Client A large real estate investment trust that owns, manages, leases and redevelops 120 high-quality regional shopping centers in the United States supports its properties with a dynamic content management system.
Pain With over 100 million people shopping on Black Friday to kick-off the holiday season in 2012, there was perhaps the highest demand yet for website-based information to help shoppers make the most of their trip to the mall. The foot traffic meant great news for mall retail stores nationwide, but created a big problem for the regional malls that supports mall properties across the country with a dynamic content management system. When a 13-hour outage occurred during the peak holiday season in 2012, tens of thousands of potential customers were prohibited from accessing store hours, locations, movie times and special coupons.
Vision With a mission to provide an outstanding environment and experience for communities, retailers, employees, consumers and shareholders, this mall operator was passionate to adhere to its standards and compelled to address the web issue to better serve all constituents as well as prevent future outages. They needed a solution to respond to consumer demand during peak seasons, and called on SPR Consulting. The client outlined the following goals for the project:
Value As a Gold Microsoft Partner and one of the original Windows Azure Circle partners, SPR Consulting has been evangelizing Windows Azure since its inception and knew it would be a perfect solution because of its scalability and seamless integration with the existing data center. Over a two month engagement headed into the busy 2013 holiday weekend, they evaluated the on-premises infrastructure and upgraded web hosting to a robust, scalable, and well-tested cloud solution using Azure.
Solution Vastly different from the year previous, the mall owner experienced a failure-free triumph on Black Friday 2013. With the help of SPR Consulting and Windows Azure, over 500,000 web users were supported in their search for information about mall retailers – up 450% over the previous holiday weekend. Because Azure afforded the client the luxury of paying for only what they needed, they were able to scale from five large virtual machines during normal processing to nine memory intensive virtual machines during peak loads. This saved the company tens of thousands of dollars in infrastructure costs and thousands more on operations resources.