Cloud-Hosted Olympic Games Demonstrate Down-to-Earth Infrastructure Solution

By: Becky Lawlor| - Leave a comment


As the International Olympic Committee (IOC) makes its final preparations for another memorable Olympic year, people all over the world are getting excited to watch their favorite athletes break records and perform impressive feats of physical prowess.

However, at least one of these memorable feats won’t take place on the playing field. For the first time, the Olympic administrative systems — such as those that support volunteer recruitment, workforce management and accreditation processing — will be cloud-hosted. It will also be the last time the host city is home to the IT operations center, which tests every system and application. Moving forward, all testing will be carried out virtually from a permanent facility in Madrid, according to Ascent Magazine.

In the same way athletes are always looking for new ways to improve their performance, it’s exciting to see the Olympics improve its own. Moving to the cloud will offer a variety of practical and technological advantages to the much-anticipated event.

Agility: Not Just for Athletes

With mobile device use rising among fans, sporting events need to have the agility to keep up with digital trends and technology. This is especially true for events as large as the Olympics. Moving to a cloud-hosted infrastructure will allow organizers to better handle content demands — particularly the need to adapt content for different devices. Because the cloud is designed to handle content transcoding and improve system interoperability, it’s the perfect choice in an arena where millions of people will be watching the games from a variety of devices and content providers.

Inconsistent Demand Needs Scalability

One of the greatest benefits of using cloud-hosted services is the ability to scale up or down based on user demand. With an event like the Olympic Games, where there can be significant variance in capacity requirements, the cloud makes perfect sense. Organizers can scale up or scale back as needed during preparations and then scale up full force as highly watched events approach.

A Greener Cloud-Hosted Solution

One of the biggest criticisms around the Olympics recently has been the rising costs host cities incur to build the physical infrastructure necessary to host the Games. For Brazil, the projected cost of the 2016 Olympics is now at 39.1 billion reals — approximately $11.4 billion — according to Reuters. While some of this cost includes larger public infrastructure projects, such as an extended subway and improved port area, building the athletic and administrative infrastructure is still expensive.

Because the event moves from location to location, many of these infrastructure investments are impossible to avoid. However, with robust cloud-hosted services now widely available, deploying IT operations in the cloud is one area where the IOC can bring its costs down. By centralizing the infrastructure in a permanent location, the IOC won’t just save money, but it will also reduce its carbon footprint by minimizing the physical space required to run technical operations.

Just as the athletes who compete this summer will surprise viewers with their speed or strength, the technology used to host the Olympic Games should also be in top form. Luckily, a cloud-hosted infrastructure will make it easier than ever to adapt to whichever technological advances the future holds.

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About The Author

Becky Lawlor

Freelance Writer

Becky Lawlor is a freelance technology writer. She develops and writes content on topics such as mobility, cloud services, unified communications, managed services and more.

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