For companies managing information technology at the London 2012 Olympics, the payoff could be quite big.
Take for instance Atos, a French IT consultancy, one of the companies managing information technology for the games. Their command centre overlooking London’s Docklands will have 450 technicians and support staff on hand, continuously monitoring screens. As the Economist reports, two of the most important tasks are to create a database to handle the accreditation system for all 250,000 athletes, trainers and hangers-on. Secondly, every system must have backups, with some having four for each Olympic event. It helps to be reminded that Olympic events, for instance, like the Men’s 100-metre race, have no room for errors as one-tenth of a second can separate a gold from a silver medalist.
Companies are taking extra precautions to ensure their people are on hand. IT & engineering staff at several data centres monitored by Interxion will not have to worry about leaving work, subway delays and traffic jams during the London Olympics. They will sleep in newly purchased pods at the data centres. According to Wired Magazine, the 4 x 4 x 6.5 foot pods come with lockable doors, a power supply, LED lights and a magazine rack.
London 2012 plans to be the most connected Olympics ever. The numbers behind the huge investment in IT network infrastructure is noteworthy.
According to the Data Center Knowledge website, some of the infrastructure numbers are:
- British Telecom installing a fiber network for the 2,818 suites in the Olympic Village
- Laying 5,500 kilometres of cables to support the network, which will transmit 60 Gigabits per second
- The Olympics network will span 30,000 connections across 94 locations
Network infrastructure for Cisco Systems:
- 2,200 switches
- 1,800 wireless access points
- 7,000 cable TV sockets
- 16,500 telephones
- 65,000 active network ports
- Nearly 20 percent of UK residents expect to stream some coverage on their PCs, laptops or tablets
- The BBC predicts live footage, streamed to computers across Britain, will exceed a terabit per second of traffic at peak times. That equates to 1,500 people downloading a feature-length DVD-quality movie every minute.
- With up to 1 million visitors to London, the Wi-Fi network at the Olympic Park will handle an additional 100,000 users.
If the spectacular display of lights, special effects and fireworks on the opening day is evidence of how technology is performing, the 2012 Olympics look to be a great success for the companies working so hard to make it happen.