Windows Azure SQL Database Marketplace
part of the Real World Windows Azure series, we talked to Dano DeBroux,
Director of Disruptive Business Technologies with the Office
of Naval Research
(ONR) about using Windows Azure for its open and
innovative framework proof-of-concept solution. Here’s what he had to say:
MSDN: Tell us
about the Office of Naval Research and the Disruptive Business Technologies
DeBroux: The ONR is an
executive branch agency within the United States Department of Defense that
supports innovative military operations for the Navy and Marine Corps. The
Disruptive Business Technologies department supports the ONR by finding
innovative technology solutions that integrate commercially available and
emerging technologies as a way to address business and military operations.
MSDN: What were some
of the challenges that you faced prior to implementing Windows Azure?
DeBroux: This industry is
dominated by highly customized and specialized technologies and
implementing new solutions typically involves lengthy research and development
processes that are grounded in science. That means, it can take up to 20 years
to develop new capabilities to a level of maturity that they can be deployed to
active military personnel. Plus, with years of development work, the process is
MSDN: Why did you
choose Windows Azure?
DeBroux: We wanted to use
an open and innovative framework and take advantage of disruptive technologies—ones that were built on open standards and
commercially-available—as a way to solve complex military problems. We want to
move away from the idea that we have to force ourselves to start from a blank
canvas and instead use off-the-shelf technology that we can package together to
enable military capabilities and, in theory, reduce costs and the timeline associated with delivering those capabilities to the
field. We had to look for commercially-available and mature technologies, pull
them together rapidly, and hope there was little to no learning curve, because
there simply wouldn’t be time to do anything else. Windows Azure was the best
choice to enable us to do that.
MSDN: Can you
describe the solution you built with the Windows Azure platform to address your
need openness and interoperability?
DeBroux: We started a
proof-of-concept project to test several off-the-shelf technologies to address three
military scenarios: command and control, information sharing, and event
reconstruction. At the heart of the solution is Inca X software, which runs on
Windows Azure with global positioning systems, geocasting, data broadcast, and
rich media capabilities. Then, because Windows
Azure supports open standards and multiple programming
telecommunications components and smartphones running Windows Mobile 6.1. We
also used Bing Maps platform for geographic and location-based information, Windows
Live Mesh for synchronizing and sharing information across devices, and a
web-based user interface based on Microsoft Silverlight 3 browser technology.
MSDN: What makes this
DeBroux: We took Windows Azure and combined it with smart
devices and other off-the-shelf technologies and ended up with a platform for
creativity. With that platform, we can build very powerful business and
MSDN: What kinds
of benefits have you realized with the Windows Azure platform?
DeBroux: When we started
the project, we deliberately gave ourselves a compressed timeline of only two
weeks in order to prove how rapidly we could develop new capabilities. We were
able to easily meet that goal. Plus, once the solution was deployed, we could
quickly gather feedback from the field, make changes, and deploy new
capabilities in a matter of minutes or hours. In addition, the pay-as-you-go
helps us to reduce costs by only paying for the resources we use. We could peak at 200 users and then be down to zero
users until the next training exercise starts. If we had to rely on an
on-premises infrastructure, or any other traditional client-server model, we’d
be paying for resources even when they’re sitting idle.
the full story at: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=4000009462
read more Windows Azure customer success stories, visit: www.windowsazure.com/evidence