How sleeping pods will keep a datacentre awake during the Olympics

A UK firm has come up with an unusual way of beating the Olympic traffic congestion problems.

Engineers will be sleeping in these pods during the Olympics. Photo: Interxion

Companies in London are turning to some unusual methods to ensure their IT infrastructure stays up and running during the London 2012 Olympic Games this summer.

The huge number of visitors coming for the Games is likely to put London's transport system under significant strain, making it hard for businesses to operate as normal in the capital.

As a result the Olympic organisers have been urging firms to update their business continuity planning for months. While large companies have been running working from home trials, others have been looking at more innovative options for making sure their business doesn't suffer.

For example, datacenter centre company Interxion is installing a number of sleeping 'pods' in its East London datacentre where engineers can sleep between shifts and overnight to avoid the danger of not being able to get to work due to traffic congestion during the Olympics.

"We thought these would be a good option to enable our engineers to have a little bit of rest and work in shifts so we can offer the same levels of service in pretty much any eventuality while the Olympics is going on," said Richard Warner of Interxion.

The stackable pods are being installed in a room with kitchens and showers for the engineers "it will all be set up like a little hotel", said Interxion facilities engineer Adam Watkins (bottom right in the photo above).

Watkins said of the pods: "They're pretty comfortable to be honest, with memory foam mattresses and blankets. If you're on at night and you have traffic all around and you can't get in or out it just makes it a bit easier to have the option of staying there, you don't have to stress out and worry about it."

By Steve Ranger

Steve Ranger is the UK editor-in-chief of ZDNet and TechRepublic. An award-winning journalist, Steve writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture, and regularly appears on TV and radio discussing tech issues. Previously he was th...