Why your SQL Server data belongs on Azure

Real-world results that show why Azure is the best choice

There is no denying that the last couple of years disrupted every single industry, requiring companies to rethink the way they operate. This led companies to accelerate their digital transformation and cloud strategy to take advantage of increased flexibility, scale, and cost savings that the cloud provides. With this increased dependency on the cloud, more companies are choosing Azure SQL for their database workloads.

Why?

Firstly, Microsoft has announced end of support for SQL Server 2012. This is a critical consideration if your databases are on this version. End of Support means the end of security updates, leaving your business and data exposed to security risks and compliance concerns. Azure is the only Cloud to offer three additional years of Extended Security Updates at no cost for SQL Server 2012. If you do not have the time to worry about your outdated, on-premises SQL Server, shift this workload to Azure to give you the time to plan for a proper SQL upgrade.

Secondly, Azure SQL provides deployment options to meet any requirements, from edge to cloud, taking your on-premises skills to deliver a consistent and unified experience. Azure SQL is also very cost-effective, further increased when you use Azure Hybrid Benefit to make use and maximise any existing on-premises licensing investments. Whether a simple VM migration to offload infrastructure costs or opting for a fully managed database service that does more on your behalf, every choice on Azure is a great one.

Leading the way with SQL Managed Instances

A managed SQL instance combines leading security features with complete SQL Server compatibility and a favourable business model for existing SQL Server customers. Apart from the ability to lift and shift on-premises applications to the cloud with minimal application and database changes, an SQL Managed Instance preserves all PaaS capabilities that considerably reduces management overheads and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Don’t just take our word for it. A study carried out by Enterprise Strategy Group, shows that customers who migrated their SQL Server data to Azure VMs reduced their costs by up to 47%. Customers that took it even further with a managed database service realised an additional 17% cost savings. When it comes to modernising SQL server data at scale, Azure has got your back and is undoubtedly the best choice.

An SQL Managed Instance also leads the way from a price-performance perspective. An independent research firm, Principled Technologies, published a study in May 2022 where they benchmarked SQL Managed Instance and SQL Server on AWS RDS across three different workloads. With up to five times faster performance and cost savings of up to 93%, SQL Managed Instance emerged as the leader.

How can we help?

At Veracloud, we help bridging the gap between the development team that wants to ship things as fast as possible and the operations team that doesn’t want anything to blow up in production. We can assist when it comes to consolidate, converge, automate, and orchestrate the workloads required, being them on-premises, in the cloud or as a hybrid setup. Don’t wait any longer before realising the benefits of digital transformation and leverage the power Azure has to offer for your business. Reach out today to learn how you may future-proof your infrastructure today.

Windows 365

Windows 365: Cloud PC for your Hybrid Workplace

Microsoft has recently announced that it will be releasing Windows 365, an incredibly simple way to securely stream Windows from the Microsoft Cloud, the most comprehensive and trusted cloud on the market. As also referred to as Cloud PC, a new user experience is on the horizon, with the traditional PC operating system moving completely to the cloud without impacting on users’ expectations. Whether it is a personal computer or a corporate device, the full experience of providing the apps, data availability and settings will be maintained in this Cloud PC. 

What is Windows 365 

Windows 365 is a virtual desktop service that is a part of Microsoft 365.  It offers organizations a fixed-price monthly subscription, to a cloud PC that is dedicated to a user and can be managed using the exact same tools as a traditional Windows PC. Making a cloud PC available to a user (once the initial environment is set up) is a matter of assigning a Microsoft 365 license.  Three key properties of Windows 365 are worth repeating and emphasizing.   

A cloud PC is dedicated to a user, fixed price, and part of the Microsoft 365 cloud rather than Azure. 

This SaaS (Software as a Service) offering that is built on the Azure Virtual Desktop platform, will allow anyone to freely access their desktop wherever they may be in the world and from whichever device. This is a persistent Cloud PC, meaning it is always on and easily accessible 24 x 7. You will also find the exact same desktop, wallpaper, and document you were working on a few minutes, hours (or days) ago readily available to continue where you left off. 

How Veracloud Supports Windows 365 

Microsoft has expanded the available options for virtual desktops.  Organisations now have the flexible Azure-based AVD with single-user, multi-session, and RemoteApp options and the simplified M365-based Windows 365 with Enterprise and Business cloud PC alternatives. 

For the past year, Veracloud has gained momentum in implementing Azure Virtual Desktops for almost every solution need and gained hands-on experience building successful setups on the Microsoft cloud. We do this by helping our customers choose the right Microsoft service for the right use-case, automate the deployment, simplify ongoing management, and optimize to reduce ongoing costs. 

If you are considering either an AVD or a Windows 365 deployment, or maybe a bit of both, our technical engineers will provide the support and guidance required to identify the solution that works best for you and your business’s needs. Contact us now and explore the world of a hybrid workplace and get your business to the next level. 

Partner of the Year

Veracloud is awarded the Microsoft 2021 Partner of the Year for Malta

Veracloud has won the Malta 2021 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award. The company is honoured among a global field of top Microsoft partners for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft’s technologies.

“We are honoured and humbled to be recognized as the Microsoft 2021 Partner of the Year for Malta. Veracloud has recently celebrated its 2nd year of operation and this achievement truly symbolises that with hard work and focus you may reach great goals, no matter the size of the company. We could not have achieved this milestone without our valued customers who trust us with their digital transformation journey.” says John Ellul – Sales Director at Veracloud

The Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards recognises Microsoft partners that have developed and delivered outstanding Microsoft-based solutions during the past year. Awards were classified in various categories, with honourees chosen from a set of more than 4,400 submitted nominations from more than 100 countries worldwide. Being recognised for providing outstanding Microsoft solutions and services in Malta, Veracloud’s focus is to empower organisations with the benefits of digital transformation solutions. By leveraging Microsoft technologies, Veracloud has developed in-house solutions to provision, deploy and maintain efficient business operations, with or without COVID-19 restrictions.

“I am honoured to announce the winners and finalists of the 2021 Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards,” said Rodney Clark, corporate vice president, Global Partner Solutions, Channel Sales and Channel Chief, Microsoft. “These remarkable partners have displayed a deep commitment to building world-class solutions for customers—from cloud-to-edge—and represent some of the best and brightest our ecosystem has to offer.” 

Veracloud is a Microsoft Gold Partner who provides companies with cloud-centric solutions and is driven to operate as efficiently as possible to allow for a more cost-effective solution, drastically minimising client costs and IT overheads, gaining more value out of the solution.  Our mission is for clients to invest in what matters, the services, the solution, the value add.

For additional information:

[email protected] or call +356 2099 7741

Microsoft rebrands and enhances its VDI offering

While rebranding WVD to AVD, Microsoft also provides a broader service offering

The launch of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) in 2018 was something that proved to be essential for companies. With the pandemic breaking out just over a year later, organisations had to quickly adapt and provide its workforce with remote capabilities, without sacrificing security, management, and employee productivity. WVD came to the rescue, providing the best virtualised Windows and Office experience for a multi-user environment, delivered on Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft has recently rebranded WVD to Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). But it’s not just a name change that Microsoft is announcing. Kam VedBrat, GM of AVD, states that Microsoft is preparing to broaden the AVD product with exciting new capabilities and integrations. These enhancements specifically focus on the security and management aspects around AVD.

Integration with Azure Active Directory (AAD) will provide the ability to join AVD virtual machines directly to AAD and connect to the virtual machines from any device with basic credentials. Microsoft Endpoint Manager provides central management with the ability to automatically enrol virtual machines, manage policies and distribute applications across devices, drastically simplifying administration though the admin centre. Automated deployment will get you going in minutes with the new QuickStart experience. This automation will validate requirements, kick-off an automated deployment, and will also implement according to best practices.

How can Veracloud help?

Ever since being included in the Azure Marketplace, we have gained momentum on the AVD front and can now assist every company with most use cases for this VDI offering. We have already provided our expertise in setting up large-scale AVD deployments both locally and internationally, tailored to the requirements set forth by the company, while adhering to strict security and regulatory compliance procedures.

If you are considering implementing AVD or are not sure whether this is the right solution for you, we will provide the support and guidance required. Contact us today and explore the cost reduction and benefits associates with Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

WVD on Azure Marketplace

Veracloud Launches its WVD Service Offerings in Azure Marketplace

Veracloud is proud to announce that as a Microsoft Gold Partner, we have launched our very first product offerings focused around Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) and placed them within the Azure Marketplace. This is a significant milestone on our journey with Microsoft. Although we just launch on the marketplace, this does not mean we are new to the WVD technology. We have been implementing this solution ever since its early release due to the demand for remote working brought forward by the COVID pandemic.

What type of Services are we offering? 

We feel that the market thinks that virtual app & desktop delivery is something that may only be done by the big guys and we are here to say that, thanks to Microsoft’s public cloud offerings, this statement couldn’t be further from the truth – have a look at our FAQs.

We, therefore, launched the following WVD offerings in the Azure Marketplace:

A FREE 2hour WVD Walkthrough where we give insight into the power of WVD and how it may help your organisation with 10+ users to be empowered with this technology.

The second is a proven, pre-staged WVD 2 Week Implementation which usually follows the free 2hour workshop. Here we roll out the solution and customise it to fit your needs to meet the initial virtual desktop & app delivery requirements.

Interested to find out more? 

We’re a Microsoft Managed Service Provider and our #1 goal is to help you thrive in the cloud through COVID-19 and beyond. After your Windows Virtual Desktop initial deployment, you will not be left alone — our Managed Services team is available around the clock, so you can stay focused on doing your business and sticking to your strength…leave the rest to us. Get in touch now!

Growth. Passion. You’re next!

Born-in-the-cloud Microsoft Partner

We’ve been living and thriving entirely in the cloud, helping businesses transform and blazing trails to increase disruption across industries.

We have now been awarded the prestigious Microsoft Gold Partner status! This is a significant milestone on our journey.

Gold Cloud Platform

Just a year after we opened our doors, Veracloud became a Gold Cloud Platform competent Microsoft Partner. This is one of the highest partner statuses one may achieve with Microsoft where they recognise Veracloud in delivering leading cloud-based solutions. This competency highlights our cloud-first philosophy, digital innovation mindset, deep Azure and Microsoft 365 expertise.

Cloud Smart

We are Cloud Smart, cloud-first but not cloud-only. Although we never owned a server and we truly are born-in-the-cloud, our long-standing relationship and experience with Microsoft as a leading-edge Partner has thought us different strategies in operating a project, a workflow or a simple process.

Passion

We try to do big things every day. We lean towards out-of-the-box thinking to get the best results possible, rather than just falling back on traditional approaches. While technical ability is important, we are not interested in just getting the job done.

Join Us

We are constantly on the lookout for great talent. Feel free to apply if you would like to join our family and do great things, get rewarded with our ‘We Grow, You Grow’ Bonus Program and many other benefits. Take one of our positions and love it!

Microsoft Gold Partner

Veracloud are delighted to share that we have been awarded the prestigious Microsoft Gold Partner status! This is a significant milestone on our journey with Microsoft. 

What is Microsoft’s Gold Partner Status? 

This is the highest partner status one may achieve with Microsoft where they recognise Veracloud in delivering leading cloud solutions that help companies collaborate and improve productivity in a secure manner.  

In order to attain Microsoft’s gold competency, companies have to meet a number of strict requirements. These include the number of Microsoft-certified employees, as well as meeting the threshold of project deliveries. Veracloud has satisfied all these requirements to obtain Gold Partner status and can now show the level of commitment we have with Microsoft technologies.  

Why is this important to Veracloud and its Customers? 

Veracloud and ultimately its customers, will now benefit from continuous online technical support and an even deeper working and collaboration relationship with Microsoft. 

What is next? 

The recognition and investment from Microsoft are fantastic however, we need to keep on evolving and creating even more value for our customers. To do this, we need more talented individuals to join our ranks and hop on board our vision in offering true solutions for digital transformation. 

Have a look at our openings and get in touch! 

Microsoft announces plans for first datacenter region in Greece

Microsoft announced its intent to build new data centres that will establish a Microsoft Cloud region in the country, adding Greece to the world’s largest cloud infrastructure footprint and delivering access to low-latency, enterprise-grade cloud services.

The Greece datacenter region will join Microsoft’s global footprint of cloud regions, now totalling 63 regions announced, with Microsoft Azure available in over 140 countries, and will provide companies local access to Microsoft’s full set of cloud services, all built on a foundation of trust:

  • Microsoft Azure: An ever-expanding set of cloud services that offers computing, networking, databases, analytics, AI and IoT services.
  • Microsoft 365: The world’s productivity cloud that delivers best-of-breed productivity apps integrated through cloud services and delivered as part of an open platform for business processes.
  • Dynamics 365 and Power Platform: The next generation of intelligent business applications that enable organizations to grow, evolve and transform to meet the needs of customers and capture new opportunities.
  • Compliance, security and privacy: Microsoft offers more than 90 certifications and spends $1 billion every year on cybersecurity to address security at every layer of the cloud. Microsoft’s Greece datacenter region will help companies comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and will also help customers store data at rest in our region.
  • Sustainably operated: As part of Microsoft’s global commitment to be carbon negative by 2030, the company will shift to 100 per cent supply of renewable energy for its data centres by 2025.
Window Virtual Desktop

Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) – Working from Home Has Never Been Easier!

Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) enables your workforce to access a desktop anywhere, with a superb user experience that is quite simply unmatched by other virtual desktop solutions.

Veracloud can help you get started. Our team is on hand to deliver a WVD solution that sets the strategic direction that organisations have for long term remote worker and developer access yet still supports the immediate need to add the capabilities to enable their remote workforce

Why WVD?

  • Support remote working in a fast-changing business environment
  • Reduce or eliminate on-premise capital costs
  • Reduce office overheads and drive more flexible remote working
  • Respond quickly to EUC break/fix events
  • Enable much more secure remote working
  • Deliver a headache-free virtual desktop user experience
  • Ensure staff have a consistent working experience – irrespective of location or how they access resources

Why Veracloud?

  • We are a premium Azure service provider and can onboard and support the solution seamlessly for you.
  • We have our own WVD customised portal included within our services where one can easily manage, expand and optimise the Azure-based WVD environment together with other resources.
  • We have experience in designing and managing the right cloud infrastructure of all types and sizes.
  • We can completely handle the Lifecycle Management for Azure, offering you peace of mind with a Proactive Managed Service.
  • True 24/7 Support from Microsoft-certified experts via phone, chat, and email followed by a quick resolution thereafter.
  • We are a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), which means we get an immediate response from Microsoft than normal customers.
  • Unlike Microsoft, our support is not limited to just system administrators. Our Azure engineers offer direct support to end-users.

Read the Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) frequently asked questions or get in touch to give your employees the access they need to systems, networks, and enterprise applications, today.

Windows Virtual Desktop FAQ’s

This article answers Windows Virtual Desktop FAQ’s.

Who would benefit from Azure-based Cloud desktops?

Businesses which typically have 10+ employee size benefit significantly from Azure virtual desktops offered by Veracloud. These businesses have IT limited budgets and limited Cloud experience but wish to allow access to desktops, servers, and applications for their employees from anywhere, without compromising security or user experience.

What is the advantage of Veracloud’s Azure Virtual Desktop cloud based plans?

Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is a service delivered over Microsoft Azure that can be used to create an environment similar to your on-premises IT infrastructure in the Azure Cloud. What Veracloud has done is to build typical environments with AVD suitable for small to mid-sized organizations. We have packaged our design, implementation, monitoring and management services with Azure resources and Microsoft licenses, to offer organizations simple price plans for ready-to-go Cloud Desktop environments in Azure. Your organization does not need to know the nuts and bolts of Azure as Veracloud will take care of that. You get predictable month-to-month pricing for reliable, secure, Cloud desktops with 24/7 support.

Is Azure virtual desktop persistent or non-persistent?

Generally, Azure Windows 10 VMs supports complete desktop, RemoteApp, and persistent or non-persistent desktops, dedicated or multi-session Windows 10 instances. We can set the desktops to meet your specific requirements.

How does our Azure Virtual Desktop pricing work?

We have designed our plans for simplicity. Depending on the number of typical business users, we have suggested appropriate dedicated AVD plans based on certain configurations. There is a price you pay for the underlying managed resources and an additional fixed price per user to account for per-user licenses, bandwidth, and support. You can add more or less users per plan based on the actual resource needs of your users. At any time, you can upgrade to a more powerful plan if needed.

How does one move from on-premise to AVDs?

To replicate a well-run on-premise environment, the following elements need to be assembled and configured on the Azure platform. A large Azure VM that is configured for multi-session desktops, Azure AD, Domain Controller, storage, backup storage, appropriate Microsoft licenses, and a support plan from an Azure partner such as Veracloud. For onboarding and continued support, an Azure Partner is a definite requirement, because you need someone knowledgeable to bridge the gaps in the two environments.

What if your existing virtual machines are on Azure?

If you already have existing virtual machines on Azure, opting for AVD reduces the complexities involved in profile management, application access, and load balancing. Everything comes under one roof including interface, control panel, Active Directory, and more.

What is the list of eligible licenses to access Windows 7/10 with Windows Virtual Desktop?

Generally, Azure Windows 10 VMs supports complete desktop, RemoteApp, and persistent or non-persistent desktops, dedicated or multi-session Windows 10 instances.

  • Microsoft 365 E3/E5
  • Microsoft 365 A3/A5/Student Use Benefits
  • Microsoft 365 F1
  • Microsoft 365 Business
  • Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5
  • Windows 10 Education A3/A5
  • Windows 10 VDA per user

What if your applications are on Windows 7?

As Windows 7 is getting Extended Security Updates till 2023, there is enough time for upgrading applications from Windows 7 to Windows 10 on Microsoft Azure.

What if you already have Microsoft 365 license?

If you already have Microsoft 365 licenses, you can transfer those licenses to your AVD environment.

How do we get the advantage of using Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session operating system?

You get the advantage of using Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session operation as part of Microsoft AVD entitlement. This can be used only within Azure and is available only through Azure Marketplace. If you attempt to operate it out of Azure, you will receive an error message.

What levels of graphic virtualizations are available?

There are different levels of graphics virtualization options available in Windows Virtual Desktop. High-performance graphics virtualization is possible with one or more dedicated GPUs in the Virtual Machine. You can also use RemoteFX, which is a high-density graphics virtualization. Dedicated GPUs are performance-oriented while RemoteFX is density-oriented.

 

Where can I read more about WVD on Azure?

The official Windows Virtual Desktop FAQ’s together with other resources can be found here.

How does a partner like Veracloud add value to Windows Virtual Desktop?

A Microsoft Partner like Veracloud will help you integrate, deploy and build on the Windows Virtual Desktop capabilities. We also offer ProActive 24/7 support to the end-users and premium services for targeted solutions in the Azure Marketplace. You can pick one of our standard WVD plans, request a quote for your specific requirements, or talk to one of our Microsoft experts now!

Microsoft 2021 Partner of the Year for Malta!

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