Microsoft Azure to help manage “wildly varying” web traffic

Laurent Giret

Azure Servers

Allrecipes, a 19 year-old Seattle-based company dedicated to delivering cooking inspiration everyday, is ready to embrace Microsoft’s cloud and machine-learning technologies to provide an even better service. According to a report from Geekwire, the company, which currently delivers 95 recipes per second in 24 countries and 13 languages, also experiences “wildy varying web traffic” through the year, with Sundays, Thanksgiving and Christmas usually being the most busy periods.

For Allrecipes CTO John Keane, it’s no longer valuable for the company to keep its 500 servers around as moving to Platform as a Service (PaaS) from Azure can be more efficient. As he explained to Geekwire, “we can expand and contract as necessary, sizing up automatically as traffic increases. That’s really a great capability for us.” The company will move its entire production infrastructure to the cloud in the next two weeks, though SQL server databases and legacy apps used to run analytics will be kept in the company’s data centers for now.

Overall, Keane estimates that moving to the cloud could save help the company save 20-30 percent on its server costs. But while Allrecipes was already an Amazon Web Services customer, the CTO explained that both his company’s familiarity with Microsoft’s development tools and the great technical support helped him make his choice:

It was a great fit for us. Microsoft’s development tools are a natural fit for the C# we use, and it was easy to integrate our build environment and push to the cloud. AWS has a great set of tools, but it feels more fragmented, and you need a certain amount of skills. It wouldn’t have been as easy a move.”

The Microsoft reps honestly were much more willing to help us get up and get going. Amazon is a good company, but the Microsoft team was present, engaged, forthright and wanted to help. The willingness to form a partnership was important.”

Additionally, Keane envisions a future where his company can leverage Microsoft’s cloud technologies to provide “a highly personalized food experience that shows you things you might not have thought of.” Using a analogy with a popular music streaming service, he added that “we want to be the Pandora for food, to offer customized suggestions based on preferences you’ve expressed, recipes you’ve made in the past, and where you live, the time of day, the season and even the current weather.”

We can’t wait to see what the company will be able to achieve after picking up Azure as its cloud provider, let us know in the comments if you think offering a curated experience could make Allrecipes a more valuable service for its users.