Progent has helped businesses of all types and sizes to design, deploy, and manage information networks that use a variety of hybrid architectures that combine Azure cloud resources with local datacenters, private clouds, and additional public clouds like Amazon AWS or Google Cloud Platform. Progent is unique in the ability to offer fast and affordable online help from IT experts to assist you to understand the potential advantages of various Azure products and services for your particular organization. Progent's virtualization experts can assist you to configure VMs on Azure Virtual Machines. Progent's certified data security experts can help you unify identity management with Azure Active Directory. Progent's data protection experts can help you to deploy backup and restore systems based on Azure Backup. Also, Progent's VPN and security appliance specialists can show you how to set up safe and dependable connections to Azure.
About Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure, previously branded Windows Azure, is a popular cloud platform that allows you to use network infrastructure, servers, and business-critical application software hosted on Microsoft's massive public cloud. The Azure ecosystem includes dozens of cloud-centric services such as hosting Windows and Linux-based virtual machines (VMs), on-demand storage, unified messaging, development, and data backup. Microsoft Azure services are available by subscription and allocated dynamically, so organizations can instantly expand or reduce compute and storage resources. Since you are billed only for the computer resources you consume, efficiency is very high, which is the key of public clouds.
Key Microsoft Azure Cloud Products and Services
Microsoft Azure offers dozens of IaaS and platform options and many hundreds of cloud services. This expanding set of cloud-based services covers practically all facets of information technology including processing, data and storage, network infrastructure, administration, security, web, mobile, applications, and development. Additional Microsoft products like Office 365 Exchange Online depend Azure cloud infrastructure. (See Office 365 Exchange Online consulting and troubleshooting consulting services.)
Major Microsoft Azure offerings for which Progent provides advanced expertise and troubleshooting include:
Azure Virtual Machines hosting service allows organizations to deploy, expand and manage virtual machines (VMs) on Azure. Your Azure Storage subscription takes care of storage for the OS disk and associated data disks. Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines works with Microsoft Windows Server, major distributions of Linux, SAP, Oracle Database, and other popular platforms. Various categories of virtual machines are offered and priced according to CPU performance, memory capacity, and I/O throughput. You can access Azure VMs via Remote Desktop Connection. The Platform-as-a-Service features of Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines permits organizations to run Windows applications such as SQL Server, Exchange Server, and SharePoint plus leading Linux distributions such as Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, and FreeBSD.
The enhanced deployment model for Azure Virtual Machines, branded Azure Resource Manager, replaces what is now known as Azure Classic and offers more efficient VM management by allowing VM groups with a shared lifecycle. Before, Azure cloud services for deploying, sizing, and managing 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 Azure specialists can show you how to build and administer Microsoft Azure environments quickly and economically by delivering expertise with all these tools for managing Azure Virtual Machines.
Azure Storage offers on-demand scale and load balancing for primary storage on Azure. An Azure General Purpose Storage account gives Azure clients access to storage services for Blobs, Tables, Files, Queues, and virtual machine disks. Every account includes a 500 terabyte capacity limit. To get higher throughput, you can upgrade to Azure's Premium storage tier and run virtual machine applications on SSDs.
Azure Blob storage for General Purpose Storage accounts is intended for large volumes of unstructured object data such as documents, social media, archives, web pages, and system logs. Blobs are managed as containers, which makes it easy to assign security policies to object groups. To export blobs that are too massive to upload via the Internet, you can send a drive to Microsoft.
A special category of Blob Storage is available for applications that only need block or append blob storage. You can designate frequently used or infrequently used access characteristics for block and append blobs (but not for page blobs). Being able to define data access patterns in Microsoft Azure storage accounts allows you to establish the right trade-off between cost and throughput.
Table storage is affordably-priced cloud storage intended for developers using NoSQL metadata like address books, device information, or web apps. Table Storage supports the OData protocol for querying and supports JSON and XML-based AtomPub formats. Queue storage facilitates the creation of messaging apps by handling asynchronous exchanges between software components that span cloud and physical systems. Microsoft Azure File storage accommodates SMB file shares, which streamlines migrating legacy applications to the Azure cloud.
Microsoft Azure Active Directory is a cloud directory and identity control service that enables password synchronization and single sign-on spanning local and cloud infrastructure. Azure Active Directory (AD) is built into Office 365, Salesforce.com, DropBox, Dynamics CRM Online, and thousands of other cloud apps. Capabilities include multi-factor authentication, device registration, self-service password management across cloud and local environments, privileged account management, role-based access management, application usage monitoring, security monitoring and reporting, and alerts. Microsoft Azure AD integrates transparently with your Windows Server Active Directory to make it easy to combine local and cloud-based authentication. Azure provides advanced reliability by locating your directories on a minimum of three geo-dispersed datacenters.
Azure AD enables single sign-on and self-service passwords to access cloud and on-premises resources
The Microsoft Azure AD Connect utility has replaced Windows Azure DirSync, Azure AD Sync (AAD Sync) and Forefront Identity Manager as the preferred way to integrate on-premises directories and synchronize identity information with Active Directory, Office 365 and SaaS cloud applications.
Azure Backup is a managed backup service that simplifies offsite backup of on-premises, cloud-resident, and hybrid cloud/local data. Three backups are kept in the same Azure datacenter, and three more backups can optionally be housed at a different Azure location. Microsoft offers Service Level Agreements 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 recovery time is faster and less expensive than old-style tape-based technology. Backups are encrypted prior to being sent over a protected link to the Azure cloud, and backups are stored encrypted. The encryption key is kept locally for better security compliance. Other features include throttling to utilize off-peak hours, compression for enhanced performance and lower storage requirements, and incremental backups to save bandwidth. Azure Import/Export enables you to perform your seed backup on-premises and deliver a physical storage device to the closest Azure facility.
Azure Backup can be integrated seamlessly with System Center Data Protection Manager to offer specialized support for Microsoft's key workloads including Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint Server, and Windows Hyper-V. Data Protection Manager works seamlessly with Windows Hyper-V Volume Shadow Copy Services to backup virtual machines without interfering with their operation. SCDPM also offers product-specific granular restore capability such as mailbox recovery for Exchange, database-level recovery for Microsoft SQL Server, and Item Level Recovery for SharePoint Server. Azure Backup solutions integrated with SCDPM can be tracked with System Center Operations Manager to watch over system health, performance, and utilization.
How Progent Can Help You with Azure Integration
If you want to move your organization's network to the Azure cloud or build a hybrid ecosystem that combines local and cloud-based resources, Progent can help you evaluate the benefits of the Azure line of services vs. other public clouds or alternative architectural models such as colocation. Progent can assist you with any stage of Azure migration including benefits assessment, system planning, proof of concept, implementation, unified management, performance tuning, software license control, disaster recovery planning, security solutions, and regulatory compliance analysis.
Progent can help you to decide which of your mission-critical applications are appropriate for Azure and help you make your older apps are cloud compatible. Progent can provide affordable on-demand expertise so you can quickly get past occasional technical hurdles or Progent can provide comprehensive project management consulting expertise to make sure your Microsoft Azure integration initiative is successfully completed on time and within your budget.
For setting up centralized management of a hybrid environment that incorporates Azure services, Progent can provide Microsoft System Center consulting services including SCDPM expertise, System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) support, System Center Configuration Manager expertise, SCVMM hybrid cloud management expertise, and Microsoft Intune mobile device management consulting.
Hybrid cloud solutions need to furnish a safe, manageable, transparent, and reliable environment for user to connect to both on-premises cloud applications and services. Progent has extensive experience deploying VPN connections and implementing or troubleshooting firewalls to connect to Azure services. Progent can provide fast online access to Cisco-certified CCIE network consultants and to firewall experts certified by leading suppliers like Symantec, Barracuda, and Check Point to help you to set up or troubleshoot firewalls for integrating your local resources with Azure. Progent also provides mobility support by offering the skills of Apple iPhone and iPad technology experts and Android connectivity experts to help you to configure and administer smartphones and tablets that utilize your Microsoft Azure ecosystem. When you encounter problems with your Azure solution, Progent has extensive experience working with Microsoft's Azure support engineers to fix issues with Azure.
Typical samples of online consulting services Progent has delivered to organizations to create and manage their Azure-connected ecosystems are:
Contact Progent for Cloud Integration Expertise
- Configure and troubleshoot IPsec VPN tunnels forsecure access to Azure
- Design or review the architecture of hybrid Azure/on-premises network models
- Create VM images for Windows or Linux systems to be hosted on Microsoft Azure
- Implement Azure AD, Azure AD Connect, and Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)
- Plan and validate backup vaults based on Azure Backup services
- Set up and troubleshoot virtual hard disks for Azure
- Define and implement security rules
- Fix problems involving IP addresses
- Fix sync issues with Office 365
- Configure, update, and troubleshoot firewalls from Cisco, Barracuda, SonicWall and other leading vendors
- Configure Cisco AnyConnect technology for remote access to Azure products and services
- Simplify software license management
- Fix problems with certificates
- Identify and set up centralized management, monitoring and reporting utilities across hybrid environments
- Implement System Center Configuration Manager to deploy apps
- Configure System Center Virtual Machine Manager locally and on Azure
- Design and configure hybrid Exchange solutions
- Tune query performance on SQL Server hosted by Microsoft Azure
- Migrate Citrix XenDesktop to Azure
- troubleshoot PowerShell issues for uploading modules to Azure
If you are looking for assistance with any facet of integrating your network with Microsoft Azure or other public cloud platform, 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 like Azure are expanding rapidly in volume and complexity. Choosing the best solution can be a challenge. The majority of enterprises have hybrid networks that use more than one public cloud and also maintain on-premises datacenters. Microsoft's Office 365 line of applications, such as Exchange Online, depend on the Azure cloud and provide alternative paths to Azure's IaaS products. Progent can assist you to assess the business benefits of the services offered by. many options available from the leading cloud vendors and can show you how to plan, integrate, and administer IT ecosystems that include a variety of public and private clouds plus physical local datacenters.
Other public clouds supported by Progent include:
Microsoft supports transparent hybrid networks that integrate Office 365 and on-premises installations of Exchange. This allows you to have specific Exchange mailboxes located on your physical datacenter and other mailboxes hosted by Office 365. Progent's Microsoft-certified Exchange consulting team can help you with any phase of planning, integrating and debugging your hybrid Office 365/Exchange solution. Progent's Exchange specialists can provide occasional support to help you through challenging technical bottlenecks and also offer comprehensive project management outsourcing or co-sourcing to make sure your hybrid Office 365/Exchange solution is completed on schedule and within budget. For details about Progent's online consulting support for integrating Office 365 and on-premises Exchange environments, go to Exchange Online integration solutions with on-premises Exchange.
Progent's Microsoft Office and Office 365 experts can help companies to integrate Office desktop and Microsoft Office 365 apps including Office Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Microsoft Access, Project and Publisher into a seamless productivity solution that provides quick return on investment and promotes improved business results. Progent can help you to interface Office or Office 365 apps with one another and with other core Microsoft platforms including SharePoint Server, Exchange Server and SQL Server deployed on-premises or hosted in the cloud. Progent's consultants can also assist you to resolve compatibility issues between various versions of Office and can provide live online Microsoft Office and Office 365 training to individual users and teams.
Progent's Amazon Web Services (AWS) planning and integration experts offer affordable online support to help businesses to access Amazon AWS cloud services such as Amazon EC2 for virtual server hosting, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for expandable high-performance storage, and Amazon Glacier for low-cost long-term archiving. Progent can assist you with every phase of Amazon AWS migration and troubleshooting including needs analysis, preparedness evaluation, architectural design, pilot testing, configuration, administration, performance optimization, licensing management, backup/restore mechanisms, and security strategies. Progent can provide 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 services. Progent offers as-needed expertise or Progent can deliver comprehensive project management outsourcing or co-sourcing services to help you migrate efficiently to the Amazon AWS platform.
Amazon Marketplace Web Service is an integrated collection of APIs that enables Amazon sellers to streamline their operations by automating crucial sales functions such as listings, orders, payments, fulfillment, and reports. By tapping into Amazon's extensive online ecosystem and automating their sales processes, vendors can expand their reach, reduce their cost of sales, improve response time to customers, and add to their bottom line. Progent's Amazon Marketplace Web Service (Amazon MWS) consultants can collaborate with your development team and provide programming, workflow integration, project management support, and training so you can shorten development time and costs and get to market quickly.
Progent's Google Cloud Platform (GCP) planning and integration consultants can provide affordable remote and onsite support to assist organizations to move any portion of their core IT resources to Google Cloud Platform services. This can save time and equipment expense and enable the use of Google's cutting edge AI and machine learning technology. Progent can help you with every aspect of Google Cloud Platform migration and troubleshooting including requirements analysis, readiness evaluation, architectural design and review, pilot testing, deployment, centralized administration, performance tuning, licensing management, disaster recovery mechanisms, and security strategies.