Film Industry Selects Windows Azure for High-Capacity Business Needs

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 24, 2012 — The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) has selected Windows Azure to provide the cloud technology necessary to handle high volumes of traffic to its website during its biggest annual event, the SAG Awards. SAG worked with Microsoft Corp. to port its entire awards site from Linux servers to Windows Azure, to gain greater storage capacity and the ability to handle increased traffic on the site.

“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.”

And the Winner Is … Windows Azure

Previously hosted on internal Linux boxes, the SAG website experienced negative impact due to high traffic each year leading up to the SAG Awards. Peak usage is on the night of the awards ceremony, when the site hosts a tremendous increase in visitors who view uploaded video clips and news articles from the event. To meet demand during that time, SAG had to continually upgrade its hardware. That is, until the SAG Awards team moved the site to Windows Azure.

“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 colors.”

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.

Windows Azure provides a business-class platform for the SAG website, providing low latency, increased storage, and the ability to scale up or down as needed.

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