By Steve Plank, Microsoft Technical Evangelist
“Although I was in an important planning meeting, I knew something was afoot when I saw my colleague, Dan Pilling’s, name pop up on my phone from an incoming call. He should have been boarding a plane to Seattle!
A concerned voice from Heathrow said “…there’s been a critical failure with a customer’s hosting provider, the Lotus F1 Team don’t want visitors to be experiencing HTTP web errors, they just need a holding page until things are sorted out. Can we help them with Windows Azure?”
Within 60 seconds I’d got back to my desk and Dan dialled me in to a call with the guys from the Lotus F1 Team. I was able to create a naked website within the next 60 seconds and pass publishing credentials over to the team. They uploaded the temporary page and made some amendments to point lotusf1team.com to the newly created Windows Azure website. I made a couple of configuration changes to the website. I must have spent less than 2 minutes in total typing, clicking and waiting for changes to take effect before the site was online and delivering the holding page.
The latest holding page – Lotus will migrate their Website to Windows Azure
Michael Taylor, the Lotus F1 Team’s IT Director was delighted – “I thought it would be quick but I didn’t think you’d actually fix it during this call itself”. The team is in the process of re-developing the entire site on Windows Azure, which includes the official team website, the media website and the partner website.
To me, this is a perfect example of what Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud systems like Windows Azure Websites offer – you don’t have to think about the underlying infrastructure. Just write the code (which you have to do even when you deploy to a traditional data centre) then hit the deploy button and you’re live; the reliable, scalable infrastructure that underpins it all just ‘appears’…”