London 2012's tech backbone to be trimmed

A focus on 'streamlining' the IT infrastructure follows warnings that the economic conditions for delivering the Games will be the toughest outside of wartime

The IT backbone for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is to be trimmed as part of a drive for "sustainability".

Each part of the computing infrastructure will be streamlined to minimise redundant equipment and energy consumption, according to the Games' new chief integrator, Michele Hyron.

Hyron, who works for Atos Origin, is leading the consortium of IT companies designing and building the technology infrastructure that will handle sporting results from 94 venues across the UK, relaying them across the globe in less than a second.

Atos hopes to continue using and building on the Commentator Information System it offered during the Beijing Games, providing real-time information on events to broadcasters across the world.

"For London, we think that people will want even more access to results, pictures and information about the sites in real-time," said Hyron.

However, the number of results terminals used during the 2012 Games could be cut from the 2,500 used in Beijing, with results relayed via the public wireless internet access expected to be available throughout the Olympic Park.

The announcement comes days after Kevan Gosper, member of the International Olympic Committee's press commission, warned that the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games faces the toughest economic conditions outside of wartime in delivering the 2012 Games.

Hyron told ZDNet UK sister site "We will have a challenge related to providing new ideas to deliver sustainability at the London 2012 Games. We will be working with the organising committee to be as cost-effective as possible in terms of the architecture."

"When designing the architecture of the systems, we will be creative in terms of reducing consumption and reducing the amount of equipment and paper that will be used. We are learning about streamlining our processes and ways of working from Games to Games," said Hyron.

Hyron will head a team that will increase in size to several thousands by the start of the Games in July 2012, delivering more than 1,000 servers, 10,000 PCs and 4,000 printers.

The IT systems will also process accreditation badges for the 250,000 people linked to the Games, as well as managing staff rotas.

Atos Origin handled 12 million security alerts per day at the Beijing Olympics using its proprietary monitoring systems, and will conduct more than 200,000 hours of testing on the London Games systems, starting in 2010.

"During the course of the previous Games, we have developed a very thorough monitoring system that is performing very well," she said.

Hyron was previously operations manager at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, integration manager at the Athens 2004 Games and quality manager at the Salt Lake City Games.