In Sochi, running IT is an Olympics-sized Job

As the Winter Olympics get beneath way today, one of the capital narratives arising from Sochi, Russia so far is that of gross incompetence, amateurish architecture projects, boundless computer hacking, and a accepted faculty that bribery has been the better winner.

Yet, with bags of Olympic athletes and tens of bags of assemblage accession in Sochi, the appearance charge still go on. The aperture ceremonies are tonight, and soon, skiers, skaters, lugers, and so abounding others will be aggressive for adored gold as millions of bodies about the apple watch. Abaft it all is a massive technology infrastructure, years in the making, that artlessly has to angle up to the challenges presented by one of the world’s better antic events.

It’s affectionate of adamantine to brainstorm that with some architecture still beneath way alike as visitors access in Sochi, admiral would be able to accumulate up and active a technology arrangement tasked with recording and barometer the absolute Olympics, broadcasting it about the world, and ensuring aggregate and anybody stays safe, appear what may. But for Atos, the aggregation abaft the Olympics IT infrastructure, that’s aloof allotment of the job.

Starting as abundant as seven years ago, and in ardent in 2010, Atos’ teams accept been absolutely advancing for the Sochi Olympics. Drawing on abounding years of acknowledging the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and acquaintance active IT at several antecedent Olympics, Atos told that it has been laser-focused on authoritative abiding that its projects were completed on time and on budget, that it managed as abundant accident as possible, and that it formed carefully with every added Sochi team.

The abounding calibration of Atos’ job is a bit adamantine to grasp. According to Patrick Adiba, the company’s CEO of above contest and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Atos’ arrangement with the IOC is the “largest IT sports-related arrangement in the world, and its requirements and challenges are above that of best organizations.”

Adiba said that the Atos IT basement is burst bottomward into four capital areas: amateur administration systems meant to abutment the games’ operations and planning; advice circulation systems that accelerate out real-time antagonism results; “seamless” affiliation activity management, design, testing, and aegis of the Olympics IT systems; and operations that crave accomplishing and administration of the absolute basement during Sochi.

For example, Adiba explained that the technology basement is composed of 400 servers, 1,000 aegis arrangement devices, and 5,600 computers that are amenable for things such as accouterment real-time Olympics advice to 9,500 accepted broadcasters and associates of the media. As well, it is carrying antagonism after-effects to a all-around admirers in beneath than a second; processing and activating accreditation badges for 200,000 “members of the Olympic Family;” and accession and processing abstracts for all of the added than 5,500 athletes demography allotment in the games.

Security and testing

Given that the Olympics in accepted and Sochi in accurate are abeyant agitator and hacker targets, Atos said that it has put appropriate accent on ensuring its abounding IT systems break secure. This is a above task, Adiba explained. “Small contest could activate big consequences, [and] the aforementioned affair accident at altered times can accept altered consequences,” he said. “Therefore, our systems and teams accept to be able to appraise the akin of severity of anniversary and every affair and act accordingly.”

For this reason, and abounding others, Atos runs added than 100,000 hours of systems testing, advancing for 9,000 altered scenarios, in beforehand of the Olympics. In affairs for the 2014 Winter Olympics, the aggregation aboriginal set up boutique in Moscow in 2010, and its teams accustomed in Sochi in 2012. Since then, it has run 70 action analysis events, and two abstruse rehearsals during which about 500 scenarios were activated to ensure that Atos’ people, systems, and procedures were “ready to acknowledge to any bearings that could arise,” Adiba explained.

Yet, as is the case in any ambiance involving circuitous systems, things ability go wrong. “Our job is to abbreviate the accident so that there is no impact,” Adiba said, “on the competition, the athletes, the media, or the spectators.”

In adjustment to abode endless abeyant aegis problems and analyze issues that deserve Atos’ attention, Atos expects to aggregate and clarify millions of “IT aegis events” every day. During the 2012 summertime Olympics in London, Adiba said, Atos looked at added than 12 actor such contest anniversary day and apparent that “less than 100 were articular as absolute issues. All were resolved, so there was no appulse at all on the Olympic Games.”

The problems

The Russian government and Sochi admiral are determined that the amateur will get off to a actual bland alpha and that letters of problems with the basement are overblown.

Unfortunately, those admiral are activity to accept a adamantine time advantageous the consequence that things were not activity able-bodied in the lead-up to the aperture ceremonies. For example, an NBC News address accent how bound Sochi visitors are actuality hacked, and The Washington Post ran a news that aggregate letters from associates of the media about how ailing able the city’s aboriginal hotels are to handle guests.

But now it’s showtime, and the accuracy will accomplish itself accepted aural days. If problems like those that accept broadcast in the media continue, there’s little anyone, from IOC admiral to Sochi burghal personnel, can do to stop bodies from talking about it and overextension those impressions about the world.

Atos, on the added hand, has years of Olympics acquaintance to angular on, and there’s acumen to accept that whatever abroad is activity on in Sochi, the technology acknowledging the amateur will assignment as planned. If so, Atos will be an abrupt hero. If the company’s huge basement isn’t up to the task, however, there’s no agnosticism it will be crucified in the accessible arena. Only time will tell.

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