Even though the Ascend migration is ongoing, Trek has already seen benefits in reduced development and support costs as well as increased scalability.
Reduced Development Cost
The Ascend team found that the learning curve associated with Azure PaaS was small, similar to learning a new version of the .NET Framework or API. Existing development tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio just worked on Azure, and the team could easily move applications to PaaS. Moving Ascend workloads to IaaS was very fast and trouble-free. Young says, “Let’s say there was no IaaS offering in Azure; Trek would have had to rewrite the services on PaaS. That would have been additional overhead that the company now doesn’t have to recoup.”
Reduced IT Support Cost
Trek continues to improve its TCO by reducing the time and effort needed to support its Ascend infrastructure. Since the Ascend team moved its staging workloads to Azure IaaS, Trek has saved US$5,000 each month in data-center hosting costs. When the production workloads have been migrated to IaaS, the company will be able to eliminate its data center operations and save $15,000 each month.
Windows Azure easily scales to meet increased workloads and a variety of deployment scenarios, offering much needed flexibility for Ascend. Trek no longer needs to wait 2–6 weeks to upgrade server capacity at its data center; by adding virtual machines in Azure IaaS, Trek engineers can do the same job in just two hours.
The affordable price and simple, straightforward pricing model of Azure benefits Trek and its retailers. By adding the Azure subscriptions built into Ascend to Trek’s enterprise agreement, the company can provide discounted rates, unified billing, and a simple one-time payment for its Ascend service.
Windows Azure has made it possible for the Ascend team to focus on providing features that provide real value to customers. “We are extremely pleased with our selection of the Windows Azure platform,” concludes Salvo. “The capabilities, performance, scale, and cost enable the Ascend team to do more with less.”
With Windows Azure, you can quickly build, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. You can build applications using any operating system, language, or tool.