There is a significant amount of energy wasted by applications because of how they are designed and operated. Typically there are more than enough IT resources provisioned as a buffer to ensure performance, which leads to a lot of wasted energy when use for that application is low. Cloud computing platforms like Windows Azure provide the ability to break this cycle of over-provisioning by allowing developers to have more control over resource use and IT costs.
Sage, a major business software solution provider, was working on a project to expand their on-premises enterprise management system to allow their customers to have easier and quicker access to information as well as reduce their costs. With their on-premises solution, it was difficult for workers in the field to get timely information. Since there were more manual processes involved, that information could be prone to error.
To solve these problems they developed a new application called Sage Construction Anywhere, a Windows Azure-based add-on to their on-premises Sage 300 EPR solution that was developed for the construction sector. Windows Azure not only allows workers on construction sites to access information directly from mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, but it also proactively manages the amount of resources needed. With the Autoscaling Application Block (part of the Microsoft Enterprise Library), they are able to dynamically control the number of running instances based on rules they create, creating more role instances during heavy traffic times and reducing them during low or no traffic times. Autoscaling reduced the cost of role instances up to 50 percent, while still meeting their service level agreement. Creating resource efficient applications like this are key to increasing resource productivity and helping to manage costs.
By using autoscaling in Windows Azure, Sage has gained valuable cloud experience, improved the performance of its solution, and significantly reduced costs compared with using a traditional on-premises infrastructure.
You can learn more about Sage and the benefits they are receiving from creating their new cloud-based application by reading the full case study.