Posted by Masami Suzuki
Microsoft Japan

Mind Palette is a cloud services vendor based in Tokyo, Japan, that develops and markets Snapeee, a smartphone picture-sharing app designed for those who love Japan’s unique aesthetic of kawaii, meaning “cute.” With Snapeee, users can take pictures with their phones, personalize them with playful stamps, lettering, and frames, and share them with friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

 

Since Snapeee was released in May 2011, the user base has grown steadily to five million active users today, causing data volumes and operating costs to balloon, making them reconsider their original decision to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) as their cloud-computing platform.

As Mind Palette considered what it wanted in its next cloud platform, Windows Azure emerged as the only real competitor to AWS, given Microsoft’s experience in enterprise computing, breadth of service offerings, and extensive partner network.

“We needed an environment with robust support from the service provider and a system that would allow efficient management, like with an enterprise system,” said Takamasa Kamio, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Mind Palette. “The large number of partners working with Microsoft that can provide us with development and operational support for Windows Azure was also reassuring.”

Mind Palette quickly implemented a new solution based on Windows Azure Infrastructure Services and Windows Azure Storage. It includes a Linux environment built on Windows Azure virtual machines that uses Windows Azure infrastructure-as-a-service.

“Now that we've put together a Linux environment on Windows Azure virtual machines, what strikes me most is how easy it is use, with greater flexibility than I'd ever expected,” said Mr. Kamio.

With Windows Azure, Mind Palette was able to save money without sacrificing performance. Its new system is easy to administer, technical help is readily available, and the company is confident that it has access to the technology it needs for future growth.

For more on how Mind Palette saved almost 20 percent on database costs by switching its Linux environment from AWS to Windows Azure, please see the full case study.