Progent has assisted organizations of all sizes to plan, configure, and administer networks based on a variety of hybrid architectures that mix Microsoft Azure cloud-based infrastructure and services with physical facilities, private clouds, and other public clouds. Progent is unique in the ability to provide fast and economical online help from IT consulting experts to help you to evaluate the possible benefits of various Azure services for your particular business. Progent's virtualization consultants can help you to configure VMs on Azure Virtual Machines. Progent's certified information security consultants can help you unify identity management using Azure Active Directory. Progent's data protection experts can assist you to plan backup and restore solutions with Azure Backup. Also, Progent's VPN and firewall specialists can show you how to create safe and dependable connections to Azure.
About Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure, formerly branded Windows Azure, is a popular cloud platform that lets you use IT infrastructure, servers, and key applications residing on Microsoft's massive cloud. The Azure ecosystem offers dozens of cloud-centric services such as hosting Windows and Linux-powered virtual machines (VMs), on-demand storage, unified messaging, application development, and data backup. Microsoft Azure products are delivered by subscription and allocated as-needed, so you can immediately scale up or ratchet down processing and storage capacity. Since you are billed only for the capacity you consume, utilization is very high, which is the key of public clouds.
Popular Microsoft Azure Cloud Services
Azure offers dozens of IaaS and PaaS options and hundreds of cloud services. This growing family of cloud-based services covers virtually all facets of information technology such as processing, data and storage, network infrastructure, administration, cybersecurity, web hosting, mobility, applications, and software development. Additional Microsoft products like Office 365 Exchange Online rely on Azure cloud infrastructure. (See Office 365 Exchange Online consulting and troubleshooting consulting services.)
Major Microsoft Azure products and services for which Progent can deliver advanced consulting expertise and troubleshooting services include:
Azure Virtual Machines hosting service allows you to deploy, scale and manage virtual machines (VMs) on the Azure cloud. Your Azure Storage subscription takes care of storage for the OS disk and associated data disks. Azure Virtual Machines works with Windows Server, major distributions of Linux, IBM, Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server, and other leading platforms. Different classes of VMs are available and priced based on processor power, memory and disk capacity, and I/O latency. You can access Microsoft Azure VMs through RDP. The Platform-as-a-Service features of Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines allows organizations to run Windows applications such as SQL Server, Exchange Server, and Microsoft Dynamics plus major Linux distributions such as Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, and FreeBSD.
The current deployment model for Azure Virtual Machines, referred to as Azure Resource Manager, replaces what is now called Azure Classic and offers streamlined VM management by allowing VM groups with a common lifecycle. Before, Microsoft Azure services for deploying, sizing, and administering virtual machines had to be handled individually. Resource Manager provisioning options include a cloud portal, Azure Resource Manager template, Azure PowerShell, and Azure Tools for Visual Studio. Progent's Azure specialists can show you how to build and maintain Microsoft Azure environments efficiently and affordably by providing expertise with all these tools for supporting Azure Virtual Machines.
Azure Storage delivers on-demand capacity and load balancing for primary storage hosted on the Azure cloud. An Azure General Purpose Storage account gives Azure clients the use of storage services for Blobs, Tables, Files, Queues, and VM disks. Every storage account includes a 500 TB capacity maximum. For faster performance, you can upgrade to a Premium storage class and run VM workloads on SSDs.
Azure Blob storage for General Purpose Storage accounts is intended for large volumes of unstructured object data like documents, social media, backups, web pages, and logs. Azure Blobs are arranged as containers, making it simpler to assign security policies to object groups. To transfer blobs that are impractical to upload over an Internet connection, you can send physical media to Microsoft.
A separate class of Blob Storage is designed for applications that only need block or append blob storage. You can specify frequently used or infrequently used access characteristics for block and append blobs (but not for page blobs). Being able to define data access characteristics in Microsoft Azure storage accounts allows you to arrive at an appropriate trade-off between cost and performance.
Table storage is low-cost cloud storage designed for developers creating schemaless metadata like contact books, device information, or web applications. Table Storage works with the OData protocol for advanced querying and allows JSON and XML-based AtomPub formats. Queue storage facilitates the creation of messaging solutions by handling asynchronous communication between software components across cloud and physical environments. Microsoft Azure File storage accommodates SMB shares, which simplifies moving legacy apps to Azure.
Azure Active Directory is a cloud-based directory and authentication management service that enables password synchronization and single sign-on spanning on-premises and cloud environments. Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD) is incorporated in Office 365, Salesforce.com, Concur, Dynamics 365, and many other cloud applications. Features include multi-factor authentication, endpoint registration, self-service password synchronization across cloud-hosted and local environments, privileged account management, granular role-based access management, application usage monitoring, security monitoring and reporting, and automatic alerts. Azure AD works transparently with your Windows Server Active Directory to make it simple to combine local and cloud-based authentication. Azure provides high availability by locating your directories on a minimum of three geo-dispersed facilities.
Microsoft Azure AD allows single sign-on password management to access cloud and on-premises resources
The Azure AD Connect utility has superseded Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync), Azure AD Sync (AAD Sync) and Forefront Identity Manager as the recommended means to integrate on-premises directories and synchronize identity information with AD, Office 365 and SaaS cloud applications.
Azure Backup is a managed backup service for offsite backup of local, cloud, and hybrid environments. Three copies of protected data are stored in the same Azure datacenter, and three additional copies at additional cost be protected at a different Azure site. Microsoft offers Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for 99.9% reliability, and archiving in Azure can be up to 99 years. You can schedule backups for daily, monthly, weekly, and yearly periods, and restoration is quicker and more affordable than traditional tape-based technology. Backups are encrypted before to being sent across a protected link to Azure, and backups are stored encrypted. The encryption key is stored and managed locally for enhanced security compliance. Other features include throttling to utilize off-peak periods, compression to improve performance and reduced storage requirements, and incremental backups to save bandwidth. Azure Import/Export enables you to perform your seed backup on-premises and send a physical storage device to the closest Azure datacenter.
Azure Backup can be integrated seamlessly with System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) to provide in-depth support for Microsoft's mission-critical platforms including Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint, and Hyper-V. Data Protection Manager works transparently with Hyper-V Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) to backup VMs without interfering with their operation. SCDPM also offers product-specific granular recovery capability like mailbox restoration for Exchange, database-level recovery for SQL Server, and ILR for SharePoint. Azure Backup solutions integrated with SCDPM can be tracked with System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) to watch over system health, throughput, and utilization.
How Progent Can Help You with Azure Integration
If you intend to migrate your organization's network to the Microsoft Azure cloud or create a hybrid environment that integrates local and cloud-based resources, Progent's consultants can help you assess the advantages of the Azure line of products and services vs. other public cloud platforms or different networking strategies such as using colo centers. Progent can help you with every stage of Microsoft Azure integration such as benefits analysis, solution planning, proof of concept, implementation, unified management, performance optimization, software license control, disaster recovery strategies, security planning, and regulatory compliance validation.
Progent can assist you to decide which of your mission-critical applications are appropriate for Microsoft Azure and help ensure your legacy apps are cloud ready. Progent offers cost-effective on-demand expertise to help you quickly deal with occasional technical hurdles or Progent can provide comprehensive project management consulting expertise to ensure your Microsoft Azure integration initiative is successfully completed on time and within your budget.
To help you implement centralized management of a hybrid cloud network that includes Azure services, Progent can provide Microsoft System Center consulting services including System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) expertise, System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) support services, System Center Configuration Manager expertise, SCVMM hybrid cloud management consulting, and Microsoft Intune mobile device management consulting.
Hybrid cloud solutions must provide a secure, easy-to-manage, transparent, and resilient way for user to connect to both local cloud resources. Progent has extensive experience configuring VPN tunnels and setting up or debugging firewalls to link to Microsoft Azure. Progent offers rapid remote access to Cisco-certified CCIE network infrastructure experts and to firewall experts certified by top suppliers such as Symantec, Barracuda, and WatchGuard to help you to set up or debug firewalls for connecting your local resources with Microsoft Azure. Progent also supports mobile users by offering the help of Apple iPhone and iPad technology experts as well as Android connectivity experts to assist you to configure and administer smartphones and tablets connected to your Azure environment. If you come up against glitches with your Microsoft Azure solution, Progent has experience teaming with Microsoft's support personnel to resolve problems with Azure.
Some examples of remote expertise Progent has provided to businesses to build and maintain their Azure-connected information systems are:
Contact Progent for Azure Cloud Integration Expertise
- Set up and troubleshoot IPsec VPN connections forsecure connectivity to Microsoft Azure
- Design or review the architecture of hybrid Azure/on-premises environments
- Assemble VM images for Windows or Linux technology to be located on Azure
- Configure Azure Active Directory, Azure AD Connect, and ADFS
- Design and test backup/restore solutions that utilize Azure Backup services
- Prep and debug virtual hard disks for Microsoft Azure
- Define and deploy security policies
- Fix problems involving IP addresses
- Resolve sync problems with Office 365
- Set up, patch, and troubleshoot firewalls from Cisco, Barracuda, WatchGuard and other security appliance providers
- Configure Cisco AnyConnect for accessing Microsoft Azure products and services
- Streamline license control
- Fix issues with certificate management
- Select and deploy unified management, monitoring and reporting solutions across hybrid cloud/on-premises networks
- Set up Configuration Manager to deploy applications
- Configure SCVMM on premises and on Microsoft Azure
- Design and configure hybrid Exchange solutions
- Tune query speed on SQL Server running on Azure
- Migrate Citrix XenDesktop to Azure
- Resolve PowerShell problems for uploading modules to Azure
If you need assistance with any facet of integrating your network with Microsoft Azure or other public cloud, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.
Additional Cloud Platforms Supported by Progent's Cloud Integration Experts
Products and services available on leading public clouds are growing rapidly in volume and sophistication. Selecting the right solution can be increasingly difficult. Most enterprises maintain hybrid IT networks that utilize more than one public cloud and also manage corporate facilities. Office 365 family of applications, including Exchange Online and Skype for Business Online, depend on Azure infrastructure and provide alternative paths to Azure's IaaS products. Progent can provide guidance for you to assess the potential advantages of the service portfolios of the leading public clouds and show you how to design, integrate, and maintain network environments that include a mix of public and private clouds plus physical local facilities.
Other public cloud platforms supported by Progent include:
Microsoft supports seamless hybrid ecosystems that combine Office 365 Exchange Online and local Exchange deployments. This allows you to have some Exchange mailboxes located at your physical datacenter or private cloud and other mailboxes resident on Office 365. Progent's certified Exchange consulting team can help your organization with any phase of designing, implementing and debugging your hybrid Office 365/Exchange solution. Progent's Exchange consultants can deliver as-needed support to help you resolve challenging technical problems and also can provide extensive project management outsourcing or co-sourcing to ensure your hybrid Office 365 initiative is successfully completed on time and within budget. To find out more about Progent's online consulting services for integrating Office 365 and on-premises Exchange systems, go to Exchange Online integration with on-premises Exchange.
Progent's Microsoft 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 OneNote into a seamless productivity solution that offers quick ROI and promotes improved business outcomes. Progent can help your company to integrate Office or Office 365 apps with each other and with other key Microsoft technologies including SharePoint, Exchange Server and SQL Server deployed on-premises or in the cloud. Progent's consultants can also help you to resolve compatibility issues with various releases of Office and offers live online Microsoft Office and Office 365 instruction to individuals and teams.
Progent's Amazon AWS cloud planning and integration consultants offer affordable remote consulting to help companies of any size to access Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud services such as Amazon EC2 for virtual machine hosting, Amazon S3 for expandable low-latency storage, and Glacier for value-priced archival storage. Progent can assist your IT team with every phase of Amazon AWS integration including requirements analysis, preparedness assessment, system design, testing, deployment, administration, performance optimization, licensing management, disaster recovery mechanisms, and security. Progent offers advanced expertise with firewall configuration and VPN technology and can help you create cloud-centric or hybrid environments that seamlessly incorporate Amazon AWS services. Progent offers occasional expertise or Progent can provide comprehensive project management outsourcing services to help you move smoothly to the Amazon AWS cloud.
Amazon Marketplace Web Service is a collection of APIs that allows Amazon sellers to improve the efficiency of their operations by automating crucial sales activities such as listings, orders, payments, inbound and outbound fulfillment, and finances. By tapping into Amazon's extensive online ecosystem and automating their sales processes, vendors can expand their market, lower their cost of sales, improve reaction time to customers, and add to their profits. Progent's Amazon Marketplace Web Service consultants can collaborate with your development staff and provide application programming, workflow integration, project management support, and mentoring to help you cut development time and costs and speed up your return on investment.
Progent's Google Cloud Platform (GCP) planning and integration consultants offer affordable remote and onsite support to assist companies of any size to move all or part of their core IT resources to Google Cloud Platform services. This can save management hassle and equipment expense and allow the use of Google's cutting edge machine learning technology. Progent can assist you with every aspect of Google Cloud Platform integration including requirements analysis, readiness evaluation, system design, pilot testing, deployment, centralized administration, performance optimization, licensing management, disaster recovery mechanisms, and security.