4 Benefits Of Using Azure Files

4 Benefits Of Using Azure Files

What are the benefits of using Azure files?

  1. Convenience and flexibility
  2. Fast access to cloud files
  3. Business continuity
  4. Fully managed by the service provider

Azure Files is a simple and secure cloud file share solution for your business. One of its benefits is the Azure File Sync, which allows you to synchronize your corporate data in an on-premise file server and the Azure files server. You also have the option of migrating to the cloud or returning to a full on-premise setup. To know more about the benefits of using Azure Files, keep on reading!

Convenience And Flexibility

Azure Files can be deployed either by mounting the serverless file shares or by caching Azure file shares on-premises using the Azure File Sync feature. By opting for the first method, you don’t have to worry about applying software patches or maintaining physical disks. On the other hand, caching Azure file shares on-premises allows your business to centralize your files in Azure Files.

On top of these, Azure Files allows you to easily migrate your file shares and existing servers to the cloud with no downtime. To do so, you can use Storage Migration Service and Azure File Sync. This allows you to rapidly transfer data from the source servers. You can use Azure Files to move to a full cloud setup or have the option to return to a full on-premise infrastructure if you desire to do so.

Fast Access To Cloud Files

As a business, you have to keep huge volumes of data in various places. It helps to consolidate all your files in the cloud, but it could affect productivity and efficiency due to slow access times. In this situation, you could benefit from the feature of Azure Files, which is Azure Files Sync.

Unlike other cloud file share solutions in the market, Azure Files Sync allows you to synchronize data in your on-premise server and the Azure Files server. This provides your organization with one centralized location for your files.

As Azure and your server are constantly syncing, your team will have fast local access to your cloud files. With Azure Files Sync, you can ensure the productivity and efficiency of your team. This also makes work more convenient whether your team is working remotely or in the office.

Other than that, if you decide to replace your on-premise file shares with Azure file shares, you can do so while ensuring application compatibility. You can share your file system across different machines and applications. This is beneficial if you use applications that require shareability features.

Business Continuity

Premise-based servers are susceptible to data loss during disaster situations. Your team may also encounter data loss situations, where files get deleted or unwanted changes are made. Losing important files could negatively affect productivity or cause downtime for your organization. Fortunately, Azure Files Sync can help you in this situation.

When your server cannot be used, you can install Azure Files Sync on another server so you can maintain access to your files. Azure Files can also create point-in-time snapshots of your file shares, so you can immediately recover your files whenever you accidentally delete them, encounter data corruption, or make unintended alterations. You can retain these snapshots as long as your organization needs them.

With Azure Files, you can rest assured that your important files would be accessible and secure whenever a server becomes unavailable or a file accidentally gets deleted.

Platform Handled and Maintained By Microsoft

One of the benefits of using Azure Files is that it can lessen the work for your IT team because you can create Azure file shares without having to manage OS or hardware. Because the service is available via cloud, you can lessen your worries when it comes to hardware maintenance, updates, and critical issues — all because Microsoft can do this for you behind the scenes. This way, you or your team doesn’t have to deal with replacing faulty hard disks or patching the server OS.

While the platform is provided and maintained by Microsoft, you’re in full charge of the data you store and use. All you have to do is take advantage of the features offered by Azure Files.

Azure Files Sync also allows you to synchronize your data between an on-premise server and an Azure cloud server. To lessen the work of implementing this in your organization, you can also consider the services of our team here at CT Link Systems to make the process easier.

First, your current resources and infrastructure will be reviewed. Then, a customized solution will be designed according to your requirements. Once the pilot test is run and approved for implementation, your on-premise server will be connected to the Azure cloud servers. Once everything is settled, CT Link will provide your team with the knowledge and skills to maintain the servers.

Key Takeaway

Azure Files gives you the option to keep your files on the cloud and sync them with your office file server. This way, your workforce will be able to maintain their productivity and efficiency.

Now that you know the benefits of using Azure files, you might be interested in implementing it in your organization! Here at CT Link, we can help you with a solution tailor-made for your business. This way, you can have an easy and stress-free time during implementation. If you have questions and inquiries about our on-premise file server and Azure File Sync services, you can contact us here.

5 Industries That Will Benefit From Microsoft Azure

What are the industries that will benefit from Microsoft Azure?

  1. Manufacturing
  2. Healthcare
  3. Financial Services
  4. Retail and E-commerce
  5. Government

Some companies look for minimal hardware onsite while others look for hybrid cloud solutions. From additional storage, data security, and more — different industries have varying needs and challenges that need to be solved. The good news is, Microsoft Azure is a cloud platform that provides numerous services for different requirements. Keep on reading to learn more about the industries that will benefit from Microsoft Azure.


When it comes to the fast-paced manufacturing industry, some companies that haven’t improved their IT processes have been manually tracking productivity, machine condition, and more. But with so much data in play, organizations need efficient tools to classify and make sense of a breadth of information.

With Microsoft Azure, however, companies can get access to business intelligence (BI) tools so that data can be converted to easy-to-understand visualizations beneficial in decision making. For instance, data on the machines can be turned into useful information about when to replace parts—which can help in optimizing equipment operation and maintenance. This way, companies can focus on making fact-based decisions instead of guessing.


From patient records, CT Scans, X-ray reports, human resource information, and more — one of the challenges of the healthcare industry is data storage. Most healthcare facilities depend largely on on-premise data storage to keep and manage these data. But as the amount of information increases over time, this means that hospitals are required to add more physical storage. With limited space on the site, the cost of having additional servers and buying hardware is high.

But with Microsoft Azure, healthcare facilities can get access to additional and cost-effective cloud storage solutions. It is easily scalable, so organizations can meet their increasing need for storage over time. Organizations can start with a smaller space and eventually add more cloud space as the amount of data grows.

Financial Services

Banking and financing institutions need to protect their customer’s sensitive data. But security remains one of the leading industry challenges for financial services. If credit card numbers, addresses, and other important information are accessed by the wrong people, this could lead to irreparable consequences.

With cyber threats ever so present, organizations need to implement security measures to protect their data and applications. Fortunately, Microsoft Azure also offers security features that can be beneficial to financial institutions. This is made possible through their yearly investment in cybersecurity research and development.

For instance, Azure Information Protection can help clients to classify and protect their documents by applying labels. This enables organizations to limit access to sensitive information and protect it using encryption. Other features like the Azure Security Center also use AI to quickly identify threats to help you automate remediation.

Retail And E-commerce

One of the challenges faced by retail companies nowadays is reaching more customers online. Almost everyone is making their purchases through smartphones and other mobile devices due to the fast shipping and overall convenience. This is why retail institutions need to provide both offline and online experiences to customers.

Microsoft Azure can help you connect with Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) so you can provide a better mobile experience to customers. You can build applications in the cloud, have them tested on real devices, and monitor for real-world usage all in one place. This gives companies the ability to release better apps and high-quality shopping experiences to customers faster. In an industry where customers can quickly shift to competitors, the ability to move quickly and easily is of peak importance.


Government institutions are required to keep track and manage a colossal amount of data. This will only continue to grow, so data management is becoming a challenge. Aside from storage, loss of files is also a problem. Due to human error, disasters, and more, important information can be erased permanently. This can pose problems for citizens and government organizations when it occurs.

Fortunately, Microsoft Azure also offers a backup solution and disaster recovery service. This is scalable according to the present and future needs of government institutions. Data is also protected against ransomware through multi-factor authentication and other security features. In case of data loss due to accidental deletion, retrieval is easy by enabling the soft delete function. A faster disaster recovery strategy can also be executed in order to reduce downtimes.

Key Takeaway

With business intelligence tools, additional storage capabilities, security features, MBaaS, backup, disaster recovery solutions, and many more — a wide range of industries will benefit from Microsoft Azure. Aside from manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, retail, and government, Azure can provide IT solutions that can fit different industry requirements.

If you need Microsoft Azure services in your organization, don’t hesitate to send a message to CT Link! We also provide managed services so you can focus on other IT Tasks while we take care of adjusting system parameters, monitoring the health of the service, and many more.

5 Benefits Of Using Microsoft Azure For Your Business

What are the benefits of Microsoft Azure for your business?

  1. Hybrid cloud computing support
  2. Secure and reliable data storage
  3. Opportunity to scale on demand
  4. Cost-effectiveness
  5. Designed for different types of businesses

Microsoft Azure is one of the leading cloud infrastructure platforms available today. It has numerous benefits for organizations such as the ability to scale on-demand, hybrid cloud support, reliable data storage, cost-effectiveness, and more. It is also perfect for both large companies and small businesses because it can be customized according to varying needs and budget requirements. Read on to learn more about the many Microsoft Azure benefits for your organization.

Hybrid Cloud Computing Support

From flexibility, increased productivity, mobility, and more—cloud computing provides numerous benefits for businesses. But if you’re hesitant to move all your workloads on a public cloud, you can take advantage of Microsoft Azure’s hybrid cloud computing capability. It allows you to extend your on-premises data center to the cloud and give you the option to choose where you put your workloads.

Microsoft Azure offers tools and services that can help you integrate and manage your hybrid cloud environment seamlessly from a single place. Aside from that, the cloud-based desktop and app virtualization will allow you and your people to work remotely from any device anywhere. This provides an opportunity for faster collaboration and increases the productivity of your employees.

Secure And Reliable Data Storage

From files, unstructured data, and more—Microsoft Azure offers storage solution services for every type of scenario. The data is accessible over HTTP or HTTPS for easier team collaboration. For ease of use, Azure will also manage the maintenance, updates, and issues in the storage platform for you.

When it comes to data safety and privacy, you can also rely on Microsoft Azure’s storage services. They invest more than 1 billion US dollars each year to hire security experts, researchers, and developers to protect your data from threats.

Other than that, you can also rely on Microsoft Azure’s data privacy and protection principle so you can feel assured that your data is protected at rest and in transit. They implement encryption, security protocols, and algorithms to do this.

Opportunity To Scale On-Demand

Whether you have a small business or run a large corporation, you need to adapt to changing demands in the market. For example, during the peak season, you might need to scale up your operations to comply with the bullish market.

With Azure Autoscale, you have the ability to scale apps depending on your needs. It is a feature that allows you to anticipate load with different schedules, maximize app responsiveness, and scale by any metric. This way, you can be as flexible as possible when running your business.

For instance, if your website or application receives heavy traffic during sale days, you can schedule autoscaling targets in advance to handle the load. This way, you can prevent the site or app from crashing due to a traffic spike.


If you run a business, you have a budget that you need to stick to when you’re shopping around for cloud services. The good news is, you can take advantage of the features you need from Microsoft Azure without breaking the bank.

Due to Microsoft Azure’s elasticity—which makes it easy to scale up or down—you only need to pay for services and resources that you need for your business. You can remove or add storage, virtual servers, or network services seamlessly.

This gives you the choice to experiment and select services as needs change. Because of that, this pay-as-you-go pricing will give you significant cost savings in the long run.

Designed For Different Types Of Businesses

The majority of the Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft Azure’s cloud services. From pharmaceuticals, education, retail, telecommunications, travel, media, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, and more—businesses from different industries have experienced a digital transformation with Azure.

Small businesses have also been able to take advantage of the features provided by Microsoft Azure. Depending on your needs—whether it’s to solve specific security requirements, simplify compliance, or need extra storage for data—you can find a service that will work for you.

Thanks to the pay-as-you-go feature and its ability to scale on-demand, Microsoft Azure is perfect for any business regardless of size. With applications hosted in the cloud, small businesses and large corporations alike can also save up on in-house IT costs.

Key Takeaway

Whether you’re running a small business or are responsible for decision-making in a large corporation, you can take advantage of Microsoft Azure’s numerous services options for your business. It can help you transfer workloads from your on-premise center, provide additional storage on the cloud, and give you the ability to scale on-demand, while only paying for what you need.

Aside from these Microsoft Azure benefits, you will find features and services from CT Link that will help you manage, grow, and bring your business to new heights. If you need assistance, you can contact us so we can help you learn more about available solutions and services for your company.

What Is Hybrid Cloud Computing?

What is hybrid cloud computing?

  1. A combination of public and private cloud
  2. Has multiple benefits for an organization
  3. Offers enhanced security for companies
  4. The go-to solution for many businesses

A public cloud provides plenty of benefits for organizations, but some companies still have apprehensions when moving all their workloads to this platform. The good news is, hybrid cloud computing provides you an option where you can choose to put your company’s workload either in the public cloud or your local data center. What is hybrid cloud computing? Keep on reading to learn more!

A Combination Of Public And Private Cloud

With cloud computing, you can access computing services such as storage, servers, databases, networking, and more, over the internet. These are typically implemented through the public or private cloud.

A public cloud is managed and offered by a cloud provider to multiple customers. This gives organizations the benefit of less server management and cost savings because a third-party provider manages the service itself. On the other hand, a private cloud is hosted in a company’s own data center, allowing companies to use and manage it themselves.

Hybrid cloud computing allows organizations to integrate their local data center with the public cloud. This acts as extensions of their own data centers, giving businesses flexibility and the ability to have greater control over their data.

A hybrid cloud is often confused with a multi-cloud strategy, where you have workloads on multiple public clouds such as Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud Platform. In a hybrid cloud solution, both private and public clouds can be managed in a single platform.

Has Multiple Benefits For An Organization

With a hybrid cloud solution, you are given the flexibility to choose the applications and data you want to keep in your private and public clouds depending on your needs. For example, an organization can keep sensitive information on their private cloud while taking advantage of the large storage and computing capacity offered by a public cloud.

A hybrid cloud solution also provides rapid scalability to its users. When computing needs extend beyond the capabilities of your on-premises data center, you can use the public cloud for computing, storage, and other resources to scale up your capacity. This will help you save time and money on the purchase and maintenance of new servers.

Aside from these benefits, hybrid cloud computing also gives companies increased support for remote employees. It provides on-demand access to data wherever they are without having to be in one central location.

Offers Enhanced Security For Companies

Apart from the flexibility, scalability, and reduced costs, hybrid cloud computing also provides enhanced security for your data and applications.

Finance, banking, government, healthcare, and other organizations that are consistently scaling their processes might need a hybrid cloud computing solution. This is because the solution provides them greater control and better monitoring of data while complying with privacy protection regulations. Sensitive information can be kept in a hybrid cloud setup without compromising data safety and security.

Hybrid cloud setups make this possible because they provide more advanced and enhanced security compared to what businesses typically implement on their own. Even then, businesses must learn to properly configure the platform to prevent attacks. This is because attacks on hosted servers may be caused by platform misconfigurations such as using weak passwords or failing to secure the cloud container.

Fortunately, there are also features offered in hybrid cloud security solutions that allow you to keep your data and applications secure. For example, the Trend Micro Cloud One offers faster detection and protection from malware, vulnerabilities, and unauthorized change in your hybrid cloud setup. Some of its features include machine learning and virtual patching to protect from multiple cybersecurity threats. It provides continuous monitoring of misconfigurations and sends these alerts to the user for added protection.

The Go-To Solution For Many Businesses

Who uses hybrid cloud computing strategies? Aside from industries that need to fulfill regulatory compliance, more and more companies adopt this solution to become more flexible and agile. With the rapid scalability and other benefits that it offers, organizations can select and combine cloud setups according to their needs. Compared with a strictly public or private setup, a hybrid cloud provides the most flexibility.

Hybrid cloud computing is suitable for companies that need to handle large amounts of data and use various IT services. It is also recommended for organizations that have highly changeable workloads because of a significant increase in demand during peak seasons.

With the ability to respond quickly to changing needs and demands, organizations that utilize hybrid cloud computing have the competitive edge. Workloads can be expanded conveniently into the cloud so that testing and launching new products is quicker.

If you want a flexible, scalable, reliable, and cost-effective cloud computing solution, hybrid cloud computing is the best option for you.

Key Takeaway

Hybrid cloud computing combines the private and public cloud to give organizations flexibility, scalability, and reduce costs depending on their current and changing needs. With its numerous benefits, countless companies are migrating to this setup to keep up with dynamic workload demands.

Now that you know what hybrid cloud computing is, you can experience its benefits in your organization. If you’re interested in implementing this setup, you can contact CT Link! As a hybrid cloud solutions provider in the Philippines, we can help you choose the right product for your needs. Send a message here so we can help you today.

Protect Confidential Data outside the office with Microsoft AIP!

Data is the cornerstone of a business; this is why security is a major factor in any IT environment. However, security does not safeguard your data once it leaves the network perimeter, whether it was shared within or outside the network. Many companies are aware of this and are now looking into ways to solve it. This is where Rights Management solutions such as Azure Information Protection comes in.

What is AIP?

AIP is a cloud-based solution that gives organizations the ability to classify and protect its sensitive data such as documents and emails by using labels. Labeling can be done automatically by either administrators who define rules and policies, manually by users, or even a combination where users are given recommendations.

Labeling can be used to classify which files in your organization are confidential. Depending on the level of sensitivity, several restrictions can be placed on data that leave the network control. These are some examples on how the restrictions can be applied::

Limiting access to users of your organization or those who are granted permission.

Users cannot forward an email or copy information from it that contains news about an internal reorganization.

Locking the forwarding option, adding recipients on replies and copy paste functions on emails.

Setting a time limit for accessing files (such as for price lists)

Besides protecting your data, AIP’s labeling can also help a company’s visibility over its data. This is done through the data classification page which shows how data is being used by the users and how users are applying labels. Below are some of the information you can get through the page:

The number of items that are classified as sensitive and what they are classified as

A summary of actions users did with the sensitive data

The location of sensitive data

With AIP, organizations using Office products can rest assure that they will have a maintained level of visibility on their data and that these will stay confidential. Now, collaboration can be empowered from inside and outside your organization by protecting sensitive information such as emails and documents with encryption, restricted access and rights, and integrated security in Office apps.

If you are interested in learning more about AIP or Office 365, fill out our contact form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

Keep your Data Safe Anywhere with Microsoft Azure Information Protection

With the convenience of the internet and the evolving application market, company data is moving through different channels at a faster rate than possible before.  This makes it easier for businesses to better serve the clients while also improving their operations.  However, this also means that your data may be out there unprotected and used by people who should not have that data in the first place.

In 2016, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) recorded that about 1,093 US agencies and companies suffered from data breach instances, this is a 40% increase over 2015.  As information is a company’s critical asset, we should take the necessary steps in making sure that it is well protected from breaches.

With how freely we access and share data, the chances of incurring a leak of sensitive data such as intellectual property or customer data is not that farfetched.  So how do we prevent this from happening?  One way is to create a classification of protection levels that are easily identifiable through labels such as Personal, Public, General, Confidential, and Highly Confidential.

This is where Microsoft Azure Information Protection (AIP) can help you.  AIP is a cloud-based solution which provides a continuous classification and protection of your corporate data wherever it may be.  It provides this with its end-to-end protection and control for sensitive data which include data classification and labeling, data protection, data usage monitoring, and responding to malicious data usage activities.

Protect sensitive information anytime, anywhere

With AIP, you will be able to classify and label your corporate data for protection for its whole lifecycle.  Also, since it is a cloud-based solution, it provides you the flexibility to integrate and protect with your Microsoft cloud services and applications such as Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and OneDrive for Business.  Below are a few of the features that you can expect to see with AIP:

  • Simplified and intuitive controls that help you make the right decisions and stay productive. Data classification and protection controls are integrated into Microsoft Office and common applications. One-click options make it easy to classify data.
  • Persistent protection that follows sensitive data to ensure it’s always protected—regardless of where it’s stored or with whom it’s shared.
  • More visibility and control over shared data through tracking of shared data usage with powerful logging and reporting that allows you to monitor and analyze this data. Access to data can be revoked if required.
  • Safer sharing with customers and partners through definitions of who can access data and what they can do with it based on a use rights policy. For example, some users might be able to view and edit certain files but not print or forward them.
  • Deployment and management flexibility to protect data whether it’s stored in the cloud or on-premises. You can choose how encryption keys are managed, including Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) options.

To learn more, you may contact us at 893-9515 and we will be more than happy to help you with your inquiries!

Microsoft Azure: an Affordable and Flexible Infrastructure in the Cloud

Getting a business started from scratch can be difficult, then adding into the equation of your internal infrastructure?  Now that can be a real challenge for some, even daunting.  Not knowing exactly what specifications you would need at first for servers can be costly, though this can’t be helped as requirements can be grow as you are already in the process of operating.  Due to this reason, many have started to use the services of IaaS (infrastructure as a service) providers such as Microsoft Azure.

Elasticity is one characteristic of cloud computing and its biggest benefits.  This means that you can either stretch or shrink your cloud service usage at any given time to better fit the needs of your IT workloads.  You will be able to seamlessly add or remove virtual servers, storage, network services while paying only for what you use.  This benefit is more prominent when you are heavily using applications where work can be divided among multiple identical applications or services running on different machines.

One of its features, Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets (scale sets for short), is an identical pool of virtual machines running an application you control.  Azure has tools for you in which you can build or configure the Virtual Machines (VM) the way you want it and also taking control of how many you have at any time.  With scale set, you can have an on-demand fleet of VMs doing whatever work needs to be done but will grow or lessen whenever you need it to or if it reaches a certain parameter you’ve stated.

Scale Set fundamentals

“Cattle versus pets” is a popular metaphor of cloud scaling, which is often credited to a former Microsoft architect Bill Baker.  If servers are like pets, each one is lovingly raised, tended to carefully and even individually named while even being nursed back to health when they are sick.  If they are treated as cattle than they are all interchangeable and do not need to be given names, and when they get sick you get rid of it and get another one.  In a way, scale sets give you a way to clone a herd of “cattle” which you are able to choose its size and breed at any given time at the cost of the herd being identical.

Something important to remember about Azure scale sets is that they are identical VMs.  This means that you can customize the first in the herd, but the rest will be exactly like the first.  There are multiple ways to define your scale set, through the Azure portal, manually via Powershell or the Azure command-line tools, and through an Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template.  From this definition, Azure will know what size VM instance you would like to use, its name, quantity of machines in the set, etc.  You can customize the VM used by the scale set to include your application in three ways: by creating a completely customized VM image and supplying it to Azure, by taking a prebuilt Windows or Linux image and installing your application when the scale set is started, or by customizing the image to include container software and then loading the application container when the scale set is started, each having its benefits.

For a more in-depth read on how Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets works, you may visit the link here or contact us directly at 893-9515!

Data Protection

Data has become the centerpiece of any organization.  It is the driving force in which they base major decisions and even day to day operations.  This is why safeguarding such important information has become key in a successful business.  However, securing data and protecting data are two different agendas.  Data protection is focused more on safeguarding your data from compromise, corruption or loss rather than focusing on outside threats.  CT Link Systems, Inc. specializes in the following data protection solutions: Clustering and Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR).

With clustering, CT Link can help you minimize the downtime and service interruptions of your production infrastructure.  We are able to accomplish this by implementing a high availability clustering solution which uses two servers to act as an active one while the other as a passive server.  The passive server is a clone of the active server and will automatically be used upon the failure of the active server.

Through Business Continuity, CT Link can guide you through the steps in which you can take to ensure your data is well archived and retain-able using the right backup solution.  We are able to provide you with two types of backup solutions, either on-premise or on the cloud.  With this flexibility, we are able to help tailor fit your solution to better fit the need and budget of your business.  In disaster recovery, we can help  your business by setting up an offsite backup of all your essential data and configurations which can be used in restoring your system upon an unforeseen data loss to your on-premise infrastructure.

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