Retail and Hospitality
Cloud powers film industry awards site
25 February 2012
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) selected Windows Azure to help it handle high volumes of traffic to its website during its biggest annual event, the SAG Awards, which took place in January.
Peak usage of the SAG website is on the night of the awards ceremony, when it sees a major increase in visitors who view uploaded video clips and news articles from the event.
With help from Microsoft, we successfully moved our site to Windows Azure, and the biggest traffic day for us went off with flying colours
The Screen Actors Guild Windows Azure helped the SAG website handle the anticipated traffic spike during its 2012 SAG Awards show, which generated a significant increase in visits and page views over the previous year.
This year’s show generated 325,403 website visits and 789,310 page views. In comparison, the 2011 awards show saw 222,816 total visits and 434,743 page views.
SAG worked with Microsoft to port its entire awards site from Linux servers to Windows Azure cloud computing platform, to gain greater storage capacity and the ability to handle increased traffic on the site.
“We moved to Windows Azure after looking at the services it offered,” said Erin Griffin, chief information officer at SAG. “Understanding the best usage scenario for us took time and effort, but with help from Microsoft, we successfully moved our site to Windows Azure, and the biggest traffic day for us went off with flying colours.”
One major advantage that cloud computing is supposed to offer is the ability to scale to handle peaks in usage, for example around the holiday season for retailers. As this is available on a pay-as-you-go basis, it means that the website doesn’t need to have the large amount of computing power needed at these peak times all year round.
It is also designed to make things easier for companies as they don’t have to handle the technical requirements themselves and they can get up and running quickly.
“Windows Azure is committed to making it easier for customers to use cloud computing to address their specific needs,” said Doug Hauger, general manager, Windows Azure business development at Microsoft. “For the entertainment industry, that means deploying creative technology solutions that are flexible, easy to implement and cost-effective for whatever opportunities our customers can dream up.”
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