We love sharing stories about the interesting and creative ways that customers are using Windows Azure Platform. One great new story about a cool new implementation is the Mosaic 23/25 built by Wirestone for Jordan Brand, a division of Nike, Inc., to celebrate their 25-year anniversary during the NBA 2010 All-Star Weekend. Jordan Brand is leveraging Microsoft solutions to engage consumers to creatively market their new “Air Jordan 2010” collection and enable enthusiasts to personally connect with the Jordan Brand.
Also known as the ‘Social Mosaic’, this Web application allows enthusiasts to upload photos of themselves with their Air Jordan shoes to become a part of a mosaic (containing thousands of images) that portrays a holistic master image. This enables each enthusiast to become part of something greater and more social by allowing them to pan and zoom deep into the mosaic to better see their picture (and others) and to experience their own contribution to the brand and community. The Web application leverages Silverlight Deep Zoom and Silverlight Multitouch screen functionality* to further enhance the interactive Jordan Brand experience.
The Web application was built on the Windows Azure platform to implement the mosaic because Windows Azure is able to easily calibrate the number of Web Role instances needed to support unpredictable traffic bursts, and it can also separately scale out back-end Worker Role instances to support a rapid regeneration of the mosaic based on new photo uploads from consumers. By employing up to 40 backend (and parallel) Worker Role instances, a new mosaic can be regenerated in approximately 10 minutes to include new photos that were uploaded since the last mosaic was constructed. Considering that a typical mosaic is more than 5 gigapixels and, if just a single instance were used it would take approximately 5 hours to generate, this speed underscores the benefit to scaling out processing in a linear fashion.
Some of the underlying capabilities of the Windows Azure platform used to support the Social Mosaic include:
- Windows Azure Blob Storage – The natural place to store the uploaded photos and resultant deep zoom imagery.
- Windows Azure Queue Storage – Used to provide an asynchronous mediation point between Azure Blob Storage and backend Worker Roles; also used to queue email notifications.
- Windows Azure Table Storage – Used to quickly and efficiently store data around Worker Role scale out coordination, leveraging atomic change guarantee patterns.
- SQL Azure – Used to relationally store other important schema governed data, thus providing a more rich functionality to manage select data.
Head to the Social Mosaic and see for yourself how these great technologies are working to help create a global groundswell of brand advocacy for Jordan Brand, and how it brings the Jordan Brand experience to life.
This is just one story; we’d love to hear about your experience with Windows Azure so please tell us by posting a comment. As always, we’d love to hear from you.
*If supported by the consumer’s hardware.