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BSkyB Boosts Online Presence With Azul

Communications and Media


The need to deliver more rich, dynamic content to a growing subscriber base meant BSkyB needed to improve scalability of their online customer portal.


Azul enabled BSkyB to support rich, data-intensive features and rapid growth in concurrent users cost-effectively.


  • Supports larger numbers of concurrent users, ensuring sustainable scalability
  • Guarantees response times even during peak loads
  • Enables BSkyB to deliver engaging Web experiences

British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) is the UK’s largest digital pay television platform operator and a leading broadcaster of sports, movies, entertainment and news. Today, more than 8.8 million customers – equivalent to almost one in three households in the UK and Ireland – subscribe to BSkyB’s direct-to-home service. In addition, there are over 2.6 million broadband subscribers and 915,000 residential telephony customers.

As the key interface to its online customer base, the user-experience of the customer portal was of critical importance. So, when IT predicted the need for the core online hosting environment to be scaled to handle up increased volumes, BSkyB reevaluated its Java deployment platform.

Azul Solutions Offer Simplicity and Sustained Throughput

“We were impressed by how easily the Azul solution was installed” said Hugo Lumsdon, On-line architect at BSkyB. “The technology really lived up to the claims of transparency as our portal application was up and running within hours of Azul’s arrival on-site.”

Following this successful evaluation, the Azul system was purchased and in production very quickly.

A hidden benefit of Azul,” continues Lumsdon, “is the ease of deployment. It usually takes several weeks to deploy a new conventional server and configure the necessary software. However, with Azul, the lead time was slashed substantially. In addition with fewer web hosts to manage TCO is also reduced.

The benefits did not end there. With the Real Time Performance Monitor (RTPM)—Azul’s unique, built –in diagnostic tool—production problems could be diagnosed and fixed in production extremely quickly.

The level of visibility into the application provided by RTPM was invaluable,” Lumsdon said. “Any issue, whether within the portal application or in external systems on which it depends, is extremely easy to track down.

I am delighted” concluded Lumsdon. “Since the initial deployment, we have deployed new services on the Azul platform such as the Sky News. Overall, we have been able to handle the higher projected workload and then some. The Azul platform has performed extremely well and has been very reliable.

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