Windows Azure SQL Database Marketplace
part of the Real World Windows Azure series, we talked to Glen Knowles, Cofounder
of Kelly Street
about using the Windows Azure platform to deliver the Campaign Taxi platform in the cloud. Here's what he had
MSDN: Tell us
about Kelly Street Digital and the services you offer.
Street Digital is a self-funded startup company with eight employees-six of
whom are developers. We created Campaign Taxi, an application available by
subscription that helps customers track consumer interactions across multiple
marketing campaigns. Designed for advertising and marketing agencies, it helps
customers set up digital campaigns, add functionality to their websites, store
consumer information in a single database, and present the data in reports.
MSDN: What was the
biggest challenge Kelly Street Digital faced prior to implementing Campaign
Taxi on the Windows Azure platform?
Knowles: The Campaign Taxi
beta application resided on Amazon Web Services for seven months. We had to
hire consultants to manage the cloud environment and the database servers. Not
only was it expensive to hire consultants, but it was unreliable because they
sometimes had conflicting priorities and they lived in different time zones. In
December 2009, a few days before the Christmas holiday, the instance of Campaign
Taxi in the Amazon cloud stopped running. Our consultant was on vacation in
Paris, France. I couldn't call Amazon, and they provided no support options. The
best we could do was post on the developer forum. When you rely on the
developer community for support, you can't rely on them at Christmas time
because they're on holiday. We needed a more reliable
MSDN: Describe the
solution you built with the Windows Azure platform?
Knowles: We did a two-week
pilot program with Campaign Taxi on the Windows Azure platform.
The first thing we noticed was that the response time of the application was
significantly faster than it had been with Amazon Web Services. It took one
developer three weeks to migrate the application to Windows Azure. We sent our
lead developer to a four-hour training through Microsoft BizSpark, and then he
quickly wrote a script that ported the application's relational database to SQL
Azure. The migration from Microsoft SQL Server to Microsoft SQL Azure was quite
straightforward because they're very similar. We use Blob storage to import
consumer data, temporarily store customers' uploaded data files, and store
backup instances of SQL Azure.
The Campaign Taxi application
aggregates consumer interactions during marketing campaigns.
MSDN: What benefits have you seen since
implementing the Windows Azure platform?
Knowles: We paid U.S.$4,970
each month for Amazon Web Services; the cost of subscribing to the Windows
Azure platform is only 16 percent of that cost-$795 a month-for the same
configuration. I can use the annual cost savings to pay a developer's salary.
Also, Campaign Taxi runs much faster on the Windows Azure platform. For that
kind of improved latency, we would have paid a premium. Windows Azure is an
unbelievable product. I'm an evangelist for it in my network of startups. We've
chosen this cloud platform and we're sticking with it.
the full story at: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=4000009046
read more Windows Azure customer success stories, visit: www.windowsazure.com/evidence