Jul11

Is Cloud Computing Ready for the Olympics?

With the Olympic Games just around the corner, one wonders whether, in a time where cloud computing is coming on leaps and bounds and gaining popularity by the day, it will be ready to service the Olympics. Now the Olympics will of course be taking place in London this summer, one of the financial and technological hubs of the world, and during the Olympics a huge computing infrastructure will be required that generates a huge peak of data, so some form of cloud hosting solution, on paper, would be ideal.

Challenges

The London 2012 Olympics kicks off in just 16 days, so it’s fast approaching now and most of the tech work has already been carried out. It has been revealed that nearly a quarter of the budget of the organising committee is spent on technology with 110,000 pieces of equipment being deployed with around 5,500 technical staff. So it’s a pretty huge operation!

The technical push for the Olympics will include systems integration, deployment and operations.

To date, it has been stated that the organisers are pretty happy with progress, with everything seemingly slotting right into place.

The challenge has been taking the technology from various different suppliers to then build the information systems that underpin the Games. Deploying the hardware to various venues is also tricky, whilst running the systems during the Games will also have its own challenges. Gerry Pennel, CIO for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), said: “The model where you ring up the helpdesk and several days later you get the fix won’t really work.”

Will the cloud be adopted for the Games this year then?

Pennel has further been quoted saying: “Economically it could make a lot of sense for the Olympics to be done on the cloud, because it’s a very ‘peaky’ operation. The trouble is the infrastructure of the cloud is not sufficiently mature to support the Olympics. But that’s the direction it will go.”

So, for now, it seems the cloud will not support the Olympics Games, however, in four year times, when the cloud has matured further and developed further, it should certainly be in a position to serve the Olympics!

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