Windows Azure SQL Database Marketplace
Real World Windows Azure series spoke to Kevin Lam, the Founder and President
of IMPACTA, about using the Windows Azure platform to deliver LOCKBOX SFT, a cloud-based, fully managed secure file transfer (SFT) service
for the company's customers:
MSDN: Can you give us a quick
summary of what IMPACTA does and who you serve?
Lam: We help companies assess the
security of their information systems, find potential weaknesses, and then
address those issues. Then we've taken the lessons we learned from dealing with
our customers' security threats to develop custom technology solutions that can
help organizations address common security problems and cope with emerging
MSDN: Was there a particular challenge
you were trying to overcome that led you to use the Windows Azure platform?
Lam: Many of our customers were
just transferring their sensitive files with email and FTP web services. So
their data was being potentially exposed to malicious hackers, identity
thieves, and other online threats. But most of the available solutions required
firms to purchase, install, and manage expensive hardware and software. The
entry point for some solutions can be more than U.S.$24,000, plus we could see first-hand
the challenges our customers faced trying to manage their growing infrastructures.
wanted to develop a competitively priced SFT solution, but we were a startup,
and acquiring the data center space and the array of powerful servers we would
need just wasn't feasible. We thought we could use cloud computing to overcome the
existing cost barriers and provide our customers with a higher level of
protection. Basically, when we looked at the costs, and the pain our customers
were going through, and then saw what we could do with cloud computing,
bringing an on-premises solution to market was just not compelling for us.
MSDN: Can you describe the solution that you developed with
Lam: In July 2010, we introduced LOCKBOX
SFT, a fully managed SFT service built on Windows Azure, the latest Microsoft .NET Framework, the ASP.NET web application framework,
Windows Communication Foundation, Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0, and Microsoft SQL Server 2008. As the LOCKBOX SFT database
grows, we will transfer it to the Microsoft SQL Azure self-managed database.
use LOCKBOX SFT, companies only need Internet access and a web browser, and
they can subscribe to the service online in just minutes, with no setup fee to
pay and no hardware or software to buy. When users log on, they can monitor an
inbox and a sent folder, or click a tab to send a new data package. When the
sender clicks send, LOCKBOX SFT encrypts the data, transfers it to Windows
Azure for storage, and notifies the recipient by email that they have received an
encrypted data package.
MSDN: How will using Windows
Azure help IMPACTA deliver more advanced solutions to its customers?
Lam: With Windows Azure we could
keep our operation costs low enough to provide customers with enterprise-level
reliability and data protection in a solution that's affordable for the
non-enterprise. Any type of organization can use LOCKBOX SFT to store and
transfer sensitive data while protecting it from online threats and from
physical threats such as theft or damage of hardware. And we can use Windows
Azure to deliver the service our customers need when they need it, without
making them pay for computing resources they're not using.
In 2010, IMPACTA introduced
LOCKBOX SFT, built on Windows Azure from Microsoft. To send a data package
safeguarded from malicious software, identity thieves, and other online threats,
registered LOCKBOX SFT users simply log on to the application interface to
create a package name, select files for the package, and specify a recipient.
the full story at: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=4000008570
To read more Windows Azure customer success stories, visit: www.windowsazure.com/evidence