8 IT lessons learned from the 2012 Summer Olympics

By John Brandon, CIO |  IT Management

Simulations can help prevent disasters. For the official London2012.com site, the London Organizing Committee (LOC) used SOASTA cloud testing software to simulate up to 1 billion people accessing the site from every country across the globe. CloudTest software uses 17 servers to pummel a Web site and find out if it will survive intense usage during one particular event. Paul Bunnell, a lead architect for the LOC, says the committee used SOASTA to stress test for specific popular events, such as the 100-meter final.

Column: Olympics Website Leans on Open Source Akamai for Winning Results

5. Plan for Mass Deployments and Training

One interesting lesson from the Games is about managing a mass roll-out. Acer was tapped to provide most of the IT infrastructure with servers, laptops and mobile devices. To prepare for the games, the company deployed 420 people to London to install, test and manage the IT equipment. Todd Olson, the Acer program manager at the London Olympics, says his team first deployed in 2009 and trained the LOC before the first events. He says the biggest challenge was making sure the LOC could retain its training for the hectic two-week period.

6. Protect Lost or Stolen Devices

Venafi, an enterprise security company, conducted a phone research study and found there was a potential that 67,000 phones could be lost during the two-week period. Interestingly, Venafi spokesman Gregory Webb says the concept of a security perimeter for mobile devices just won't work at a widespread event like the Olympics. It's impossible to contain smartphones in a physical sense. Since many of the lost phones will be business-related, the only solution is to encrypt the data itself. Webb says the lesson is in protecting not just the network endpoints (the company servers), but the data itself and how the data is accessed.

How-To: 7 Precautions to Take Before Your Mobile Phone is Lost or Stolen

7. Avoid Potential High-Profile Scams

Major events breed major scamming efforts, and the Olympics are no exception. During the Games, attendees are often caught in the thrill of the competition and can fall prey to sudden fake news announcements, such as tweets about a major criminal being captured with a link to find out more information.


Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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