Putting Rio 2016 to the test
As we learnt in our last post, beaming the Rio 2016 Olympic Games results out to the world in less than a second for billions of viewers watching on TV, online and mobile devices requires an incredible amount of work behind the scenes. That’s on top of managing the recruitment and training of 70,000 volunteers and processing over 300,000 accreditations for all those involved.
As a result, the critical IT systems that make all these things possible are going to be put through their paces in the run up to and during the Games. That’s why the test phase is so critical to making the Games a success and why we’ve just opened the IT Integration Testing Lab for Rio 2016. Here, I discuss some of the work we’ll be doing in the Lab as well as my personal highlights of the project so far.
“Testing, testing, 1-2-3!”
Just as the athletes are stepping up their training programmes ahead of their events, every part of the IT infrastructure, results-related IT system and applications must be thoroughly tested to ensure the Games run smoothly. In fact, over 200,000 hours of IT testing will be taking place in the brand new Lab. Spanning over 1200m2, the Lab is made up of 42 cells – or working spaces – that cover each sport and venue, plus 12 cells dedicated to the accreditation and results information.
Shifting to a “build once” delivery model
Rio 2016 is a key milestone in the IOC’s IT strategy to embrace digital transformation with Atos. It will be the first Summer Games where the core Games Management System is hosted in the cloud, including the volunteer portal, sports entries and accreditation system. It will also be the last testing lab to be located in a host city.
Transitioning most of the critical IT services to Enterprise Private Cloud by Canopy in time for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, a permanent lab in Madrid will be opened to support all the testing for future Games. Previously we’ve built a new testing environment for each consecutive Games so this shift to a “build once” delivery model marks a step change in how we’re delivering IT services through the cloud.
Going for gold as a team
While we need to deliver everything for a fixed date, it’s this pressure that really spurs me and my team on. I’m proud that we delivered the volunteer portal to deadline without a single glitch. We worked as a close-knit team and seeing it all come together made all our efforts worth it. And our hard work was rewarded: At Sochi 2014, I saw some of my favourite sports in action, including ice hockey and figure skating.
In our line of work, preparation is key. Getting everything ready and delivered on time will enable us to truly enjoy the Games, from the moment the Olympic Flame lights up the Maracanã Stadium in the Opening Ceremony to the final fanfare of the Closing Ceremony.