Windows Azure & 360 Lifecycle case study

As a software provider for the financial industry, 360 Lifecycle needed to make its solutions more accessible to its clients. Windows Azure and cloud computing made this possible.

The Solution

At this time, 360 Lifecycle started working with Microsoft Gold Partner, Dot Net Solutions. Dot Net advised 360 Lifecycle to look at Microsoft's Windows Azure and SQL Azure platforms. These scalable hosting platforms would allow 360 Lifecycle to deliver its applications from the 'cloud', with the software hosted on Microsoft's network of state-of-the-art data-centres.

"The profile of the organisations they were looking to sell to meant that they needed the comfort factor that Azure was a state-of-the-art platform with a well-established vendor" says Dan Scarfe, Chief Executive for Dot Net Solutions." You compare the costs of Windows Azure to an equivalent hosting company, and it's a fraction of the cost, but you've still got a big brand name behind it. It seemed to be a great fit."

Windows Azure gives us the ability to scale much faster and make the product available quickly and on an online basis for small users. It also enables us to manage users more efficiently.

Carlos Thibault, Managing Director, Lifetime Financial Management Ltd.

Working closely with Scarfe and Dot Net, Steele and his team were able to move the 360 Lifecycle application from the existing, single-tenanted server-based application to Windows Azure and SQL Azure within six weeks. Eight weeks later, it had migrated its existing product base."It was very easy" notes Steele. "It never felt difficult, or hard." Steele even feels that 360 Lifecycle could have made the process even easier by using the Windows Azure Drive feature. This allows developers to mount the Binary Large Object (BLOB) services Azure uses for cloud-based storage as virtual hard disks. However, having seen the benefits of a cloud-based approach, 360 Lifecycle wanted to embrace the new paradigm."We thought that, if we're going for the cloud, let's go all-in and do it properly"says Steele.

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