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reducing carbon footprint through cloud at Rio 2016

Reducing the Olympic Carbon Footprint through Cloud


While an event of the scale and ambition of the Olympic Games is inevitably going to come with a sizeable carbon footprint – taking into account the physical infrastructure construction and the amount of air and road travel involved – there is still plenty of scope to continue to reduce this footprint. And with the Olympic organisers committed to tackling challenges of sustainability and meaningful legacy, it’s a ball that cannot afford to be dropped.

Ensuring the IT backbone is smarter and “greener” is a major way of achieving this, and Cloud technologies are at the heart of it. Migration to the Cloud results in a lower carbon footprint compared to premise-based or legacy systems:  virtualization reduces the number of servers needed by over a half and then enables access from anywhere, anytime. Cloud computing platform also provides the much-needed resiliency and availability for managing an event of such proportions.

Through migrating many Olympic operations to the Cloud, we have reduced the need for servers: going from 719 servers at London 2012 to just 250 at Rio 2016 lowering energy consumption and – as a result – reducing the carbon footprint directly.  For this year’s Olympic Games, 60% of our operations have moved into the Cloud.

Rio 2016 will be a milestone in the digital IT transformation enabling the upcoming Games from Pyeongchang 2018 onwards to move away from a one-time use model towards a build once, use many times model. Moving the IT infrastructure to a Cloud-based delivery model not only minimizes the environmental footprint, but greatly reduces costs as well.

Above all, we’ve proven that tackling environmental issues does not have to be about “compromise” or limiting expectations.  We have shown that the environmental footprint of the Olympic Games can be reduced without in any way compromising the customer experience or slowing down the ever-expanding digital choice demanded by an online audience of billions.

“Atos’ IT systems allow for the instantaneous reporting and beaming of 6,000 hours of Olympic coverage to the world through both more traditional television means and digitally to billions of laptops, tablets and smartphones. Without Atos, the Olympic Games could not go on for the hundreds of thousands of athletes, employees, volunteers, media and fans in Rio, or for the billions who watch the Games around the globe,” said Michèle Hyron, Chief Integrator for Rio 2016.

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