In April, I wrote about the Social eXperience Platform (SXP) powered by the Windows Azure platform and how it delivers cloud-powered capabilities to Microsoft Showcase and the Cloud Conversations sites.  There were some notable numbers in that post related the improved availability and reduction in costs corresponding with the team's move to the cloud. 

I saw another post from Bart Robertson today that further expands on that previous post and one of the key, cloud computing benefits frequently talked - elasticity. 

In Bart’s post, he has a graph showing a spike of over 700% in traffic that the occurred for a period of 72 hours related to the launch of online advertising.  He equates this to ‘Black Friday’ traffic that retailers experience during the holiday buying rush.  This is why cloud computing is the ideal hosting environment for applications that require ‘bursty’ resources to accommodate spikes in traffic, such as e-tailers during holiday seasons, companies that have month-end reporting or data collection requirements, or online communities that may see large traffic spikes during online activities for example. 

This is why cloud computing is likened to utilities that we use at our homes, such as electricity or water.  We pay for what we use and ‘turn the faucet off’ when we’re not using resources. The alternative is traditional IT infrastructure environments where there is a large spend on cap-ex resources that may sit idle for large periods of time, waiting for the occasional times when they’re needed to scale up to meet demand. 

Take a look at Bart’s post for a real-world example of cloud computing elasticity delivered on the Windows Azure platform and how it makes sense for this and a variety of other IT scenarios. 

If you have questions on cloud computing or what Microsoft has to offers businesses interested in investigating cloud computing, check out the Cloud Power site to get started. 

Thanks for your time and have a great day - Larry