Idaho Department of Labor’s IT team has leveraged unique capability of Microsoft’ cloud platform Windows Azure, and it is about building “hybrid services and applications”. Hybrid application architecture implies some parts of the application are hosted and running on their on-premise infrastructure, but other modules/parts are hosted and running in the cloud. Hybrid application is another example of how government organizations can explore and adopt cloud platform on their own terms.
Job Search application engine used traditional n-layer architecture and was hosted on-premise, but the Idaho Department of Labor’s IT team was looking for creative ways drive to higher scalability and performance without investing heavily on their infrastructure. Team has come up with their next-gen version of Job Search engine with a new architecture whereby most applications and data are still hosted on their on-premise servers, but the job search engine service (performing the job search) is running in the cloud and listing/data for the open-jobs (non-sensitive data) is stored in cloud database SQL Azure.
Here’s high-level diagram of the architecture of their Job Search engine and service.
Idaho Department of Labor’s IT team started their Windows Azure exploration early September, and deployed Job Search engine service in the Windows Azure (cloud platform) in October. Service is running successfully more than two months, and the department is now looking at other IT work-load scenarios to derive benefits of the Windows Azure cloud platform. Special thanks to Brett Richard (Development Manager) and Greg Gipson (Lead Architect and Developer) from Idaho Department of Labor for this great success story.
Hope this solution provides you with some ideas to adopt hybrid architecture with the cloud platform to drive scalability, efficiency and lower costs.
Here are some resources on learning Windows Azure and SQL Azure