iLink helps NORAD track Santa using Microsoft Cloud computing platform and Win 8

iLink helps NORAD track Santa using Microsoft Cloud computing platform and Win 8

Redmond WA, Jan 9, 2013: iLink Systems, an ISO and CMMI certified global software solution provider, managed Microsoft SI Partner and winner of several Microsoft “Partner of the Year” Awards, helped NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) deploy a highly scalable, cost effective, and high performance website on the Windows Azure cloud computing platform, and also developed an amazing Windows 8 application to help track Santa while mobile.

Pentagon’s North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) monitors the skies over Canada and the United States during the holiday season to help children around the world track Santa during his Christmas journey. NORAD has been tracking Santa and providing support for his safe journey for over 50 years. Expecting around 25 million hits to the official NORAD Tracks Santa website in the month of December 2012, and a peak close to 1.5 – 2 Million hits/sec on December 24th, NORAD needed a platform that was flexible, robust, and scalable on the fly. iLink partnered with Microsoft to build an application on the Windows Azure platform to support NORAD and Santa’s needs. With Windows Azure, NORAD was able to bring the Santa Tracker online with effective investments in servers and hardware, the flexibility to keep costs down by scaling appropriately, and successfully handled the 88+ Million page views from over 25 Million unique users from 235 countries during the month of December 2012 – all on a platform that can deliver the Santa Tracker anywhere in the world on any device.

As a design and development partner, iLink re-envisioned the entire design of the Norad Santa tracker website, architected it to be deployed on the Windows Azure cloud computing platform supporting eight different localizations, taking advantage of Azure CDN and other optimization techniques to ensure high availability, scalability, and blazing fast response.

“iLink worked with NORAD, Microsoft and other NORAD strategic partners to ensure the completeness of the website and it’s features, and that the website was designed, architected and deployed to handle the load and provide the users with the best experience possible. iLink also designed and developed the stunning official NORAD Tracks Santa Windows 8 application that is available in the app store for download, as well as designed the official app on the Windows Phone platform. With our experience and expertise with Azure, we were able to quickly deploy a highly scalable, cost effective, and high performance website for NORAD” said Abhilash Vantaram, Public Sector Practice Manager at iLink Sytems, inc.

The website and the Windows 8 applications were also used heavily by the NORAD support staff and the 1250+ volunteers on December 24th 2012, to help track Santa and answer the record breaking 114,000+ calls to the helpdesk from users across the world. In comparison to last year’s website created by Google, all the statistics went up this year including the number of unique visitors (went up by around 19%), the number of support calls (went up by over 12,000), the number of mobile users, etc. Considering Google also came up with their own Santa Tracker website and application this year, these numbers and the general public feedback has been very impressive.

“We are delighted and extremely grateful for iLink’s support of the 2012 NORAD Tracks Santa program. Their dedication, commitment to excellence, and team focus helped us to have our most successful Santa tracking season ever, with more than 25 million people from across the globe following Santa’s journey in real time on the web, by mobile device, through email, and by phone. We truly appreciate iLink’s technical expertise in Windows Azure deployment, development of the NORAD Tracks Santa Windows 8 app, and collaboration on the design of the Windows Phone app. The combination of new and old technology is essential to helping NORAD keep up with the incredible demand for Santa tracking that grows each year, and we appreciate all of iLink’s support” said Captain Jeff Davis, Director Public Affairs, U.S. Navy.

About iLink:

Founded in 2002, iLink Systems, Inc. is an ISO and CMMI certified global software solutions provider, Microsoft Gold Level Partner and winner of the 2012 Microsoft Public Sector PSNS Partner of the year and 2011 Mobility partner of the year award. iLink integrates software systems and develops custom applications, components, and frameworks on the Microsoft platform for IT departments, application services providers and independent software vendors. iLink solutions are used in a broad range of industries and functions, including healthcare, telecom, government, education, and life sciences. iLink’s expertise also includes mobile and embedded systems, business intelligence, portals and collaboration, and user experience design. Headquartered in Redmond, Washington, iLink has offices in Fairfax, VA; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Atlanta, GA; London, UK and Chennai, India, Trichy – India. To learn more, please visit

Please contact:

Karthikeyan S
PR Contact,
iLink Systems, Inc
Ph: 425-869-8104


  • SriramGanapathySriram Ganapathy
    Strategist – Cloud Solutions at Microsoft


    Sriram Ganapathy is a Technical Specialist with Microsoft. He has been with Microsoft for 17+ years and has held a variety of roles including solution sales, technical and partner sales, services, support and consulting. During his tenure at Microsoft, his focus has been on the Microsoft Data platform technologies. Sriram is based in Dallas and is focused on providing technology and solution guidance to customers in the US central region in SQL Server, Azure, Big Data, Advanced Analytics and related technologies. 

  • 4242c2728ednthumbabhi_vantaram

    Abhi Vantaram
    Director, iLink Systems

    Abhi has over ten years of experience working on an array of strategic planning, technology assessment, internet infrastructure, software architecture, development and implementation projects. He has over 6 years of experience in working on Environmental applications including Compliance, EMS, Sustainability, Haz Waste, Haz Mat, Conservation, NEPA, etc. He has worked with several fortune 500 clients, startups and product companies, as well as Federal, State & Local, Global Government. He has managed large teams, developed and delivered multiple enterprise solutions. He is well versed and has experience working with both Java/Oracle and Microsoft based technologies.

  • manigandan-gopalakrishnan

    Manigandan Gopalakrishnan
    Director NE Region, iLink Systems


    Mani has over 20 years of IT experience that spans Solution and Services Sales experience across various verticals such as Financial Services, Communications, Manufacturing, Media and Entertainment, CPG etc. He has worked with iLink for over 6 years, is based out of NJ and currently heads the NE Region Practice for iLink managing Sales and Business Development for NE, Mid Atlantic and some states in North Central, Mid-West and Heartland Districts.

  • ambujbigAmbuj Parihar
    Director – Central region, iLink Systems


    Mr. Parihar, with over 15 years of experience, has overall responsibility for the strategy and business development, including sales and marketing, of the Central region. Mr. Parihar holds a Master degree in Wireless Communication from the University of British Columbia and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Darden School of Business, University of Virginia.


  • leadership-page-piyushprakash Piyush Prakash
    VP – Business Operations & Innovation, iLink Systems

    Piyush is a performance driven technology leader with 16 years of experience in IT, and has overall delivery responsibility for all projects at iLink. He is intrigued by the ways in which technology binds us all, and touches our life (and business) on a daily basis. He enjoys discovering and simplifying the true value, often veiled behind the seemingly complex technology landscape of today. He has worked with several Fortune 500 companies, startups and ISVs to delivery large scale enterprise solutions as well as innovation driven R&D engagements. Personally responsible for iLink’s TCG (Technology Consulting Group) team, he relishes the opportunity to work on cutting-edge technologies, including delivery of various frameworks and accelerators.

    Prior to iLink, he has served in key positions in Infosys Technologies and TATA Interactive Systems. He holds a Bachelors of Technology degree from IIT (ISM) Dhanbad, and Masters in Electrical & Computer Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.

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