Interlink Cloud Blog

Interlink Cloud Blog

Welcome to the Interlink Cloud Blog

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.
Matt Scherocman

The Business and Technical Benefits of Azure AD Domain Services

The Business and Technical Benefits of Azure AD Domain Services

Azure AD Domain Services provides managed domain services that relieve the high cost and administrative overhead required when deploying domain controllers using virtual machines in Azure. Other approaches often require admins to manage and monitor every small detail of these domain controllers, which can cause workloads to be vulnerable to transient network glitches or outages, resulting in lower uptime and reduced reliability due to network outages. With Azure AD Domain Services, you no longer have to worry about this.

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Matt Scherocman

Free Windows Licensing for Azure: How to Get It with Windows Hybrid Use Benefit

Free Windows Licensing for Azure: How to Get It with Windows Hybrid Use Benefit

What is Windows Hybrid Use Benefit?

Microsoft has a relatively unknown benefit called Hybrid Use Benefit (HUB). If you already own Windows Servers with Software Assurance, you can use it to run workloads in Azure on Windows without paying for Windows in Azure. For those that license Windows Servers utilizing the Data Center version, you can continue to use that Windows Server to run on-premises workloads, as well as different workloads in Azure with the same license. This allows you to double the functionality of each Windows Server Data Center license! 

A few important facts:

  • Both versions of Windows Server - Standard and Datacenter -  license with Software Assurance are eligible for the Hybrid Use Benefit

    Hybrid Use Benefit entitlements

  • A Windows Server Standard Edition license cannot be used simultaneously in on-premises deployments while utilizing Hybrid Use Benefit in Azure
  • Windows Server Datacenter licenses can utilize the Hybrid Use Benefit and continue to be deployed in parallel on-premises
  • All uses of HUB must be done by importing a customer’s image file into Azure

For Azure deployments of HUB, each eligible license has an entitlement to run Windows Server VM’s at the lower non-Windows VM rates. Through leveraging HUB, some deployments in Azure can offer end-customers a savings up to 50%.  

Hybrid Use Benefit Sample - Full Time

Example scenario with customer running two D2v2 VMs using the Hybrid Use Benefit.

Hybrid Use Benefit savings sample

*EA Level D in USD, US East 2; full-time usage on demand
**Second Azure instance is included with Windows Server Standard Edition Software Assurance, EA level A

If you want to learn more about how Azure has leveraged this benefit, please follow these links:

We look forward to explaining more about this benefit, and how it can save you money with your existing investments in Microsoft infrastructure.  Contact Interlink today!  

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Mike Wilson

Archiving Data in Azure Just Got Way More Affordable with Azure Blob Storage

Archiving Data in Azure Just Got Way More Affordable with Azure Blob Storage

Azure Blob storage, which is the ability for Azure to store all your unstructured data, now has an offer which provides a low cost to store archival and less used information. The cost of the first 100 Terabytes for local redundant storage is only 1 penny per month. Holy cow!   

Azure Blob storage is divided into two tiers - hot and cold.


Hot Tier

The hot tier stores the data you access and rely on the most. Hot storage has a higher storage cost but much lower access and transactional costs.

Cold Tier

The cold storage tier is the opposite: data you don’t access frequently that costs less to store but more to access. Azure Blob also gives you complete control over your data needs and storage priorities, allowing you to change your blobs of data from hot to cold (and vice versa) all within your Azure environment.

The best thing about Blob Storage in Azure is that the temperature of your data doesn’t impact access performance. There’s an insignificant difference (milliseconds) between data performance on hot and cold tiers. So, when you find yourself in a situation where cold data has suddenly become hot, you won’t face any delay in accessing the cold data like Azure’s major competitor. And like everything in Azure, the security, scalability, and durability of data operations doesn’t change between data temperatures.

With Azure Blob Storage, the focus is on optimizing your data, not the processes required to use the data effectively.

The business case for Azure Cloud Storage is strong.

infographic Microsoft Azure Datcenter Planning

Want more?

Below is a short video - Get started with Azure Storage that coveres how to get started using Azure Storage services including blobs, tables, files, and queues from Windows and Linux.

Click Here to learn more about the costs around Azure Hot and Cool Storage and contact us for the best advice on how to build your workloads in Azure including setting up new blobs.

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Jason Wingert

Notice! Deprecation of Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync) and Azure AD Sync

Notice! Deprecation of Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync) and Azure AD Sync

Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync) and Azure AD Sync are now deprecated and will reach end of support on April 13, 2017.

Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD) Connect is the best way to connect your on-premises directory with Azure AD and Office 365. Now great time to upgrade to Azure AD Connect from Windows.

The two identity synchronization tools that are deprecated were offered for single forest customers (DirSync) and for multi-forest and other advanced customers (Azure AD Sync). They will reach end of support on April 13, 2017. 



These older tools have been replaced with a single solution that is available for all scenarios: Azure AD Connect. It offers new functionality, feature enhancements, and support for new scenarios. To be able to continue to synchronize your on-premises identity data to Azure AD and Office 365, we strongly recommend that you upgrade to Azure AD Connect. 



For more information about this transition, please visit the Azure AD Connect webpage.


If you have any questions, please reach out to the Interlink team - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






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Matt Scherocman

Is Disaster Recovery important when using the cloud? Yes!

Disaster Recovery or DR for short, is a hot topic for many companies and with the spate of hacks and natural disasters and incredible storms, i.e. the snowstorm that hit Buffalo, NY just a few weeks ago, has many companies revisiting their disaster recovery solutions. Today’s blog will talk about DR for your applications running in Azure.

Just because you are storing your app in the cloud doesn’t mean you don’t need a DR strategy, should something like mentioned above happen; are you fully prepared for a temporary or even large scale failure? Before you answer that question, let me ask you another question. Does your company rehearse these failures? Has your company determined what applications, should they go down, what your tolerance level is for that app(s)? Some things to consider when creating your cloud DR plan:

  1. Test your recovery of databases to ensure you have the correct process in place
  2. High Availability
  3. Availability
  4. Scalability
  5. Fault Tolerance

Azure DR

DR is a key component to every company’s long-term success. Taking a short-sighted approach to a DR strategy isn’t sound business. As more and more companies put more and more business critical applications in the cloud, the attention paid to DR needs to be evaluated with each application that goes into the cloud, the impact its failure can have on a company and the impact it can have as it is recovered.

In addition to dealing with unexpected disasters, rolling back failed changes and handling data corruption issues are key considerations that sometimes get forgotten when deploying to cloud platforms with greater than 99.99% uptime. 

Microsoft Azure services have a number of ways that you can meet this challenge. For more detailed information on how to setup your Azure DR strategy for your applications running in Azure you can check out a white paper Disaster recovery and high availability for applications built on Microsoft Azure

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Welcome to the Interlink Cloud Blog

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.