Microsoft Windows Azure - istore Boost Efficiency With Software Plus Services Case Study


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Microsoft Windows Azure - istore Boost Efficiency With Software Plus Services Case Study

  1. 1. Windows Azure Partner Solution Case Study Solution Developer Expects to Boost Efficiency with Software-plus-Services Strategy Overview “Ifwe compare the upfront cost of the two deployment Country or Region : United States Industry: Oil and gas models, I would estimate that using Windows Azure could save customers as much as 90 percent in some Partner Profile Since 1994, Houston, Texas–based cases.” software company The Information Thinh Pham, Senior Architect, The Information Store Store® (iStore) has specialized in helping petroleum companies access exploration and production data, improve asset performance, and reduce The Information Store® helps global petroleum companies cycle time. access exploration and production data irrespective of where the Busines s Situation data resides and presents it in a useful and familiar form. To The iStore sought a solution to increase maintain its competitive advantage, the company was eager to operational efficiency, speed deployment, reduce upfront capital find a cost-effective way to extend its industry-leading costs, and lower ongoing operating PetroTrek® solutions to independent oil producers. The company expenses. evaluated two “software as a service”offerings and selected the Solution Windows Azure™ platform—an Internet-scale “cloud services” The company adopted the Windows Azure™ platform as the foundation for platform that is hosted in Microsoft® data centers—as the its online Digital Oilfield solution, which foundation for its online Digital Oilfield solution, along with also incorporates Microsoft® SQL Azure, the Silverlight™ browser plug-in, and Microsoft SQL Azure, the Silverlight™ browser plug-in, and Bing™ maps. Bing™ maps for enterprise. The company expects to increase Benefits the operational efficiency of its customers by reducing upfront • Speeds deployment capital costs, reducing deployment cycles from months to days, • Reduced upfront capital cost • Lowers ongoing operational and lowering ongoing operating expenses. expenses
  2. 2. “Ifwe could give Situation production data. Many of the industry’s For nearly 15 years, The Information top-tier oil companies have adopted independent operators Store® (iStore) has operated under the PetroTrek Digital Oilfield solutions and simple premise that having the right incorporated them into their on-premises access to Digital Oilfield information at the right time is the key to IT infrastructures. solutions with the same good decision making, especially when it comes to petroleum exploration and However, iStore is keenly aware that the functionality as the ones production data. In fact, the Houston, independent operators in the United Texas–based company was founded by States (not the top-tier companies) we’vedeveloped for the a group of geologists, geophysicists, produce the majority of the country’soil supermajors and engineers, and computer scientists and natural gas—68 percent oil and 85 following an industry-wide effort in the percent gas—and drill nearly 90 percent national oil companies, late 1980s to improve data management of the nation’swells on an annual basis. practices. we could revolutionize “There are approximately 5,000 exploration and From the beginning, iStore—a Microsoft® independent operators in the United Gold Certified Partner—has pioneered States, and the majority of them are production in the United the use of advanced technologies to small businesses with one to 20 solve data access problems for its employees,”explains Ben Parker, States.” customers. Using Microsoft Office Director of Marketing at The Information Ben Parker, Director of Marketing, SharePoint® Server 2007, the company Store. “Ifwe could give independent The Information Store developed the PetroTrek® Asset operators access to Digital Oilfield Management and Digital Oilfield solution solutions with the same functionality as suites. These business solutions offer the ones we’vedeveloped for the efficient and cost-effective management supermajors and national oil companies, of vast amounts of remote data stored we could revolutionize exploration and across multiple disparate and production in the United States. With the incompatible databases. By organizing right technology, smaller independents and presenting information in an intuitive could potentially transform the way they way—and eliminating the need for operate and collaborate, helping to extracting and storing data before use— maximize production in the United PetroTrek solutions help customers States. The problem is that Digital reduce complexity, time, cost, and Oilfield technology solutions often errors. require infrastructure purchases— hardware, software licenses, IT support, By incorporating sophisticated Web- etc.—that become cost prohibitive for based technologies, such as Microsoft small-business owners. The good news Silverlight™ browser plug-in and Bing™ is that we can equip these exploration maps for enterprise into the solution, and production professionals with tools iStore provides its customers with a that have, until now, simply been out of robust framework for accessing, reach.” analyzing, reporting, and distributing business-critical exploration and
  3. 3. “We be able to provide ’ll iStore was looking for a Digital Oilfield iStore also chose Windows Azure solution delivery model that levels the because of its subscription cost model, value to our customers playing field for independent oil which makes it possible for small and producers that would increase midsize businesses to access Digital right away because operational efficiency, speed Oilfield technology at a fraction of the Windows Azure helps us deployment, reduce upfront capital costs, cost of an on-premises deployment. and lower ongoing operating expenses. “We re ’ also excited that with Windows eliminate a lot of Solution Azure we can deploy very rapidly and To offer a Digital Oilfield solution that cost-effectively and scale easily,”says operational hurdles.” would help businesses reduce their IT Oscar Teoh, Vice President of Tod Magstadt, Strategic Planning and infrastructure costs, iStore—with the Operations at The Information Store. Project Manager, The Information Store assistance of CSC, an iStore and “Our customers don’thave to spend Microsoft Gold Certified Partner— money on hardware and software, and investigated the possibility of adopting a we don’thave to spend time on software-plus-services approach. The administrative tasks related to company evaluated two solutions: the infrastructure. We can put all of our effort Windows Azure™ technology platform into our core competencies.” and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). The company selected the In September 2009, iStore initiated the Windows Azure platform—an internet- first step toward developing PetroTrek scale “cloud computing”services Online™ —the hosted version of its platform hosted in Microsoft data flagship technology offering—and began centers. The Windows Azure platform, migrating the existing technology code to which provides a range of functionality to the Windows Azure platform. “We re ’ build applications that span from used to working in the Microsoft consumer Web to enterprise scenarios, environment,”Pham says. “All of the includes a cloud services operating components of Windows Azure are very system and a set of developer services. familiar to us, so deploying to Windows Azure is not much different than “Wefelt that the Windows Azure platform deploying to a local data center.” had more to offer than Amazon EC2 because it is a total platform,”says Thinh In addition to using internal resources, Pham, Senior Architect at The iStore is taking advantage of the Information Store. “Inaddition to the expertise that CSC brings to the project operating system, the platform includes as a result of its participation in the Microsoft SQL Azure for extending Windows Azure Technology Adoption storage to the cloud. With Windows Program. CSC is ensuring that the Azure, we also have peace of mind application architecture is optimized for knowing that Microsoft is maintaining the deployment on Windows Azure, and it is image. All we have to do is deploy the also assisting iStore in performance software and run it. It’sbasically engineering, development, and foolproof.” commercialization of its product.
  4. 4. The company plans to begin offering PetroTrek Online in 2010. Benefits Using the Windows Azure platform, iStore is in the process of developing a cost-effective, scalable model for its PetroTrek technology. The company expects to speed deployment, reduce upfront capital costs, and lower ongoing operating expenses.
  5. 5. “With Windows Azure, Web-based solution speeds “Ifwe compare the upfront cost of the deployment. The elastic resource model two deployment models, I would we know the data is in of Windows Azure removes hurdles for estimate that using Windows Azure cloud-based PetroTrek deployment as could save customers as much as 90 good hands because it’s compute and storage resources are percent in some cases, such as new being hosted by provisioned on-demand. In the past, deployments with brand new hardware,” iStore would spend one to two months says Pham. “It the difference between ’s Microsoft. Microsoft is getting on-site infrastructure in place for a few hundred dollars for Azure, versus a its on-premises deployments. “With few hundred thousand dollars for on- our IT department—it Windows Azure, we going to cut that ’re premises.” doesn get much better ’t down to a matter of days instead of months,”says Tod Magstadt, Strategic Also, because Microsoft manages the than that.” Planning and Project Manager at The infrastructure and iStore manages the Information Store. “We be able to ’ll solution, customers can dramatically Oscar Teoh, Vice President of Operations, The Information Store provide value to our customers right reduce the IT footprint in the context of away because Windows Azure helps us this solution. This translates into eliminate a lot of operational hurdles.” substantial IT overhead cost reduction. “With Windows Azure, we know the data Hosted delivery model reduce s is in good hands because it’sbeing upfront costs and ongoing operating hosted by Microsoft,”Teoh concludes. expense s . Using Windows Azure “Microsoft is our IT department—it dramatically improves IT and business doesn’tget much better than that.” alignment by allowing the business to move at the speeds dictated by market forces. Because the data, applications, and services are hosted in the Microsoft data centers, customers no longer have to invest time, money, and effort in procuring, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure.
  6. 6. For More Information Windows Azure Platform For more information about Microsoft The Windows Azure platform provides products and services, call the an excellent foundation for expanding Microsoft Sales Information Center at online product and service offerings. The (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the main components include: Microsoft Canada Information Centre • Windows Azure. Windows Azure is at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the the development, service hosting, and United States and Canada who are service management environment for deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach the Windows Azure platform. Windows Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) Azure provides developers with on- services at (800) 892-5234. Outside demand compute and storage to host, the 50 United States and Canada, scale, and manage Web applications please contact your local Microsoft on the Internet through Microsoft data subsidiary. To access information centers. In addition, Windows Azure using the World Wide Web, go to: serves developers connectivity needs ’ through the following services. 〉 The Service Bus connects For more information about The services and applications across Information Store products and network boundaries to help services, call (713) 787-6798 or visit developers build distributed the Web site at: applications. 〉 The Acces s Control Service provides federated, claims-based For more information about CSC access control for REST Web services. products and services, call (800) 272-0018 or visit the Web site at: • Microsoft SQL Azure. Microsoft SQL Azure offers the first cloud-based relational and self-managed database service built on Microsoft SQL Server® Additional Resources: 2008 technologies. Download: Windows Azure Platform Training Kit To learn more about the Windows Azure View: Architecting and Developing for Windows Azure platform, visit: Software and Services • Solutions • Windows Azure Platform − Software-plus-services − Windows Azure − Microsoft SQL Azure Partners • Technologies • CSC − Microsoft Silverlight 3 − Bing Maps for Enterprise This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Document published November 2009