The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) moved their Linux based website to Windows Azure to support their biggest annual event, the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Each year, the Screen Actors Guild experiences increased traffic to its awards site, which peaks the eve of its annual award ceremony. The ceremony marks SAG's biggest traffic day of the year.
Previously hosted Drupal, SAG website experienced negative impact due to high traffic each year with peak usage is on the night of the awards ceremony. "Windows Azure provides a business-class platform for the SAG website, providing low latency, increased storage, and the ability to scale up or down as needed. They can tune up or down the compute and storage requirements according to expected website loads, thereby getting a more scalable, manageable and cost-effective solution for running their site. SAG also gets the benefits of PaaS - no need to manage the operating system patches, virtual machine images, network topology etc," posted Microsoft.
Microsoft started working with the SAG Awards team in May 2011, when their CIO Erin Griffin joined the Interoperability Executive Council (IEC) - founded by Microsoft in 2006 with a goal of identifying the industry's greatest areas of need and to work together to create solutions - and attended a council meeting.
"We moved to Windows Azure after looking at the services it offered," said Erin Griffin, CIO at SAG. "Understanding the best usage scenario for us took time and effort, but with help from Microsoft, we successfully moved our site to Windows Azure and the biggest traffic day for us went off with flying colors."
Azure helped the SAG website handle the anticipated traffic spike during its 2012 SAG Awards show, which generated a significant increase in visits and page views over the previous year. This year's show generated 325,403 website visits and 789,310 page views. In comparison, the 2011 awards show saw 222,816 total visits and 434,743 page views.