If you had only two weeks to build and deploy an interactive map for the annual “Taste of Chicago” event, and you knew it would have to scale up to a city’s worth of traffic, what technology would you choose?
Faced with this challenge, West Monroe Partners built the map experience itself using Silverlight and Deep Zoom, created an alerts system using Windows Live Alerts, and deployed the entire application to Windows Azure. You can play with the interactive map at http://tasteofchicago09.cloudapp.net/. (Try searching for “pub” as an example of the interactivity.)
This is a great example of two of the fundamental advantages of Windows Azure: effortless scale, and rapid development/deployment. That second point is often overlooked, but it’s an important advantage of an application-centric cloud offering like Windows Azure. All the infrastructure in the world won’t help if you can’t meet deadlines.