As the 2010 Winter Olympics come to a close and media focuses on stories about the sad, untimely death of the Georgian luge slider, rivalries between top U.S. skiers, disqualifications, and the death of Canadian figure skater, Joannie Rochette’s mom, the one negative story we are not hearing this story is about technology failures. No news is good news.
We may owe that all to Magnus Alvarsson, the person in “charge of making sure all of the PCs, phones, servers, and other gear are up and running so that the judges can judge, the athletes can perform, and the media can write about it all,” according to an article by Ina Fried for CNET News. The article, titled “Olympics and tech: ‘No room to fail’” is a question and answer with Alvarsson where he discusses what is involved in pulling off this massive undertaking. Try to get your head around managing the following on such a large public stage:
“There’s about 800 servers that go into the full solution and about 6,000 PCs. It’s about 800 networking devices as well.”
I would love to ask Alvarsson how they handle their data backup and recovery. What happens if an electronic timing system or judging application goes down? I congratulate the Olympic “technology team” for a job well done.