Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Open source runs alongside Windows in Olympics

Microsoft did it again!

ZDNet Asia By Lynn Tan, Tuesday, July 10 2007 06:25 PM

The IT systems used to support next year's Olympic Games in Beijing, China, will incorporate open source software, but the dominant platform will be Microsoft Windows, according to IT services vendor Atos Origin.

"Many of the systems are using Microsoft Windows," said Jeremy Hore, chief integrator for the 2008 Beijing Olympics at Atos Origin, in an e-mail interview with ZDNet Asia.

A key supplier for the Beijing Olympic Games, Microsoft is working closely with Atos Origin and BOCOG (Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad) for the systems implementation and testing.

Hore said the computer systems for the Games will also utilize other platforms such as "Sun Solaris and some open source components". However, the usage of open source "is relatively small compared to other platforms which we are using", he added.

"The main [use of] open source has been for application servers where reliable open source platforms are widely used," Hore said, adding that some open source support tools in areas such as portals and document management have also been implemented.

Olympic proportions
According to Atos Origin, efforts have been made to ensure that the IT systems for the 2008 Olympics are secure and reliable.

Hore said: "Firstly, the architecture is designed to ensure redundancy and backup of the critical systems, networks and hardware."

The security architecture is also designed to isolate key systems and put in place controls to prevent unauthorized access. All activities of the networks and systems are also monitored closely "to ensure that there are no surprises", he added.

Atos Origin is the appointed partner to design, build and operate the IT infrastructure for the Olympic Games in China. In January this year, the IT services vendor launched a new integration test lab dedicated to testing the IT infrastructure, IT security systems and key software applications for the sporting event.

Last week, Atos Origin announced the on-schedule completion of the IT system architecture for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, which must meet the requirement of delivering real-time competition results.

Consisting of more than 900 servers, 7,000 PCs, as well as 1,000 network and security devices, the technology infrastructure will link together more than 60 competition and non-competition venues across China.

Some 400 people of the 4,000-strong technology team will be on the ground to manage the IT systems in the seven cities, said Hore. "We already have people in all seven cities who are working on the preparation of the IT systems at the venues."
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