When I think about Bing Maps as a consumer of driving directions I love it, as IT, server guy I amazed when I think about how much must go into the data center to make that work. Not only for my directions but also from a data center perspective.
Bing Maps is an application that has a global user base, it has an immense amount of functionality from all the imagery that it provides from aerial photos, plus all social aspects to find what’s nearby, traffic, restaurants and the many other benefits.
So if you take a step back and think about how you would architect the data center where would you start, servers and processing power for directions, or would you look at storage to handle all of the graphics and storage needs a mapping solution would need? More importantly this is a service that has to reliable and scalable to the a huge degree. This is where Azure came to help the Bing Maps team to deliver a solution that provided several benefits::
As a result of using the Windows Azure Content Delivery Network, Bing Maps resolved its latency and performance issues, by leveraging the cloud Bing Maps was able to improve performance by 80 percent. You can read the full case study here: Mapping Service Increases Performance by 80 Percent with Global Data Center Network
So do you have challenging data center, maybe you want to look to the clouds for your solution.