CMO’s Toolkit: Harnessing Facebook Using Cloud Computing


Thanks to everyone who came out to see my session at the Cloud Computing Expo event last week in New York!

There are a few really great scenarios for cloud computing and I believe that viral social networking campaigns are one of those great use cases…with Windows Azure, you can scale out your web and worker roles easily to meet the harsh demands of a truly successful campaign.

In the brave new world of Social Networking - one of the great dangers to avoid is ending-up on the dreaded “Wall of Shame” if your web servers start crashing due to the unforeseen demands of a successful campaign.  The stakes are high when it’s your brand and reputation  - and users who are un-happy with your application can instantly become your worst nightmare…


In the case of the Outback Steakhouse Bloomin’ Onion Facebook campaign – developed by Microsoft Partner Thuzi - they had a compelling offer and really knew how to integrate with the Facebook experience to deliver a smooth and integrated campaign offer to gain over 500k new fans in less than 4 weeks!

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The cloud architecture behind this highly successful Facebook application leveraged all the strengths of Windows Azure and SQL Azure to allow the partner Thuzi to deliver the application in less than (8) weeks.  The application made use of the following Windows Azure Components:

  • Web Roles - to handle incoming web and web service traffic.
  • Table Storage – to store flexible data structure entities (name, value, type) at the detail and summary levels.
  • Queues – to allow for off-loading asynchronous processing of tasks to ensure a fast and responsive user experience.
  • Worker Roles – to process tasks associated with the data posted on the Queue.
  • SQL Azure – to handle SQL Relational Analysis and Reporting requirements


At the end of the presentation, I also announced the release of the Windows Azure Toolkit for Facebook – so now, you too can develop your won viral social networking applications – and host them confidently in the cloud using Windows Azure and SQL Azure.


Windows Azure is the anti-dote for Viral Social Networking campaigns!

You can download a copy of the presentation from my Skydrive folder at:

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