Fast-growing web advertising network ADMIXER needed technology that could keep up with its growth. So it migrated its entire IT infrastructure to Windows Azure cloud services. With on-demand compute and storage resources, ADMIXER can easily deliver
30 million impressions a day and expand globally, while improving availability by 15 present. It will also save up to US$500,000 over three years by eliminating the need to build and staff data centers around the globe.
Founded in 2009, ADMIXER has become one of the top web advertising leaders in Ukraine. ADMIXER works with the top 300 Ukrainian websites and delivers 30 million banner impressions a day.
With aspirations to grow beyond Ukraine and offer new advertising services to more customers, ADMIXER was concerned about the scalability of its on-premises IT infrastructure. ADMIXER estimates that the advertising market in Ukraine is growing at approximately
30 percent a year, and it wanted to be in a position to capture a good portion of that business.
“To grow in Ukraine, and especially to grow outside of Ukraine, we need a very scalable IT infrastructure that can deliver the same level of performance and reliability everywhere,” says Aleksey Boltivets, Chief Executive Officer for ADMIXER. “Many companies
address this need by building regional data centers, but that’s a huge expense and also slows down business growth. We began looking at ways to transfer our IT systems from on-premises servers to a scalable and fault-tolerant cloud platform. Such a platform
would also enable us to deliver IT resources to our developers faster so we could roll out new features sooner.”
ADMIXER looked briefly at hosting its infrastructure with a third-party hosting provider, but a hosted infrastructure would still require that ADMIXER own, manage, and monitor the servers. For this reason, Artem Lakomov, Chief Technology Officer for
ADMIXER, felt that
||Today we deliver 30 million ad impressions a day, and with Windows Azure we can easily double this load with no problem. We can handle virtually any growth we encounter with Windows Azure.
| Aleksey Boltivets
Chief Executive Officer, ADMIXER
a hosted solution would be difficult to scale. “When we connect a new ad publisher or advertiser to our infrastructure, our resource consumption can grow quickly and unpredictably,” Lakomov says. “We need to react very quickly. Plus, in a hosted environment,
you can’t give servers back immediately when you’re done with them; you continue paying for them.”
The other option was cloud-based infrastructure services. ADMIXER looked at services from Microsoft and Amazon. “After a thorough evaluation, the only cloud service that we felt was able to meet our reliability and scalability needs was Windows Azure,” says
Boltivets. Windows Azure is the Microsoft cloud service development, hosting, and management environment.
ADMIXER began migrating its entire business IT infrastructure to Windows Azure in December 2011 and finished in three months. The company has completely eliminated its on-premises infrastructure. It uses web and worker roles in Windows Azure for compute
resources and the SQL Azure database service to store all data. It also uses Windows Azure Table Storage, blobs, and queues for temporary, in-process data storage. Banner images are cached on the Windows Azure Content Delivery Network to improve performance
by caching content at locations closest to customers.
To date, ADMIXER is using more than 60 Windows Azure compute cores and about 100 gigabytes of SQL Azure data storage space, but the company can scale these resources at a moment’s notice to accommodate an increase in demand.
By migrating its web banner business to Windows Azure, ADMIXER has the scalability it needs to expand its business dynamically and deliver consistently high performance and availability to all customers. It also expects to avoid US$500,000 in infrastructure
costs by using cloud services.
Scale rapidly. For ADMIXER, the biggest benefit of migrating to Windows Azure is the ability to scale its business rapidly to handle more customers, more ads, and unexpected workload spikes. “Today we deliver 30 million ad impressions a
day, and with Windows Azure we can easily double this load with no problem,” Boltivets says. “We are expecting 10 times more customers and 1,000 percent revenue growth in the next two years, and we can handle it with Windows Azure.”
Expand globally. ADMIXER can also expand its business anywhere in the world by taking advantage of Microsoft global data centers. “With Windows Azure, we have an instant data center just about anywhere in the world,” Lakomov says. “We have
the agility to set up customers in hours or even minutes, without additional costs or management resources.”
Improve availability by 15 percent. ADMIXER can also deliver higher service availability with Windows Azure—as much as 15 percent higher than was possible with its on-premises infrastructure, according to Lakomov. “Every minute of downtime
can mean thousands of visitors turned away,” he says. “With our on-premises infrastructure, we experienced Internet connectivity and server problems every few months. With Windows Azure, we eliminate such problems and worries.”
Avoid $500,000 in infrastructure
and staff expenses. ADMIXER also saves money by moving to Windows Azure. “We expect to grow our business 1,000 percent over the next two years, and we won’t need to expand our IT staff or spend one cent on IT infrastructure,”
Boltivets says. “The savings could amount to $500,000 over the next three years.”
Additionally, ADMIXER is only spending for infrastructure that it uses. If it needs a set of virtual machines from 4:00-6:00 p.m. every day for a week, it can have Windows Azure automatically connect and disconnect the needed cores, so ADMIXER is only charged
for the resources it uses.
Deliver developer resources faster. By using Windows Azure, ADMIXER can also speed up development. “Windows Azure will indirectly speed up our rollout of new features, because developers can grab a Windows Azure virtual machine, do their
development and test, and then release the machine,” Lakomov says. “Developers can get servers twice as fast as they did before.”
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