Windows Azure SQL Database Marketplace
part of the Real World Windows Azure series, we talked to Paul Hernacki, Chief
Technology Officer at Definition 6 about using the Windows Azure platform,
in combination with its content management system from Umbraco, to host its
customers' websites. Here's what he had to say:
MSDN: Tell us
about Definition 6 and the services you offer.
Hernacki: Definition 6 is a
unified marketing agency that redefines brand experiences by unifying marketing
and technology. We focus on developing interactive, rich-media websites and
web-based applications that engage users and turn them into brand advocates for
our customers. Most of the websites we develop are large, content-managed
MSDN: What were the
biggest challenges that you faced prior to implementing the Windows Azure
Hernacki: We were looking
for a content management system built on the Microsoft .NET Framework and one that
worked well with Microsoft products and technologies that are commonly found in
our customers' enterprise environments, such as Windows Server. For that we
turned to Umbraco, an open-source content
management system that is based on Microsoft ASP.NET. From there, we needed a
cloud-based service that would work with Umbraco. While we offer traditional
hosting methods, some of our customers wanted to host their websites in the cloud
in order to scale up and scale down to meet unpredictable site traffic demand and to avoid capital expenditures.
MSDN: Why did you
choose the Windows Azure platform?
Hernacki: We evaluated cloud
offerings from Amazon and Google but neither of them seamlessly blend with the way we work, nor do they allow us to continue
working exactly as we are with the tools that we have to build the websites
that we want to build for our customers. However, Umbraco developed an
accelerator that enables customers to deploy websites that use the content
management system on the Windows Azure platform, which works seamlessly with
customers' enterprise IT environments.
MSDN: Can you
describe how you use the Windows Azure platform with the Umbraco content
management system for customer websites?
Hernacki: We tested the
solution on the Cox Enterprises' Cox Conserves
Heroes website, which we completely migrated from our colocation hosting
environment to the Windows Azure platform in only two weeks. We use web roles for hosting the
website, easily adding new web role instances to scale up during high-traffic
periods and reducing the number of instances to scale down when the site typically
sees the fewest number of visitors. We also use Blob storage in Windows Azure
to store binary data and Microsoft SQL
for our relational database needs.
MSDN: What makes Definition
Hernacki: In addition to the
interactive sites we develop for our customers, we can also deliver a solution
that includes a content management system and cloud service that all work
together-and work well in an enterprise IT environment. It makes our customers' marketing directors and CIOs
MSDN: What kinds
of benefits have you realized with the Windows Azure platform?
Hernacki: Development and
deployment was very straightforward. We used our existing skills and
development tools, including Microsoft Visual Studio development system, to
migrate the website to the Windows Azure platform. Plus, we won't have to
change the way we work going forward. We now have a viable cloud-based solution
that we can offer to our customers. By using
Windows Azure and the Umbraco accelerator, we can meet our customers' complex
content management needs and their desire to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud.
the full story at: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=4000009229
read more Windows Azure customer success stories, visit: www.windowsazure.com/evidence