Hoopfest Saves 300% by Switching Cloud Services

Services & Technologies Provided

  • Azure
  • Platform as Service (PaaS)
  • SQL Server

About Hoopfest

Year-after-year, the Spokane Hoopfest Association produces the world-renowned 3on3 outdoor basketball tournament with the effort and enthusiasm of their staff and thousands of volunteers. Taking place each summer, during the last weekend of June, Hoopfest has become an iconic event within the city of Spokane, WA, and throughout the world, bringing in over 250,000 people and generating over $46 million of economic impact to the local economy for the weekend event. Whether you are a player, a volunteer or a fan, Spokane Hoopfest has a place for you to enjoy the energy of over 14,000 games played throughout the weekend (http://www.spokanehoopfest.net/).

Challenge

IntelliTect continues to support our partners at Spokane Hoopfest as their development and operation partner by ensuring their mobile apps, registration and dynamic bracketing systems operate optimally while supporting extreme scalability. When we started with Hoopfest, we deployed to physical hardware that was housed on a sponsor’s site, we then migrated to a cloud-based Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution that was better than hosting physical servers, but was still costly to configure and had limited scalability.

The Hoopfest app usage spikes to thousands of users within a few minutes during registration each year and again during the event weekend. In 2017, there were over 230,000 users that made more than 5.2 million server requests during Hoopfest weekend. Infrastructure was costly to maintain because hundreds of thousands of individuals accessed it, even though the high-usage was only for a short period. The app is virtually unused throughout the rest of the year. IntelliTect set out to find a service that was more cost effective with optimal scalability.

Solution

We chose to switch to a Platform as a Service (PaaS) on Azure and seized the opportunity to redeploy the mobile apps, registration and dynamic bracketing systems to Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings. Azure’s autoscaling ability allows the infrastructure to scale up or down, at a moment’s notice, depending on need while only billing for the services consumed.

Leveraging Azure Platform as a Service offerings for website and SQL Server, we did not have to configure and maintain virtual machine farms for SQL Server, web servers or load balancers.

Results

With the Virtual Machine (VM) approach, VMs had to be sized and configured for both reliability and performance at the anticipated load. Hoopfest was required to pay for the maximum load requirements year-round. With Azure’s PaaS, the system can be configured for minimum load and then be scaled as needed. This change is resulting in a 300 percent monthly savings!

“As the world’s largest 3on3 basketball tournament, we have very unique computing needs. Our ability to scale on a moment’s notice is critical to our success during the lead up to our tournament, but managing our cost throughout the year is critical to the success of our organization. It is an area we have struggled with for a number of years. Our move to Azure allowed us greater peace of mind that we were on a system that would perform at the highest level but also be affordable throughout the year. And, having the qualified team at IntelliTect to advise, direct, and implement the transition gave us a point guard that could get the job done!” said Matt Santangelo, executive director of Hoopfest.

IntelliTect will continue maintaining and refining Hoopfest’s comprehensive system with the goal of bringing an optimal experience to all that access it.

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