Santa on Security

One of the most overlooked aspects of Santa’s operation doesn’t happen on the 25th of December. While delivering millions of gifts to the good little boys and girls of the world is an amazing feat, the real work happens year round. What, do you ask, am I speaking of?

If you’ve ever listened closely to the Christmas Carol “Santa Claus is Coming To Town”, you know exactly what I mean.

You better watch out

You better not cry

Better not pout

I’m telling you why

Santa Claus is coming to town


He’s making a list

And checking it twice

Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice

Santa Claus is coming to town


He sees you when you’re sleeping

He knows when you’re awake

He knows if you’ve been bad or good

So be good for goodness sake!


O! You better watch out!

You better not cry

Better not pout

I’m telling you why

Santa Claus is coming to town

Santa Claus is coming to town

Security is paramount to Santa’s operation. How does Santa monitor the behavior of all of the world’s children, not to mention protect the Secret of Santa as he navigates living rooms in the dark?

Let me introduce you to SantaNET. SantaNET is a network of IP Video Surveillance cameras which allow’s Santa’s security team to monitor the behavior of every child around the world. Exhibiting good manners at the dinner table can help a child find their way onto the nice list. If you break the rules however, and you’ll end up with coal in your stocking.

The Little Billy Incident of 2016

If it was going to happen, of course it would happen in 2016. Santa has already had his hands full, reviewing the naughty and nice list. While Santa was in his workshop, little Billy Jones purposefully put chewing gum in his sister Molly’s hair. What should have resulted in an instant ticket to the naughty list was missed because SantaNET was off-line. Unable to properly evaluate the evidence of Billy’s intent, Santa had no recourse but to put Billy on the check twice list for next year.

After a thorough investigation, the elves discovered the outage was a result of a Spanning Tree convergence on SantaNET, which resulted in the video surveillance cameras missing Billy’s transgression. As the network began to heal itself, with each protocol re-assembling itself, Billy was able to get away. The entire outage cost the Santa organization almost 30 minutes of coverage, and earned Billy an ill-gotten holiday gift.

With his busy season over, Santa began looking for a solution to ensure this never happened again.

More Than Just a Utility

As it turns out, flying a magical sleigh around the world overnight is easier than running video surveillance on an IP based network. Video Surveillance is a very heavy application which wreaks havoc on traditional networks using stacks of protocols. As Santa met with different vendors, he quickly found that almost everyone’s answer to the “Billy problem” included adding more ports and bandwidth to the existing network—which did little more than add expense to Santa’s operation.

Santa then contacted his Video Surveillance provider, who recommended an SDNfx networking solution from Avaya. They explained that Avaya’s approach was different than the other network providers, which would deliver benefits to Santa’s operation. Instead of building networks using the unreliable protocols, which caused the network outage, Avaya developed a new, standards based protocol called Shortest Path Bridging. Shortest Path Bridging creates a network fabric, which meant changes to the network became automated. This meant adding cameras to the network was faster than ever, and elf error would never again miss a single moment. The “Flight Recorder” function documented any unexpected errors, which would help Santa’s helpers to react, respond and prevent repeated issues. While his deliveries were completed on the 25th, Santa couldn’t afford downtime during implementation. Since Avaya could deploy SDNfx on top of the existing SantaNET, the elves could deliver reliability to the video surveillance application without ripping and replacing their network.

Santa’s operation reaped the benefits of sophisticated simplicity, unrivaled stability and flexible deployment options by choosing Avaya Networking. Santa marked Avaya on the nice list, while Billy found himself with an overdue delivery of coal.

Want to learn more? Contact your Avaya business partner or leave a comment below..


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