Windows Azure SQL Database Marketplace
part of the Real World Windows Azure series, we talked to Andy Harjanto, cofounder
at Guppers, about using the Windows Azure platform to deliver the company's
mobile service, which enables people to access business data from any mobile
MSDN: Tell us about Guppers and
the services you offer.
Harjanto: Guppers enables business to take advantage of mobility, cloud computing, and social networking to exchange business data through email, short messaging service (SMS) messages, and from any mobile device, such as Windows Phone 7.
MSDN: What were the biggest
challenges that Guppers faced prior to implementing the Windows Azure platform?
Harjanto: We previously used Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) for data storage in the cloud. However,
because we host our own web servers to improve performance, we had to maintain
file caches locally, which was time consuming and resulted in inefficient
scaling. When we initially launched our service, we had great press coverage
and had a huge surge in traffic, but we couldn't copy incoming files to Amazon
S3 fast enough. The servers crashed and our website went down temporarily.
MSDN: Can you describe the
solution you built with Windows Azure to address your need for scalability and
Harjanto: We implemented
the Windows Azure platform for both our web-based application and our storage
needs. When customers use the Guppers service to exchange data, requests are
added to Queue storage services where Worker roles in Windows Azure pick up and
process the requests. Document files are added to Windows Azure Blob storage
and messages are stored in Windows Azure Table storage. We store user and
account information in Microsoft SQL Azure. We have to communicate back and
forth with telecommunications providers, so we use the Windows Azure platform
AppFabric Service Bus to expose our application across network boundaries. To
achieve even higher bandwidth, we plan on implementing the Windows Azure
Content Delivery Network to cache our blob content.
1. The Guppers web-based interface. Guppers enables customers to exchange
business data through email, SMS text, and any mobile device.
MSDN: What makes your solution
Harjanto: A key differentiator of
Guppers, in addition to the unique way we enable customers to access business
data, is that we are a small company that can operate websites and services
that are on par with popular, high-traffic, enterprise websites. With Windows
Azure, latency is a thing of the past and scalability is something we don't
even worry about.
MSDN: What kinds of benefits
are you realizing with Windows Azure?
Harjanto: We are able to scale up very
cost-effectively. Had we scaled up our existing data center to meet demand, we
would have paid approximately U.S.$90,000 annually in salary for extra IT
resources to just maintain the infrastructure, plus additional operating costs
of $700 each month. By using Windows Azure, we don't
have to worry as much about fluctuations in a turbulent economy because we only
pay for what we use. Development was also fast, which is important to us as a
small company that doesn't have unlimited resources to dedicate to projects. It
took two developers just two days to migrate our service to Windows Azure, and
we'll be able to develop new enhancements in the future just as fast.
the full story at: www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=4000007502
more Windows Azure customer success stories, visit: www.windowsazure.com/evidence