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Real World Windows Azure: Interview with Michael Lucaccini, President of Archetype

As part of the Real World Windows Azure series, we talked to Michael Lucaccini, President of Archetype, about using the Windows Azure technology platform for the company's media…

As part of the Real World Windows Azure series, we talked to Michael Lucaccini, President of Archetype, about using the Windows Azure technology platform for the company’s media management system. Here’s what he had to say:

MSDN: What services does Archetype provide?

Lucaccini: Archetype is an interactive design and engineering firm that specializes in developing Internet applications, branded experiences, and advanced user interfaces.

MSDN: What was the biggest challenge your company faced prior to implementing Windows Azure?

Lucaccini: Our Archetype Media Platform (AMP) system, which is built on the Microsoft .NET Framework, helps customers efficiently manage all of their media assets from upload through deployment. However, accommodating each customer’s individual IT infrastructure resulted in time-consuming deployments-sometimes taking months. Adding to that, customers often faced steep entry costs or quickly outgrew initial server configurations.

MSDN: Describe the solution you built with the Windows Azure platform to help you address these common challenges with scalability, time-consuming deployments, and high entry costs for customers?

Lucaccini: To enable massive numbers of users to upload, edit, and redistribute media without a bottleneck on the server side, we migrated our AMP solution to the Windows Azure platform. It is a turnkey solution that helps save our customers a great deal in up-front costs. We’re also taking advantage of Microsoft SQL Azure and Blob Storage to persist data.

MSDN: What makes your solution unique?

Lucaccini: AMP is unique because it is a comprehensive, integrated media solution. Our customers aren’t faced with purchasing a media portal from one vendor and an asset manager from another. The AMP Manager enables customers to upload, save, edit, reformat, tag, comment on, and publish media; users can redeploy assets hundreds of times while maintaining the integrity of the original content. With AMP Analytics, users can see statistics about how their media is used. The Windows Azure development fabric gave us the flexibility to quickly develop these solutions. We were coding and deploying to the Windows Azure cloud within an hour of downloading it.

MSDN: What are the key benefits Archetype has seen as a result of implementing Windows Azure?

Lucaccini: Scalability and fast development time are two of the biggest values we get with Windows Azure. Our developers are already familiar with .NET-based code, so we simply recompiled our existing code for Windows Azure. Deployments that have typically taken months will now take weeks. In fact, now we can tackle projects that we had to sideline due to lack of time and resources. Also, because our customers can scale incrementally with the platform, they can try out the solution before committing to a large expenditure. We anticipate the cost savings could range from 15 to 35 percent.

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