Windows Azure SQL Database Marketplace
part of the Real World Windows Azure series, we talked to David MacLaren, President
and CEO at VRX Studios about using the Windows Azure platform for its enterprise-class
digital asset management system, MediaValet. Here's what he had to say:
MSDN: Tell us about VRX Studios.
MacLaren: VRX Studios is a Microsoft Registered Partner that provides content
production, management, distribution, and licensing services to over 10,000
hotels across the globe, including brands such as Hilton, Wyndham, Choice, Best
Western, Fairmont, and Hyatt.
MSDN: What were the biggest
challenges that you faced prior to implementing the Windows Azure platform?
MacLaren: Our biggest challenge came from
managing hundreds of thousands of media assets for dozens of large hotel brands
that each has thousands of hotels and tens of thousands of users. The digital
asset management system that we were using was server based and developed in-house
a decade ago. As a result, it could no longer support the scale and increasing
growth rate of our image archive-severely limiting our ability to grow our
business and provide services to our global clientele.
MSDN: Can you describe the digital
asset management system you built with the Windows Azure platform to address
your need for scalability?
MacLaren: After determining we needed to
build an entirely new digital asset management system, we looked to the cloud
to take advantage of many of its native traits: scalability, redundancy, and global
reach. We considered cloud offerings from Amazon, Google, and several smaller
providers, but none provided the development platform, support, and programs
that we needed to be successful-Microsoft and the Windows Azure platform did.
new digital asset management system, MediaValet, uses Blob storage to store all media assets and the Content Delivery Network to cache blobs at the nearest locations
to users; we use Table storage to store metadata, which aids in searching media
assets; and we use Queue storage to manage events, such as when media assets
are added and version control is required. In the near future, we plan to
implement the Windows Azure AppFabric and Windows Azure Marketplace
MSDN: What makes MediaValet
MacLaren: MediaValet is one of the first
100 percent cloud-based, enterprise-class, globally-accessible, digital asset
management systems. Prior to building our own digital asset management system,
our research found that existing systems were severally limited by their
server-based architecture. By building MediaValet on the Windows Azure
platform, our digital asset management system is fully managed, massively
scalable, and accessible from anywhere in the world-from
any browser; it's highly secure and reliable. This translates to our ability to
easily meet the needs of any company, no matter what industry it's in, where
its offices are located, how fast it's growing, how much content it has, or how
many user accounts it requires.
MSDN: What kinds of benefits have
you realized with the Windows Azure platform?
MacLaren: We were able to build
MediaValet faster and with 40 percent fewer resources than was previously possible.
We eliminated the majority, if not all, of the capital expenses traditionally
required for developing and deploying large-scale software offerings, and
reduced our hosting costs by up to 40 percent. This alone made our project
feasible. Beyond this, the Windows Azure platform enabled us to build a stronger,
more scalable, and resilient piece of software. Today, having built MediaValet
on the Windows Azure platform, we can now quickly, cost effectively and
reliably scale to meet the needs of any of our clients.
the full story at: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=4000008848
more Windows Azure customer success stories, visit: www.windowsazure.com/evidence