Dashing through the clouds with Windows Azure scale


Tracking Santa is a big job and this year the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) team, Windows Azure, Bing Maps and all of Santa’s elves worked together to bring you the Official NORAD Santa Tracker.

NORAD has been tracking Santa for over 50 years, and with more than 24 million expected hits to their Santa Tracker site on December 24th, they needed a cloud that was scalable, flexible and open. They chose Windows Azure because of its ability to scale up, scale down and meet all of Santa’s challenging requirements. With Windows Azure, NORAD was able bring the Santa Tracker online with limited investments in servers and hardware, while still having the flexibility necessary to handle the unexpected bursts the website will experience on Christmas Eve – all on a platform that can deliver the Santa Tracker anywhere in the world on any device.

NORAD also needed a platform that was open so they could quickly and seamlessly integrate a variety of IT solutions – their own, their partners’ and well, Santa’s. With Windows Azure, developers from many different NORAD partners – many of whom had never met before – came together and were able to get the Santa Tracker up and running within weeks, without worrying about the complexities and cost of standing up infrastructure to support millions of children and their families worldwide.

We are excited to work with the NORAD Santa Tracker team, their partners and Santa’s elves to bring you the best Santa Tracker, ever. Whether you’re planning to track Santa on the web, with Windows 8 or in your dreams, Happy Holidays from Windows Azure and Microsoft.

Bill Hilf
General Manager
Windows Azure

For more information on how Microsoft is helping bring the NORAD Santa Tracker experience to families, check out the Official Microsoft Blog.