your Azure Storage subscription takes care of storage for the operating system disk and any data disks. Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines supports Windows Server, major distributions of Linux, SAP, Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server, and other platforms. Different classes of virtual machines (VMs) are available and priced based on CPU power, memory size, and I/O latency. You can access Microsoft Azure VMs via Remote Desktop Connection. The Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) features of Azure Virtual Machines allows organizations to run Windows applications like SQL Server, Exchange, and SharePoint as well as major Linux distributions like Red Hat, Debian, CoreOS, and FreeBSD.
The current deployment model for Azure Virtual Machines, branded Azure Resource Manager and introduced in 2014, replaces what is now known as Azure Classic and enables more efficient virtual machine management by allowing VM groups with a common lifecycle. Previously, Azure cloud services for provisioning, scaling, and administering VMs had to be performed individually. Resource Manager deployment options include Azure Portal, Azure Resource Manager template, Azure PowerShell, and Visual Studio support. Progent's consultants can help you create and maintain Microsoft Azure solutions quickly and economically by delivering expertise with these technologies for managing Azure Virtual Machines.
Microsoft Azure Storage offers on-demand scale and automatic load balancing for primary storage hosted on the Azure cloud. An Azure General Purpose Storage account gives Azure subscribers the use of storage services for Blobs, Tables, Files, Queues, and VM disks. Every account has a 500 terabyte capacity maximum. For faster performance, you can subscribe to Azure's Premium storage class and operate VM workloads on SSDs.
Azure Blob storage for General Purpose Storage accounts is designed for massive amounts of unstructured data such as documents, social media, archives, web content, log files and Big Data. Blobs are arranged as containers, making it simpler to assign security policies to object groups. To export blobs that are impractical to move via an Internet connection, you can mail a physical drive to Microsoft.
A special category of Blob Storage is designed for applications that only require block or append blob storage. You can designate Hot or Cool access patterns for block and append blobs (not page blobs). Being able to specify access characteristics in Microsoft Azure Storage enables you to establish an optimal trade-off between cost and throughput.
Table storage is low-cost cloud storage designed for developers creating NoSQL metadata like contact lists, device information, or web applications. Table Storage supports the OData protocol for querying and allows JSON and XML-based AtomPub formats. Queue storage helps in the creation of messaging solutions by handling asynchronous exchanges between software components that span cloud-based and physical systems. Azure File storage supports SMB file shares, which streamlines migrating legacy applications to the Azure cloud.
Microsoft Azure Active Directory is a cloud directory and authentication management service that provides password synchronization and single sign-on (SSO) across on-premises and cloud environments. Azure Active Directory (AD) is built into Office 365, Salesforce.com, DropBox, Dynamics CRM Online, and thousands of other cloud apps. Features include multi-factor authentication, device registration, self-service password management across cloud-hosted and on-premises systems, group management, granular role-based access control (RBAC), auditing, security monitoring and reporting, and alerts. Azure AD works transparently with your Windows Server Active Directory to make it simple to combine on-premises and cloud authentication. Azure provides high availability by storing your directories on at least three geo-dispersed datacenters.
Microsoft Azure AD enables single sign-on and self-service passwords for cloud and on-premises resources
The Microsoft Azure AD Connect tool has superseded Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync), Azure AD Sync and Forefront Identity Manager as the recommended way to connect local directories and synchronize identity information with AD, Office 365 and SaaS cloud apps.
Azure Backup is a managed cloud-based backup service for offsite backup of on-premises, cloud-resident, and hybrid cloud/local data. Three copies of protected data are stored in one Azure facility, and three extra copies can optionally be housed in a geographically separate Azure region. Microsoft offers Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for 99.9% reliability, and retention in the Azure cloud is available for as long as 99 years. You can schedule backups for daily, monthly, weekly, and yearly periods, and recovery time is quicker and more affordable than old-school tape-based technology. Backups are encrypted before to transmission over a protected connection to the Azure cloud, and backups are retained in their encrypted state. The encryption key is stored and managed locally for enhanced security compliance. Other features include throttling to take advantage of low-traffic periods, compression to improve throughput and reduced storage costs, and incremental backups to conserve bandwidth. Azure Import/Export allows you to perform your seed backup on-premises and deliver a physical drive to the nearest Azure datacenter.
Azure Backup can be integrated seamlessly with System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) to offer specialized support for Microsoft's mission-critical platforms including Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint, and Hyper-V. Data Protection Manager works transparently with Windows Hyper-V Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) to backup virtual machines without interfering with their accessibility. SCDPM also offers platform-specific granular restore features like mailbox recovery 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 System Center Operations Manager to watch over system health, throughput, and efficiency.
How Progent's Experts Can Assist You with Microsoft Azure Environments
If you intend to migrate your organization's IT infrastructure to the Microsoft Azure cloud or create a hybrid ecosystem that integrates local and cloud-based components, Progent can help you evaluate the advantages of the Microsoft Azure line of services vs. other public clouds or different networking models such as using colo centers. Progent can help your business with any and every phase of Microsoft Azure integration such as ROI analysis, system design, proof of concept, implementation, unified administration, performance tuning, software license management, disaster recovery planning, security planning, and regulatory compliance validation.
Progent can assist you to decide which of your critical applications are a good fit for Microsoft Azure and help ensure your older apps are cloud compatible. Progent can provide affordable on-demand expertise to help you immediately get past occasional technical hurdles or Progent can deliver comprehensive project management consulting expertise to ensure your Microsoft Azure integration initiative is completed on schedule and on budget.
To help you implement centralized administration of a hybrid network that incorporates Azure services, Progent offers Microsoft System Center support including System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) expertise, System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) support services, System Center Configuration Manager expertise, System Center Virtual Machine Manager hybrid cloud management consulting, and Microsoft Intune mobile device management consulting.
Cloud-integrated solutions need to furnish a secure, manageable, user-friendly, and resilient environment for user to access both on-premises cloud-based applications and services. Progent has extensive experience configuring IPsec VPN connections and setting up or troubleshooting firewalls to link to Azure services. Progent offers fast remote access to Cisco-certified CCIE network consultants and to firewall experts certified by leading vendors such as Symantec, Barracuda, and SonicWall to assist you to configure or troubleshoot firewalls for integrating your local network with Microsoft Azure. Progent also provides mobility support by offering the help of iPhone and iPad technology consultants and Android integration experts to assist you to configure and manage smartphones and tablets that utilize your Azure ecosystem. When you come up against problems with your Microsoft Azure solution, Progent has experience working with Microsoft's support personnel to fix issues with Azure.
Some examples of online expertise Progent has delivered to organizations to help them integrate and maintain their Azure-connected networks are:
Contact Progent for Azure Cloud Integration Expertise
- Configure and debug IPsec VPN tunnels forsecure connectivity to Azure
- Plan or analyze the system architecture of hybrid Azure/local network models
- Create Virtual Machine images for Windows or Linux technology to be located on Microsoft Azure
- Implement Azure AD, AD Connect, and AD Federation Services
- Plan and validate backup/restore solutions based on Azure Backup services
- Prep and troubleshoot virtual hard disks (VHDs) for Microsoft Azure
- Specify and implement security rules
- Fix problems with IP addresses
- Fix sync issues associated with Office 365
- Configure, patch, and troubleshoot firewalls from Cisco, Barracuda, WatchGuard and other leading providers
- Set up Cisco AnyConnect for accessing Microsoft Azure resources
- Streamline software license control
- Fix problems with certificate management
- Select and set up centralized management, monitoring and reporting solutions across hybrid cloud/on-premises networks
- Implement Configuration Manager to deploy applications
- Configure SCVMM locally and on Microsoft Azure
- Design and implement hybrid Exchange solutions
- Tune query speed on SQL Server hosted by Microsoft Azure
- Migrate Citrix XenDesktop to Azure
- Resolve PowerShell issues for uploading modules to Azure
If you need help with any facet of integrating your IT network with Microsoft Azure or other public cloud, phone Progent at 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.
Additional Public Cloud Services Supported by Progent
Products and services offered on leading public clouds are growing rapidly in volume and sophistication. Selecting the best solution is increasingly difficult. Most large businesses have hybrid IT networks that utilize more than one public cloud and at the same time maintain corporate datacenters. Office 365 family of applications, such as Exchange Online and Skype for Business Online, rely on the Azure cloud and offer alternative paths to Azure's Infrastructure-as-a-Service products. Progent's cloud experts can provide guidance for you to assess the potential benefits of the service portfolios of the leading cloud vendors and show you how to plan, integrate, and administer network ecosystems that incorporate a variety of public and private clouds plus physical local facilities.
Other public cloud platforms supported by Progent include:
Microsoft supports transparent hybrid environments that combine Microsoft 365 and on-premises Exchange deployments. This permits you to have specific Exchange mailboxes hosted on your physical datacenter and other mailboxes hosted by Microsoft 365. Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you with any facet of planning, integrating and debugging your hybrid Exchange solution. Progent's Exchange consultants can deliver occasional support to help you resolve challenging technical bottlenecks and also offer extensive project management outsourcing to ensure your hybrid Exchange initiative is completed on schedule and on budget. For details about Progent's online consulting services for hybrid Microsoft 365 Exchange and on-premises Exchange environments, see Exchange Online integration solutions with on-prem Exchange.
Progent's certified Office and Microsoft 365 experts can help businesses of any size to incorporate Office desktop and Microsoft 365 applications such as Office Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Project and OneNote into a seamless solution that offers fast ROI and enables better business outcomes. Progent can help your company to integrate Office or Microsoft 365 apps with each other and with other key Microsoft platforms including SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange Server and SQL Server running on-premises or in the cloud. Progent can also help you to fix compatibility issues with different releases of Office and offers customized online Office and Microsoft 365 training to individual users or teams.
Progent's Amazon Web Services (AWS) planning and integration experts can provide cost-effective online support to assist companies to access Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud services including Amazon EC2 for virtual server hosting, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for expandable high-performance storage, and Glacier for value-priced long-term archiving. Progent can assist your IT team with every aspect of Amazon AWS integration including needs analysis, readiness assessment, architectural design and review, testing, configuration, centralized administration, performance tuning, licensing management, backup/restore mechanisms, and security and compliance. Progent can provide advanced expertise with firewalls and VPN connections and can help you deploy all-cloud or hybrid networking models that efficiently incorporate Amazon AWS services. Progent offers occasional consulting or Progent can deliver comprehensive project management outsourcing services to help you migrate smoothly to the Amazon AWS cloud platform.
Amazon Marketplace Web Service (Amazon MWS) is an integrated library of APIs that allows Amazon sellers to improve the efficiency of their operations by automating key sales activities including listings, orders, payments, fulfillment, and reports. By tapping into Amazon's extensive online selling environment and automating their sales processes, merchants can broaden their reach, reduce their cost of sales, improve response time to customers, and add to their profits. Progent's Amazon Marketplace Web Service (Amazon MWS) developers can collaborate with your development team and provide programming, workflow integration, project management support, and training so you can shorten development time and get to market quickly.
Progent's Google Cloud Platform planning and integration experts offer cost-effective remote and on-premises consulting to assist companies of any size to move all or part of their critical network resources to Google Cloud Platform services. This can save time and hardware expense and enable the use of Google's state-of-the-art AI and machine learning tools. Progent can assist you with every aspect of Google Cloud Platform migration and troubleshooting including needs analysis, preparedness evaluation, system design and review, testing, deployment, centralized administration, performance tuning, software license management, backup/restore solutions, and security.