Ready for a geometric progression of your application’s usage? How’s this for a fan curve?

Outback Steakhouse FB fan base

This was one of the data points (details here) I heard while catching up on a session from the recent Microsoft PDC: Lessons Learned: Building Scalable Applications with the Windows Azure Platform. The session is about 46 minutes long and contains 2 Windows Azure success stories.

Success Story 1 – Thuzi (minute 4 to minute 20)

The first centers around a Facebook application built by Thuzi.com for Outback Steakhouse as part of a marketing promotion – the graph above is part of this story. Jim Zimmerman, CTO/Lead Developer of Thuzi discusses what to watch out for when going live and why a cloud back end was chosen (viral nature of the application, unpredictable and potential geometric adoption). “We don’t  know much about running data centers…besides we didn’t want to purchase extra servers ‘just in case’.”

App Architecture

Jim shared the decision tree used to pick Windows Azure over Google and Amazon. Of particular interest to me as I talk to architects looking at Windows Azure are the lessons learned:

Lessons Learned from Thuzi

Nice work, don’t forget to become a fan and enjoy some Blooming Onions!

Success Story 2 – RiskMetrics (minute 20:30 to minute 44:30)

The second story is very intriguing to me as I ponder scenarios of “hybrid” workloads - sharing work across on premise and cloud infrastructures. RiskMetrics detailed what they have accomplished and what they continue to work with Microsoft on.

RiskMetrics Architecture

While the actual session is very short, I’d encourage you to download the slides that accompany the video to review some of the architectural patterns followed and the choices/compromises RiskMetrics had to make. I particularly liked the mind bending observation at around 27:20 minute mark – they only had to change 10 lines out of 50K lines of code to enable it on Windows Azure. Say what???? Watch the session!

Related Sessions

Recommended during this session…

Catch up Part 1 and Part 2 of my Azure stories from the Microsoft PDC.