– Ben Martens

CascadeSkier Telemetry

As I ponder moving all of my web stuff from GoDaddy to Azure, one of the big pieces is the backend infrastructure for the CascadeSkier line of apps. There is the Windows 7 gadget, Windows 8 modern app, and Windows Phone app, each with slightly different but mostly similar requirements.

Moving the code over is actually pretty simple, and this is a good opportunity to clean up a lot of things. However, one major difference is that GoDaddy gave me free unlimited bandwidth but I’ll have to pay for it on Azure. So how much data was I using from GoDaddy for these apps?

I finally set up a bit of telemetry for my apps on the server side, logging every request that comes in. That gives me a bunch of interesting stats:

  • The most popular resorts that people subscribe to are unsurprisingly Crystal, Stevens and Snoqualmie. Those are the resorts that are closest to the main urban areas.
  • Almost nobody cares about the Oregon resorts that I have in my app. If I was out to make money, targeted advertising in those areas would probably pay off.
  • Only about 30 people are still using the old desktop gadget.
  • While I’ve sold a few thousand copies of these apps, it looks like only about 400-500 of them are in regular use right now. Then again, given that it’s still summer time, maybe that’s more impressive than it looks. I wonder how these numbers will change in the winter?
  • Right now I’m using about 150MB of data per day to service these applications. Azure gives you the first 5GB of traffic for free so that would just fit under the cap. I expect it to increase in the winter but I’m not going to be blowing through terabytes of data or anything like that.

If/when I do move the service over to Azure, I’ll probably take the opportunity to update all the apps and add even more telemetry so I can see which features people are using, etc. My job at work now focuses heavily on our telemetry pipeline so it has me asking lots of questions that I can’t answer about my own application.