TfL mounts live data feed on Microsoft's Azure cloud

Transport for London's data feed has returned and is now hosted on Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud product.On Monday Microsoft announced that Transport for London (TfL) had mounted its data feed on the Windows Azure platform.

Transport for London's data feed has returned and is now hosted on Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud product.

On Monday Microsoft announced that Transport for London (TfL) had mounted its data feed on the Windows Azure platform.

Microsoft and TfL worked in partnership on the Windows Azure migration project, according to a Microsoft blogpost.

"Because we are talking about a virtual cloud platform, it is the type of platform that will be able to deal with surges in demand," a TfL spokesman told ZDNet UK on Wednesday. Extreme weather or strikes could cause surges in demand, the TfL spokesman confirmed.

TfL suspended access to its London Underground live data feed in the summer after demand from developers overwhelmed its web infrastructure.

The data feed opened to third-party developers on 15 June and was suspended on 1 July as TfL saw traffic jump from around 180,000 hits per week to 10 million.

The data feed "was crashing our servers due to the demand. We needed a stable and expandable platform to host it on. We explored a number of avenues and Microsoft came back with Azure," a TfL spokesman told ZDNet UK on Wednesday. TfL already had a longstanding relationship with Microsoft, the TfL spokesman said.

TfL does not anticipate having to suspend service to the datafeed, due to the resilience of the Windows Azure infrastructure to high demand, the spokesman said. "It has taken six months for us to relaunch it [because] we had to make sure we could place it on a platform that could scale," the spokesman said.

TfL declined to disclose the cost of the project.