Azure Integration ConsultantsProgent has helped organizations of all sizes to plan, configure, and administer information networks based on a variety of hybrid architectures that combine Microsoft Azure cloud resources with physical facilities, private clouds, and other public clouds like Amazon AWS. Progent is unmatched in the ability to provide rapid and affordable online help from IT consulting experts to help you to assess the possible benefits of various Azure services for your specific organization. Progent's virtualization consultants can help you to set up virtual machines on Azure Virtual Machines. Progent's certified information security experts can help you centralize identity management with Azure Active Directory. Progent's data protection experts can help you to design backup/recovery solutions based on Azure Backup. In addition, Progent's VPN and firewall experts can show you how to set up secure and dependable connections to Azure.

About Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure, formerly branded Windows Azure, is a popular public cloud platform that allows you to utilize network infrastructure, virtual servers, and key application software hosted on Microsoft's vast public cloud. The Azure ecosystem offers over 60 cloud-based services including the ability to host Windows and Linux-based VMs, scalable cloud storage, unified messaging, development, and data backup. Azure services are available on a subscription basis and allocated as-needed, so organizations can instantly scale up or ratchet down compute and data storage resources. Because you pay just for the capacity you need, efficiency is very high, which is the key of public clouds.

Key Azure Cloud Products and Services
Microsoft Azure provides more than 60 IaaS and PaaS options and many hundreds of services. This expanding set of cloud-based services addresses virtually all areas of information technology including processing, data and storage, networking, management, security, web, mobile, applications, and development. Additional Microsoft offerings such as Office 365 Exchange Online depend Azure cloud infrastructure. (Visit Office 365 Exchange Online integration and troubleshooting consulting services.)

Key Microsoft Azure products and services for which Progent provides high-level expertise and troubleshooting include:

Azure Virtual Machines Integration ConsultingMicrosoft Azure Virtual Machines makes it easy for you to provision, expand and manage virtual machines on Azure. Your Azure Storage subscription takes care of storage for the OS disk and associated data disks. Azure Virtual Machines supports Microsoft Windows Server, Linux, SAP, Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server, and other popular platforms. Various classes of virtual machines (VMs) are available and priced based on processor performance, memory and disk capacity, and I/O latency. You can access Azure Virtual Machines via RDP. The Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) functionality of Azure Virtual Machines allows you to run Windows applications such as SQL Server, Exchange, and SharePoint as well as mainstream Linux distributions like Red Hat, Debian, CoreOS, and FreeBSD.

The enhanced deployment model for Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines, branded Azure Resource Manager, supersedes what is now known as Azure Classic and enables more efficient VM management by supporting VM groups with a common lifecycle. Before, Microsoft Azure services for deploying, sizing, and managing VMs had to be performed individually. Resource Manager deployment features 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 efficiently and affordably by delivering expertise with these technologies for supporting Azure Virtual Machines.

Azure Storage ExpertiseMicrosoft Azure Storage offers dynamic capacity and automatic load balancing for primary storage hosted on the Azure cloud. An Azure General Purpose Storage account provides Azure clients access to storage services for Blobs, Tables, Files, Queues, and VM drives. Each storage account includes a 500 terabyte storage limit. For higher performance, you can upgrade to a Premium storage class and run VM workloads on SSDs.

Azure Blob storage for General Purpose Storage accounts is designed for large volumes of unstructured object data like documents, social media, archives, web pages, and system logs. Blobs are managed as containers, making it simpler to designate policies to groups of objects. To export blobs that are too massive to upload over the Internet, you can ship physical media to Microsoft.

A special category of Blob Storage is designed for applications that only require block or append blob storage. You can specify frequently used or infrequently used access patterns for block and append blobs (but not for page blobs). The ability to define data access patterns in Microsoft Azure storage accounts enables you to establish an optimal balance between cost and speed.

Table storage is economical storage designed for developers using non-relational metadata such as address lists, device information, or web applications. Azure 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 applications by handling asynchronous exchanges between application components across cloud and physical systems. Azure File storage supports SMB file shares, which simplifies migrating legacy applications to the Azure cloud.

Microsoft Azure Active Directory ConsultingAzure Active Directory is a cloud-based directory and authentication control service that provides password synchronization and single sign-on (SSO) spanning local and cloud infrastructure. Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD) is built into Office 365,, Concur, Dynamics CRM Online, and many other cloud apps. Capabilities include multi-factor identification, device registration, password synchronization across cloud and on-premises systems, privileged account management, role-based access control (RBAC), application usage monitoring, security monitoring and reporting, and alerts. Azure AD works seamlessly with Windows Server Active Directory to make it simple to unify on-premises and cloud identities. Azure provides advanced reliability by locating your directories on at least three separate facilities.

Azure Active Directory Integration Consulting

Microsoft Azure AD enables single sign-on password management for cloud and on-premises resources

The Azure AD Connect utility has superseded Windows Azure DirSync, Azure AD Sync and Forefront Identity Manager as the recommended way to integrate local directories and synchronize identity information with Active Directory, Office 365 and SaaS cloud applications.

Microsoft Azure Backup ConsultingAzure Backup is an automated cloud-based backup service for offsite backup of on-premises, cloud-resident, and hybrid environments. Three copies of backup data are stored in one Azure datacenter, and three more backups at additional cost be stored at a different Azure region. Microsoft offers SLAs for 99.9% reliability, and retention in the Azure cloud can be as long as 99 years. Backups can be scheduled for daily, monthly, weekly, and yearly periods, and recovery time is faster and more affordable than old-school tape-based technology. Backups are encrypted prior to being sent across a secure connection to the Azure cloud, and backups are stored in their encrypted state. The encryption key is stored and managed locally for enhanced compliance. Other features include throttling to utilize off-peak hours, data compression to improve performance and reduced storage requirements, and incremental backups to conserve bandwidth. Azure Import/Export enables you to perform your seed backup locally and deliver a physical drive to the closest Azure datacenter.

Azure Backup can be integrated seamlessly with System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) to offer in-depth support for Microsoft's key platforms including Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint, and Hyper-V. System Center Data Protection Manager works seamlessly with Windows Hyper-V Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) to backup virtual machines without interrupting their accessibility. DPM also offers product-specific granular recovery capability like mailbox restoration for Exchange, database-level restore for Microsoft SQL Server, and Item Level Recovery (ILR) for SharePoint. Azure Backup environments integrated with Data Protection Manager can be monitored with System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) to watch over system health, throughput, and utilization.

How Progent Can Help You with Azure Integration
If you want to migrate your network to the Microsoft Azure cloud or create a hybrid ecosystem that integrates local and Azure components, Progent can help you assess the advantages of the Microsoft Azure family of services compared to other public cloud platforms or different architectural models such as colocation. Progent can help you with any stage of Azure migration such as benefits analysis, system planning, pilot testing, deployment, centralized management and monitoring, performance optimization, software license control, disaster recovery planning, cybersecurity solutions, and regulatory compliance analysis.

Progent can assist you to decide which of your line-of-business applications are appropriate for Microsoft Azure and help you make your older apps are cloud compatible. Progent offers affordable as-needed support so you can immediately deal with occasional technical roadblocks or Progent can deliver end-to-end project management consulting services to ensure your Azure integration initiative is successfully completed on schedule and on budget.

For setting up centralized administration of a hybrid cloud network that incorporates Azure services, Progent offers System Center consulting services including System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) expertise, System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) support, System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) expertise, System Center Virtual Machine Manager hybrid cloud management consulting, and Microsoft Intune mobile device management consulting.

Cloud-integrated solutions have to provide a secure, manageable, seamless, and resilient environment for user to access both on-premises cloud-based resources. Progent has extensive experience configuring VPN connections and implementing or debugging firewalls to connect to Azure services. Progent can provide fast remote access to Cisco-certified CCIE infrastructure consultants and to firewall experts certified by top suppliers such as Symantec, Barracuda, and WatchGuard to help you to configure or troubleshoot firewalls for integrating your on-premises resources with Azure. Progent also provides mobility support by providing the help of iPhone and iPad technology consultants and Google Android connectivity experts to help you to configure and manage handheld devices that utilize your Azure environment. When you encounter glitches with your Microsoft Azure solution, Progent has extensive experience teaming with Microsoft's technical engineers to fix problems with Azure.

Some samples of online expertise Progent has delivered to businesses to build and maintain their Azure-connected ecosystems are:

  • Configure and debug IPsec VPN tunnels forsecure connectivity to Azure
  • Plan or analyze the system architecture of hybrid Azure/on-premises network models
  • Build VM images for Windows or Linux technology to be hosted on Azure
  • Configure Azure Active Directory, AD Connect, and ADFS
  • Plan and test data protection systems that utilize Azure Backup services
  • Set up and debug VHDs for Microsoft Azure
  • Specify and implement policies
  • Fix issues with IP addresses
  • Resolve sync problems with Office 365
  • Set up, patch, and debug firewalls from Cisco, Barracuda, Symantec and other security appliance providers
  • Set up Cisco AnyConnect for accessing Microsoft Azure products and services
  • Simplify software license management
  • Resolve issues with certificate management
  • Select and deploy centralized management, monitoring and reporting utilities that span hybrid environments
  • Implement Configuration Manager to deploy apps
  • Install SCVMM on premises and on Microsoft Azure
  • Design and configure hybrid Exchange deployments
  • Tune query speed on SQL Server hosted by Microsoft Azure
  • Migrate Citrix XenDesktop to the Azure cloud
  • Resolve PowerShell issues for loading modules to Azure
Contact Progent for Cloud Integration Consulting
If you are looking for help with any aspect of integrating your IT network with Microsoft Azure or other public cloud platform, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

Additional Public Cloud Services Supported by Progent's Cloud Integration Experts
Services available on public clouds are expanding rapidly in number and complexity. Selecting the best options is increasingly difficult. The majority of large businesses maintain hybrid networks that utilize more than one public cloud and at the same time manage on-premises datacenters. Microsoft's Office 365 family of apps, including Exchange Online and Skype for Business Online, rely on the Azure cloud and provide alternatives to Azure's Infrastructure-as-a-Service products. Progent can assist your organization to evaluate the business advantages of the services offered by. many options available from the major cloud vendors and can show you how to design, integrate, and maintain IT ecosystems that incorporate a variety of public and private clouds along with on-premises datacenters.

Other public cloud platforms supported by Progent include:

Office 365 Integration with On-premises ExchangeMicrosoft has made a strong effort to enable transparent hybrid networks that integrate Office 365 Exchange Online and local installations of Exchange. This allows you to have certain Exchange mailboxes hosted on your on-premises datacenter or private cloud and other mailboxes resident on Office 365. Progent's Microsoft-certified Exchange consulting team can help you with any phase of designing, integrating and debugging your hybrid Office 365/Exchange solution. Progent's Exchange specialists can deliver occasional 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 successfully completed on time and on budget. For details about Progent's online consulting expertise for hybrid Office 365 and on-premises Exchange environments, refer to Office 365 Exchange Online integration solutions with on-premises Exchange.

Microsoft Office 365 Support ExpertsProgent's certified Microsoft Office and Office 365 consultants can assist businesses of any size to incorporate Microsoft Office desktop and Office 365 apps such as Excel, Office Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Project and Publisher into a cohesive solution that offers fast return on investment and enables better business outcomes. Progent can help you to integrate Microsoft Office or Office 365 applications with one another and with additional core Microsoft technologies including SharePoint Server, Exchange Server and SQL Server deployed on-premises or hosted in the cloud. Progent's consultants can also assist you to fix compatibility problems with various releases of Office and can provide customized online Microsoft Office and Office 365 training to individuals and groups.

Amazon AWS Configuration ExpertsProgent's Amazon AWS cloud integration experts offer cost-effective online support to assist businesses to access Amazon AWS cloud services such as Amazon EC2 for virtual machine hosting, Amazon S3 for expandable cloud storage, and Glacier for low-cost long-term archiving. Progent can help your IT team with every phase of Amazon AWS integration including requirements analysis, preparedness evaluation, architectural design, testing, deployment, centralized administration, performance optimization, licensing management, disaster recovery mechanisms, and security. Progent offers advanced expertise with firewalls and VPN access and can show you how to create all-cloud or hybrid networking models that efficiently integrate Amazon AWS services. Progent offers occasional consulting or Progent can deliver comprehensive project management outsourcing or co-sourcing to help you move efficiently to the Amazon AWS cloud platform.

Amazon MWS Software Development ExpertsAmazon Marketplace Web Service (Amazon MWS) is an integrated collection of APIs that enables Amazon sellers to streamline their operations by automating key sales activities such as listings, orders, shipments, inbound and outbound fulfillment, and finances. By leveraging Amazon's extensive online selling environment and automating their sales, vendors can broaden their market, reduce their cost of sales, accelerate reaction time to customers, and add to their bottom line. Progent's Amazon Marketplace Web Service (Amazon MWS) developers can collaborate with your development staff and provide programming, workflow integration, project management support, and training so you can cut development time and costs and expedite your ROI.

Google Cloud Platform Integration ConsultingProgent's Google Cloud Platform planning and integration consultants can provide cost-effective online and on-premises consulting to assist businesses of any size to migrate any part of their core IT infrastructure to Google Cloud Platform services. This can save management hassle and equipment costs and allow the use of Google's state-of-the-art AI and machine learning tools. Progent can assist you with every phase of Google Cloud Platform migration and troubleshooting including needs analysis, preparedness assessment, system design, testing, deployment, centralized administration, performance tuning, software license management, disaster recovery solutions, and security and compliance.

More topics of interest: