Windows Azure and Microsoft SXP Serve Up to Two Million Rich Media Experiences Daily on Microsoft Showcase

Microsoft’s Social eXperience Platform (SXP) is a multi-tenant web service that enables social media capabilities across microsoft.com, including the Showcase site.  Launched one year ago this month, SXP runs as a Windows Azure-platform based web service that serves up video and enables viewers to comment and rate what they see.   Windows Azure had just been released when SXP launched, so the team was working in uncharted territory.  But the results and performance have been impressive over the past 12 months, as Microsoft Cloud Architect Bart Robertson outlines in his recent blog post, “SXP – One Year Later.” As he says in the post, “it has been a great experience and the Windows Azure platform has allowed us to realize many of the promises of cloud computing.”

Some of the highlights:

  • SXP averages more than 450,000 requests per day with a peak of 687,000 requests in a single day. SXP has the capability to deliver at least 2 million requests per day without having to increase the number of instances.
  • SXP has deployed 10 separate times over the past year and hasn’t incurred any downtime (measured at the transaction level) during any of its upgrades.
  • SXP was designed as a multi-tenant, cloud-based service. It has since grown from one tenant to more than 35 with more than a dozen others in the pipeline.
  • With Windows Azure Compute, SXP was able to double web service tier capacity in a matter of minutes and then adjust scale to the correct level. It took just minutes to scale back down and the full retail price of the additional capacity was less than $100.
  • Availability at the transaction level since going live has averaged higher than 4 9′s of availability at 99.9957%.
  • Monthly costs to run SXP are 90% lower than the previous on-premise solution, while the service enjoys far higher levels of stability and performance.

Check out Cloud Conversations on the Developer Campaign Web and Cloud Power sites, powered by Windows Azure.  Visit the Showcase site to experience SXP on Windows Azure; read more about SXP and its experiences on Windows Azure on Bart’s blog here.