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Azure DevOps Podcast

Message from Jeffrey Palermo: Howdy.  Welcome to my podcast.  I hope it helps you ship software more quickly and more reliably. Through the topics and guests, I hope your life is made easier. Let me know what topics would be helpful for you.

Podcast sponsor: Clear Measure We are a software architecture company that empowers our client's development teams to be self-sufficient: moving fast, delivering quality, and running their systems with confidence.

Aug 26, 2019

James Avery is the founder and CEO of Adzerk. Adzerk is the next generation of publisher ad serving. It's built to be faster, easier to use, and comprehensive than anything on the market today. Adzerk helps you build the exact server you want; through their ad serving APIs, they allow developers to build and scale innovative, server-side ad platforms without reinventing the wheel.


James originally started Adzerk back in 2010, FTPing files up to an IaaS VM, and now he has a whole team and receives 3 billion requests per day! If you want to know how he did it, tune in to hear James as he explains how he started his company from the ground-up, how he scaled it, some of the early problems they ran into and how they resolved them, and his tips for developers looking to scale their systems!


Topics of Discussion:

[:40] Be sure to visit AzureDevOps.Show for past episodes and show notes!

[:48] Jeffrey gives some announcements and lets you know where to get a hold of his book, .NET DevOps for Azure.

[1:47] Jeffrey welcomes on today’s guest, James Avery!

[2:28] James tells his story and speaks about his path toward starting his own company, Adzerk.

[11:52] How long did Adzerk’s original three servers last before their next bottleneck?

[13:00] James speaks about how receiving financing, finding their market, scaling their business, and finding their focus helped shape Adzerk into what it is today.

[15:00] How Adzerk’s ad serving APIs work and how they work with the development teams of other companies to build on top of their APIs.

[16:46] A word from Azure DevOps sponsor: Clear Measure.

[17:13] How did James go from being the only developer to building an entire software engineering team at Adzerk?

[19:12] After getting up to hundreds of millions of requests per day, James speaks about the next problems they ran into and how they resolved them.

[23:55] Jeffrey and James speak about the common problem that is managing data and moving data from one place to another.

[25:15] James shares some of the mistakes that made early on with SQL Server.

[26:27] Why AWS and not Azure?

[29:46] Why did it look like when James realized that his manual process was not working and he needed an automated way to get changes out to the various servers in production and have a solid process where it can be done quickly?

[31:02] Do they have set times when they deploy or does it happen whenever it needs to?

[32:21] What advice would James give to managers on how to ask the right questions to get the information that they need from their employees.

[35:11] James leaves listeners who want to scale their own systems with some tips!

[37:00] Jeffrey thanks James for joining him on the podcast!


Mentioned in this Episode:

Azure DevOps

Clear Measure (Sponsor)

.NET DevOps for Azure, by Jeffrey Palermo — Visit to get your hands on two free books to give away at conferences or events!

Microsoft Build

James Avery (LinkedIn)



Stack Overflow

SQL Server






Apache Hadoop

Amazon Web Services (AWS)


Amazon Redshift


Want to Learn More?

Visit AzureDevOps.Show for show notes and additional episodes.