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After Hours

Tech rehearsal puts Olympics IT system through its paces

The IT systems supporting this summer's Olympic Games have been subjected to a barrage of tests to ensure they are ready to cope

The Olympic Games IT systems have been subjected to a barrage of tests - including simulated incidents and accidents - as part of a tech rehearsal ahead of this summer's London Games designed to ensure the event can weather a perfect storm of technological failures.

The first technical rehearsals for the London 2012 Olympic Games has been completed. Photo: Getty Images

Atos, the company in charge of overseeing the technology at the London Olympic Games, has now completed the first of these technical rehearsals.

During the rehearsals mock Olympic events are staged to test how IT systems will hold up. Systems are pitted against a cascade of failures - from the major to trivial like unplugged cables - in an attempt to ensure they can cope with any eventuality.

And there's a lot of technology that could go wrong, the Games will rely upon hundreds of IT systems supported by 900 servers, 1,000 network and security devices and more than 10,000 computers. These systems are key to running the 94 Olympic venues across the UK, recording results and relaying them to the rest of the world. Linking each Olympic venue is a fibre network capable of transmitting up to 60Gb of information - the equivalent of 60,000 novels - every second.

Sebastian Coe, chairman of London 2012, said: "You cannot underestimate the important role technology will play in the successful delivery of London 2012.

"Everything must perform seamlessly and Atos' business technologists, like the athletes, must be ready from the first moment to strive for their personal best. With the first operational readiness test now complete, the final preparations for the Games are well underway."

By the end of the testing phase, Atos and its technology partners will have undertaken more than 200,000 hours of testing of the IT systems for London 2012.

Atos and its partners will carry out a second and final technical rehearsal just ahead of the Games in May.

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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