Euro 2004 website braced for half a billion hits

Uefa ditches outsourced Sun Unix site for Microsoft…

Uefa ditches outsourced Sun Unix site for Microsoft…

Uefa has overhauled the platform for its flagship Euro 2004 football championship website in order to deal with a predicted half a billion page impressions from fans this summer. That's a huge rise from the 100 million hits four years ago at the last championships when the Unix site running on Sun machines was completely outsourced.

Daniel Marion, CTO of the governing body's UEFA New Media subsidiary, told silicon.com: "This is the first time Uefa has done it internally without outsourcing. Also we have tried for more than a year to be ready with the best event site ever that conveys the passion of the football from Portugal."

The site now runs completely on Microsoft. Approximately 25-30 servers are divided into front-end ones that distribute the content and back-end ones for the SQL Server database and other applications.

Although the complete project is no longer outsourced, UEFA is using NTT Verio to host the site and deliver content.

Among the new features this time around are live audio commentary, minute-by-minute text updates on matches - all in different European languages - and some video streaming, which is expected to cost between €10-15 for a tournament subscription package.

"We will have 10-minute highlights available after the match and then six hours after the match we will have 20-minute highlights," he said.

Based on UEFA's current web traffic figures for its own site and the Champions League site, it is predicting half a billion hits over the course of the tournament, although Moran says it will be able to deal with peaks and surges in demand.

"We have more capacity than those numbers. It can cope with two to three times that volume," he said.

After the final in Lisbon on 4 July the website will be kept live for a while before the content is brought back into UEFA's main website.