The cloud is everywhere since the last few years and it doesn’t look like it will go away any time soon. More and more businesses are considering infrastructure as a service to extend their current datacenter needs. Spinning up a few virtual machines can be done quickly and efficiently in Microsoft Azure and with the pay-as-you-go model, many CFOs are very happy to see the switch from CAPEX to the OPEX model. Yet, as of today, not that many companies are using these services for their production environment, and if they do, it is only a small part or a state-less part of their infrastructure.

But for other needs within the datacenter, certainly in the development, testing and acceptance cycle it is very easy to use these services.

There is a problem…

In many scenarios, there is a potential problem when using Microsoft Azure VMs. Unless the VMs running in Azure are an extension of your datacenter and are domain-joined and connected through a VPN, it isn’t easy to copy files into those VMs or getting data back out.

As an active Azure user, I know this issue first hand.

There are two ways to do this today.

1. Through RDP

The first method is by copying the files through the RDP protocol. This works for smaller files but there are downsides to this method. A disconnect or time-out of your session will interrupt the data transfer and then you need to start again. A small hiccup in the connectivity can cause the exact same problem. Also, this can be very slow and you need to remember to keep the RDP window open until the transfer finishes.

2. Attach a VM disk

The second method is by creating an empty VHD disk on-premises and copy data onto that disk. Then you can upload that disk to your Microsoft Azure storage account and attach it to your VM. While this is more stable than the RDP method, the method is rather roundabout. You need to create the disk, add the files, upload the disk to Microsoft Azure, attach it, initialize, copy of the data, detach it and remove it from your storage account again. Besides that you are also using additional resources during this procedure so you will pay more for the Microsoft Azure services.

The solution

Veeam® is very proud to introduce the beta of Veeam FastSCP™ for Microsoft Azure which solves exactly this problem. And best of all—it’s FREE! With Veeam FastSCP for Microsoft Azure, you will be able to securely copy your files from on-premises to Azure VMs and from Azure VMs to on-premises.

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This solution does not require any VPN or independent encryption at all, as the data is transferred securely over HTTPs. You can manually copy files from and to Azure virtual machines and you don’t need to keep the UI open until the file copy completes.

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The job can be followed in the Jobs tab.

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And even better, you can also schedule file copy jobs for nightly or weekly copies of files to or from Azure virtual machines.

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Scenarios solved…

This solution is a potential time-saver and can solve many scenarios in your environment. Here are a few examples:

  • Customizing VMs running in Microsoft Azure

Developers could use this feature to customize the Virtual Machines to meet their specific needs much easier by uploading customization scripts, configuration files and data to have better testing results.

  • Updating data of applications

Nightly uploads of data (like for example daily CMDB data dumps) will allow the IT Professional or Developer to have current data on Azure VMs, or back on-premises.

  • Download usage data or log files

Developers or IT Professionals can capture usage data or log files and send those on-premises for further analysis and testing.

  • Copy database data

You can use this to get database data on-premises and have a copy of your running database on-premises.

  • Basic periodic file-level backup

You can use this to get certain, specific files (data, config, etc.) on-premises on a regular basis.

And we are sure that you can come up with lots more examples! Share them in the Veeam dedicated forum (coming soon) and interact directly with the Product Management team and other Azure users.

Conclusion

Veeam FastSCP for Microsoft Azure solves the problem of uploading data from on-premises to Azure VMs and vice versa. Through a natively secure file copy, with no VPN needed, you can upload or download your data fast and easy – while built-in compression reduces bandwidth requirements in many cases. You can even schedule download and upload jobs with no scripting skills required – everything is done through a simple wizard-driven UI.

The beta is available at http://go.veeam.com/azure

All feedback, issues or anything else can be posted on our forums: http://forums.veeam.com/veeam-fastscp-for-microsoft-azure-f36/

NOTE! Register for a live webinarFree, secure file copy for Azure VMs with Veeam FastSCP for Microsoft Azure, on May 14 at 12 p.m. ET (North America), 11 a.m. CEST (Europe), or 2 p.m. AEST (Asia.)

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    Author: Mike Resseler
    Mike Resseler is a Product Strategy Specialist for Veeam. Mike is focused on technologies around Hyper-V and System Center. With years of experience in the field he presents on many occasions on large events such as MMS, TechEd and TechDays. Mike has... 

    Published: May 5, 2015