In transitioning from using physical hosts with Windows 2012R2 Hypervisor located in co-location datacentres, to using Azure cloud only, we were required to look for Microsoft & 3rd party tools to make the transition: more cost efficient, easy to continue established work flow with only minor adjustments for users, and have minimal infrastructure responsibilities for IT. While many of the following pages of how-to’s can also be done more efficiently with PowerShell and Automation, the focus of this series of articles is on using the Azure Portal (ARM) GUI, for ease of client use.


  1. Data Storage Repository
    1. Hot & accessible by Azure VMs, applications & users on local client machines
    2. Daily Backup of Data Storage Repository (Cold & only used as secure backup repository)
    3. Redundant Copy of Data Storage Repository in different geo-location
  2. Hosting of internal dev & public websites
  3. Using the least number of Azure VMs – preference to using Azure Services where possible
  4. Replacing current hosted Intranet Provider
  5. Replacing current Domain Controller with Azure AD Service
  6. Replacing use of physical server hosted VDIs with a single shared Azure VM
    1. Must be able to connect to SQL Server DBs on Single Tier Dev Environment
  7. Creating a single tier (webserver and SQL Server on the same machine) and a double tier (a webserver front end and a SQL Server back end) set of Dev environments


1. Data Storage Repository

1.1 Azure File Storage is now being used to hold company data and SMB 3 mapped network file shares make the data available to various users and applications from within Azure VMs. It was   hoped that mapped network drives to the Azure File Storage could also be set up from laptops of users, to replicate using mapped drives to the physical hosts. However, it appears that the     required port 445 for SMB transfer is being blocked by the local ISP of users.  We still need to create local access from user laptops, into Azure File Storage data.

1.2 We also want to have our Azure File Storage data backed up daily. Two helpful tools in these requirements are Gleam Tech’s FileVista, a web-based File Manager and GoodSync File Backup and Synchronization. See blog on using GoodSync to backup Azure File Storage to Azure Blob Storage