Tag Archives: Microsoft Azure

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Step-By-Step Migration to the Azure

The cost effectiveness of cloud hosting solutions appeals to enterprises of all kinds. Not only is the cloud cost-effective, the ease of deployment and management of the infrastructure have also contributed to its popularity. Besides, when you choose to sign up for the cloud, you can also enjoy added benefits like flexibility, high-end performance and agility. In this regard, Microsoft Azure has clearly evolved as one of the leading cloud hosting platforms and has the capability to cater to the varied needs of different businesses. It can offer solutions supported by industry-grade security, scalability and reliability.

Why is Azure a popular cloud platform for businesses?

The IaaS, PaaS and SaaS solutions from Azure have been able to offer on-demand storage, networking and processing power, and mobile application services which can enhance any enterprise’s productivity. No wonder then why Azure is the preferred choice for installing collaborative systems which run Big Data applications. Azure provides cutting edge technologies that in turn provide great value to all enterprises. The migration process is hassle-free and the hybrid capabilities have made it super convenient for clients to test this cloud infrastructure first. For those wanting to embark on this journey, a road map is desirable to ensure that migration goes smoothly.

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Why do you need a migration strategy for moving to the Azure?

For small businesses, migration to a platform like Microsoft Azure is a giant leap. The businesses are aware of the advantages such a transition would bring in, namely, higher agility, productivity and lower costs. However, the migration process can be quite daunting. So, you need specific guidelines for every phase for a smooth and successful migration.

Microsoft has advised businesses to uplift to the Azure cloud through four distinct stages; these are Discover, Assess, Target and Migrate.

Discover: This involves identification of all the existing applications and workloads in the infrastructure in order to get them ready for migration. This stage may be tedious and time-consuming, but absolutely critical for successful migrations. This is because of you overlook some workloads or applications in this stage; you can face issues later on with these. So, you application inventory should ideally be complete and totally updated. For this stage, you will need to review virtual networks.

– To maintain performance at the same level in the new environment, you must evaluate your existing workloads and then compare these with equivalent resources in the Azure.
– You will have to consider some basic types of Azure storage according to the data you have because buying new storage each time that you capacity gets over can be exhausting.
– Since the cloud offers instant computing resources you should consider Azure Auto scale when you plan a migration strategy.

Assess: When you have a complete understanding of the Microsoft Azure solutions and how these may fit into your strategy for migration, you should assess your own infrastructure. You may make use of some tools in this like the VM Readiness Assessment too and MAP or Microsoft Assessment and Planning toolkit. They both will allow you to review as well as document all workloads and applications that you are using at present.

Target: Once you have successfully audited the current environment, you must map out ways to get servers into the Azure platform. There are three key targets for workloads, namely, Microsoft Azure, cloud OS network and Office 365. Usually all communication and productivity related workloads are shifted to Office 365. So, emails are moved to Exchange Online while document management goes to SharePoint Online. Factors such as costs, ease of migration, speeds and functions will tell you where a certain workload will go. Companies are found to prefer migrating their non-critical VMs to the less-costly cloud resources. So, businesses want to put VMs which are not going to be adversely affected by latency problems. You must also assess whether the workloads you want to transfer run an Azure-supported OS.

Migrate: This is the final stage once all workloads have been duly audited and prepared. You may devote a lot of time to understanding the best practices for migration and study available tools as well as get ready to undergo trial-and-errors that are there in any undertaking. But, trying to migrate to the cloud smoothly without owning the right expertise can be a disaster. It is recommended that businesses migrate first with simple applications which can be easily broken down into smaller chunks. When you can test individual components easily, it is easier to move those next in line. This strategy will make sure there is least disturbance to applications and to users. Once the apps have been successfully migrated, Microsoft assures customers of a 99.9% uptime.

The above is a simplified description of the kind of sophistication that is desirable for a smooth Azure migration to take place. Businesses are advised to use the automated tools designed for helping you calculate and deploy cloud configurations.

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Up for an Audit Time? Compliance Assessment for AWS and Azure

How are you planning for building a compliant architecture for the public cloud? Also how are you maintaining the compliance depending upon the change in growth of cloud? These are some of the key questions for various companies — and their respective feature for quickly satisfying above mentioned questions that can basically both be a key differentiator towards the end of users and along with reducing various business risk.

This is the reason why Go4hosting has introduced a Compliance Assessment for Azure and AWS customers.

Various companies which are coming to us have already created an environment for the cloud, and poses a new user is requiring a specific compliance framework, or create a confirmation that they are satisfying various regulatory needs before launching of any product. We provide a confirmation that they satisfy HITRUST, ISO 27001, HIPAA, NIST 800-53, PCI-DSS, FedRAMP , SOC (1 and 2) and GDPR standards.

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Launching a Compliant App on Amazon Web Service

Lately, Go4hosting capitalized on a chance for working with a globally commercial organization that has launched a new application on Managed Amazon Cloud Service. They had various AWS experts on-premises, and had already created the mandatory AWS environment for hosting the application.

The problem here is: the concerned IT staff was not very much familiar with HIPAA, and aren’t aware of the specific tools /controls/ steps that are required for achieving HIPAA in AWS.

The organization has called up AWS for a attaining a referral for a partner that basically understands the idea of HIPAA on AWS, and then AWS referred this particular company to Go4hosting. Unlike various other partners, Go4hosting not just consult those customers on compliance — but they go via six annual audits each and every year, and our specific AWS practice is technically HITRUST CSF Certified. As a conclusion, compliance and security is created into everything that they do, and all our AWS engineers and experts are properly trained in particular high-governance Amazon Web Service management.

Within just some weeks, Go4hosting had successfully performed a ‘non-invasive’ discovery of the organization’s AWS account, on its own, has effectively consulted with the various company’s engineers, and thus created a long list of various remediation items. This includes almost about of 30 items that are often tripping up organization which are ideally new to HIPAA on AWS: like logging, encryption at rest, IDS and more. It is recommended, when it is possible for a particular open source or AWS-native tools and techniques for filling various gaps without adding any cost.

By concluding this project, the company is launching the app at suitable time and budget with confidence that it meets HIPAA standards.

What’s so good about the Go4hosting Compliance Assessment?

If you are trying to comply with any particular compliance framework or any regulation, you will be requiring often for going via own Risk Assessment, that will be helping various identify gaps over the network level, application, administrative etc..

Go4hosting is helping customers for translating a particular control towards cloud native technologies in the most suitable and successful way. It can be customers’ outsourced architecture compliance trainers; the ones which tell customers how you can construct your VPC or VN for satisfying PCI-DSS standards.

At the same moment, they can easily consult with the concerned team regarding how improvement will be done for the cloud architecture in overall — across high availability, areas of performance, cost efficiency, scalability and more.

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How Microsoft Azure Backup Scores Over Legacy Backup Systems

Cloud computing has changed paradigm of enterprise technology adoption because a large number of enterprises have tasted the amazing advantages of cloud migration including hassle-free running of business applications. Consistent updates, advanced cloud systems and innovative technology are just few of the most obvious reasons for awesome popularity of Microsoft Azure.

The latest offering y Microsoft in the same context is Microsoft Azure backup solution that assures seamless compatibility with a variety of enterprise infrastructures and policies. Since most of the entrepreneurs are somewhat clear about their data related tasks and strategies, it would be relevant to check ability of Microsoft Azure Backup solution.

Backup Fundamentals of Microsoft Azure

There is an alarming increase in occurrence of cyber crimes apart from other acts of God including quakes, floods, storms, and tornadoes to name a few. Any ideal backup resource must have proven ability of data restoration in the event of an unexpected outage.  There is more to Azure backup than meets the eye because it deals with cyber attacks by execution of the three-pronged approach consisting of preventive measures, detection capabilities and thereby instantly responding to cyber threats.

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Variety of Options to Choose From

Versatility and variety are inherent and important attributes of Microsoft Azure cloud system. It is therefore quite logical to expect the same attributes from Microsoft backup systems. There are three important choices by Azure backup resource. If you have enough space and are interested in building a full backup, then Azure backup can support coverage of the entire gamut of information with full backup feature.

One of the most sought after backup solutions offered by Azure is the facility of incremental backups. The obvious reason for its popularity is its least requirement of storage space. Data storage is implemented by way of leveraging storage blocks to make sure that the system is running efficiently. There is no burden of carrying forward data in the initial form because it constantly updates the storage to the latest version.

Any data related modifications, alterations, and additions can be efficiently covered with help of Microsoft Azure differential backup that is light on space and offers freedom from storing several copies of data.

Compelling Benefits of Azure backup

Azure backup is highly appreciated for its automatic storage feature that leverages software to intelligently allocate backup and helps save efforts as well as time. What’s more, users are not required to invest their time monitoring or maintaining their data storage and backup resources.

Azure backup system makes sure that users can access their data from any location at anytime which is convenient to them. The huge scaling capacity of Azure backup resource ensures that you never run out of space to store valuable data backup that is critical to survival of your organization. Another distinct advantage of Azure backup is it imposes no cap on the retention period of data. You can continue to leverage cloud data resource to store the same for unlimited period of time.

In addition to providing a right environment for short as well as long terms storage and data backup, Azure offers a wide assortment of benefits to companies that want value for their money. Users of Azure data backup system are allowed to use the resource for transferring any amount of data as per the requirements.

Availability and Security

You need not search for any cheap cloud data backup solution because Azure backup is packed with all essential features of an ideal cloud backup solution. It relieves you from the hassles of purchasing and maintaining onsite hardware and software equipment. Since the storage in Azure backup is located far away from your on-premise infrastructure, it actually adds a sound layer of security.

Moreover by storing three versions of your data at separate locations, Azure backup guarantees availability. Any data that is leaving the Azure data center is seamlessly encrypted including the source as well as at the vault in addition to the period in transit.

Optimized Bandwidth Consumption

After establishing the full backup facility for an enhanced efficiency, Azure backup will introduce only the alterations and modifications as per predefined frequency as well as schedule by the end user. The optimization of the utilized bandwidth will be enhanced further by way of the inbuilt compression for dependable and efficient utilization of the bandwidth.

Azure backup allows consistent integration with the Data Protection Manager that is part of Microsoft’s onsite infrastructure. This enables you to access onsite data resource for rapid availability and the same is subsequently seeded to cloud storage of Azure for added protection at its offsite location.

Takeaway

As such, you will come across a broad spectrum of Microsoft Azure products and the purpose of the post is to familiarize you with general aspects of the highly sought after Azure backup system.

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Azure Cloud Backup Empowers Businesses with Cost-efficient Storage Solutions

Modern technologies offer amazing advantages to businesses with ability to adopt cloud computing and gain capabilities that could not even be imagined just a few years ago. However, advent of new technologies has also given birth to security challenges and has enhanced cyber criminals’ abilities to devastate carefully built security infrastructures of enterprises.

Importance of a Versatile Backup Solution

Backup has always been trusted as reliable resource to secure important data right from the days of floppy drives. Cloud backup solutions offer excellent opportunity to store and customize backup storage as per the needs of organization in the modern age of cloud computing. Proliferation of backup service providers that claim to deliver an ever-expanding variety of backup plans prove that awareness about significance of backup is growing exponentially.

Microsoft Azure Cloud is a force to reckon with when it comes to the implementation of seamless backup and disaster recovery strategies in a cloud environment. Enterprise clients prefer to adopt Azure backup since it has established its dependability through a large spectrum of robust backup tools that can be leveraged by clients to support their individual data storage systems.

Azure backup feature can be extended to cover an entire gamut of data sources including SQL Servers, local files, Exchange, and folders among others. Seamless data restoration and access is guaranteed by Azure backup service, which makes sure that your business critical data is retained at a highly protected remote location.

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Conventional data backup service providers perceive cloud to be nothing more than data storage with static features of a storage disk or a thumb-drive. This approach can lead to cost escalation and may also result in storage of wrong type of information that may not be in line with organization’s backup and DR policies.

Tailor-made data storage is the most ideal solution to prevent data from remaining at a static form or storage of irrelevant data forms. Azure’s approach to data storage is influenced by customization and need based.

A great number of enterprises attach the highest significance to economy of data storage plans while selecting Azure backup service by Microsoft. Cloud data backup packages by Azure are backed by flexibility as well as scalability to further enhance cost efficiency in an enterprise setup.

Since the consumption patterns can vary according to the demand, Azure makes sure that customers are not forced to purchase fixed amounts of backup resources by designing scalable backup solutions. Customers are allowed to choose data backup plans that match their requirements and the usage based billing method will ensure that the payments will not be more than what is actually being consumed. In a more refined approach to data storage that involves combination of on-premise and cloud storage, Azure backup facilitates free usage of onsite storage by providing automatic allocation and management of heterogeneous data storage.

Security with scalability

Scalability is an extension to the pay-as-you-go billing method offered by Azure backup because organizations can implement testing of their new services and applications without concerns about size of application or volume of backup. Data integrity in cloud is an important feature of Azure backup since Azure attaches extreme importance to customer’s sensitive information. One of the several security measures is related to multiple recovery points and automatic recovery vaults that can hold your vital data for a prolonged period of time.

Azure backup by Microsoft puts no upper limit on the volumes of transferred data and customers are expected to make sure that their resources are always up and running for leveraging this facility. Alternatively, enterprise customers can pay a certain amount for availing offline facility of Import / Export.

Variety of Backup Storage

Customers may choose from two basic alternatives of data storage including local and regional backup facilities. For small and medium businesses, a locally redundant storage can cater to the need for storing data at integrated data centers in the form of three different copies for assured redundancy. Data replication to another region can be leveraged by availing geo redundant storage service that protects data in the event of any unexpected event occurring at the regional level.

Reliable choice

Performance reliability is the most important objective of availing Azure backup services that make sure that your mission critical data continues to be accessible and well-protected. Comprehensive cloud backup solutions by Azure that guarantee unrestricted data transfer so that users need not be concerned about data volumes. Moreover, there is an assurance of data encryption to safeguard your data transfer.

In conclusion

Economy, scalability, security, and flexibility are the most compelling advantages of cloud backup by Azure. You can combine site recovery and data backup to gain amazing business continuity as well as disaster recovery capabilities to enhance trustworthiness of your business application. It will also help you chalk out a robust cloud policy.

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Uplift Your Business Prospects with Azure

Azure Cloud has grown phenomenally to the number one position and there are solid reasons that justify its leadership position. Any organization must explore how Azure Cloud can improve the bottom-line in terms of ROI and scalability before moving the apps to this versatile cloud infrastructure.

Simplified set-up

Every CIO looks forward to a smooth cloud journey and the cloud set-up is the first milestone of this voyage. By getting associated with Azure Cloud you have already ensured a fast and easy set-up that frees you from hassles of deployment and configuration apart from routine maintenance of the cloud infrastructure. The pre-configured templates can make sure that the initial set-up process is smoother than expected.

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Seamless Consistency

To further enhance the convenience and speed of cloud adoption across organizations, Azure provides technological harmony of Microsoft products backed by assured familiarity, flexibility of its wide spectrum of solutions such as SQL, Windows Server, Hyper-V, and Active Directory to name just a few. This is in addition to the assured security of data in a trusted Microsoft environment by adopting an integrated approach that blends cloud and onsite infrastructures. Absolute consistency of data management and migration of workloads is the highlight of Azure Cloud in workplaces that have been familiar with the Microsoft systems for a long time.

As there is no dearth of software professionals having demonstrable skills in Microsoft products, there is a considerable reduction in the learning curve as your organizations adopts Azure Cloud infrastructure. Your software teams can swiftly get in the groove and begin deployment. Since developer community is the important beneficiary of excellent adaptability of Azure Cloud, you will enjoy a great sense of willingness to work on development projects within Microsoft environment.

End to End Solution Provider

Azure Cloud has already been appreciated for the support it provides to development initiatives. However, the real litmus test of any cloud infrastructure is its ability to deliver capabilities of integrating the entire length of delivery pipeline.

It would be wrong to compare Azure with other providers only on the basis of data management capabilities. Therefore we must look at the support level to deliver a unified solution that covers the delivery pipeline as well.

Trust Azure Cloud to support the pipeline right from the stage of source control, testing, delivery and finally its ability to provide efficient delivery tools. As a policy, all future updates by Microsoft would be aimed at reinforcing the existing aspects of pipeline for a seamless availability of solutions under one single roof.

Efficiency under Demanding Conditions

Azure empowers an impressive gamut of applications that not only include Microsoft apps but also other apps such as SAP, IBM, Oracle, and RedHat to name a few. Azure Cloud can be entrenched in onsite applications for outstanding safety of your mission critical data.

In terms of its storage and compute quotient, Azure Cloud is second to none. It is hardly surprising that challenging workloads such as larger than 80000 input output operations per second, SQL server, and a host of data intensive operations can be smoothly handled by Azure Cloud.

Exclusive Support

Azure Cloud offers versatile support to a large array of devices, coding languages, operating systems, databases, and frameworks. This attribute of MS Azure can cover exclusive business objectives across a large spectrum of enterprises and industrial verticals. Needless to say, all reputed Azure service vendors, partners, and providers are committed to deliver enterprise grade technical assistance to users.

Amazing Speed Enhances Business Agility

One of the most sought after attributes of any business is the rapid pace of the application and Azure Cloud is built for great speeds across all major parameters of workload management such as scalability, deployment, and swiftness of operations. It is possible to also enhance speed of development cycles with help of Azure Cloud.

Since the development work is accelerated, there is a better scope for iteration while improving responsiveness of the organization. Instead of maintaining a status quo in terms of organizational performance, Azure Cloud helps businesses get agile for a faster growth.

Achieving Global Scale of Data Capabilities

There is hardly any purpose of exploiting capabilities of a private data center to scale globally. This is where Azure Cloud can make a great deal of difference. Dynamic adaptability of Azure infrastructure to the existing and future requirements of business in terms of performance metrics and resource consumption helps mitigate need to monitor operations. Your IT staff can thus focus more on development work.

Azure Cloud also helps improve user experience with no reliance on geo-location since Azure Cloud has a robust presence across all global regions including US, Canada, Europe, UK, Asia, Australia, China, and Africa to name a few.

Takeaway

Azure Cloud has a commanding global presence to enhance business agility and with assurance of supreme disaster recovery. Moreover, its flexible ability of tactically scaling resources improves cost efficiency.

Bringing in Digital Transformation with Azure

Bringing in Digital Transformation with Azure

If your business must succeed in a technologically-fast moving world, it needs to adopt digital changes. So, business leaders will have to come up with new ways to connect technology and users. And, this is where Microsoft Azure, which is one of the best cloud platforms, has been able to make a name for itself. Azure has been helping organizations to embrace digital technologies is a much simpler and quicker manner. It is helping developers to create, deploy and operate applications in data centers that are geographically distributed throughout the globe. So, it offers a high degree of freedom to businesses to install apps wherever they wish to by making use of preferred tools.

So, with Microsoft Azure, businesses can experience cloud computing powers. They become more responsive, agile and they can also scale resources according to their business requirements. The best part is that they can pay using an automated pay-as-you-use system. So, you basically only have to pay for resources you will use and nothing extra.

The latest offering from Microsoft Azure called the Azure Stack has been successful in introducing hybrid features to businesses. They can therefore extend the Azure on their on-site environment and they will not have to compromise on their current investments in the process. Providers of Azure solutions which are powered by Microsoft ensure that their clients are able to shift their workloads seamlessly in the cloud. There are Microsoft-certified professionals who are capable of handling technicalities starting from workload assessments to the end stages.

Surveys undertaken by IDC recently reveal that nearly 2/3rds of the world CEOs have made digital transformation the main focus of their business. The reason behind this prioritization of digital transformation is because such businesses are turning out to be much more profitable than their competitors. Digital transformations cannot take place without the cloud. It is the cloud which lays the main foundation for this to happen. And, when you are looking for the right platform for your expanding business, you will find that Azure completely fits the bill.

One of the biggest advantages, as has been mentioned earlier, is that it offers hybrid features for businesses, both large and small. This is because most businesses are not keen to let go of their earlier technological systems or established processes. With Azure, you can easily integrate the new with the existing systems. It also offers multiple cloud-based solutions for the client enterprises. It comes up with custom enterprise settings which have a unique mix of public cloud, private cloud and hosted environments. So, the process of digital transition is smooth and your business gets to enjoy an edge over its rivals.

Azure helps businesses user in digital transformation because it offers them efficiency, agility and a high degree of scalability. So, with Azure, companies can easily respond to market changes and handle fast growth. The advantage of using Azure is that all these benefits are available at low costs. Cloud is the place where Big Data will get stored. So, Azure provides many services like Azure Stream Analytics, Azure Data Lake Analytics, and Cortana Analytics etc to enable your company to get an edge over the others in the IoT era. Azure also assists businesses in scaling up resources for developing projects related to the Internet of Things or IoT.

The best digital experience will involve betterment of customer experience, enhancement of operational processes and change in business models. Azure has been equipped to do all these three things for your business. Azure File Sync provides secure and centralized file sharing within the cloud. So, there is no need for any special configurations and code changes when businesses need to share files. There is also a new Azure networking service that is called Azure DDoS Protection. This helps businesses by protecting all accessible end points from DDoS attacks. Azure Cost Management and Azure Policy are two recent governance services which can help businesses optimize cloud expenses and cloud compliance. The Azure Cost is being made available to clients for free. Even update management will be made free of cost for Azure buyers. So, all new updates in Azure will streamline processes of configuring DR for servers and backups. The Azure Migrate service will help businesses identify and migrate their new virtual servers. Azure Data Box will offer secure ways to send big data sets to Azure.

Cloud computing has started to attract much attention these days and for good reasons too. However, most businesses have not yet moved to the public cloud; incidentally, nearly 80% businesses prefer the hybrid cloud model. This is because the hybrid cloud combines features of both on-premise infrastructure and public cloud. In this sense, Microsoft is the company to trust because it has the capability to offer a coherent experience both in public and on-premise cloud hosting services.