Let’s get ready for tomorrow with Cisco
After four years of hard work it’s time to celebrate – the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are finally here. But for Cisco, and the athletes, challenges still lie ahead
Monday 30 July 2012
As the London 2012 procession makes its final push to Stratford, the country is full of anticipation and excitement.
The London 2012 Festival has transformed our streets with music, events and performances building up to tomorrow’s Opening Ceremony.
Yet for the athletes at the heart of the Games, such as Gold medallist Tim Brabants, this is a time to remain calm and focused. Tim’s most critical work begins when the starting gun is fired. And with potentially 8 billion collective eyes watching every stroke of his kayak paddle in full HD, now is not the time to lose concentration.
Tim is not alone in being ready for this moment. Cisco – the Official Network Infrastructure Provider for London 2012, has been working hard behind the scenes to deliver the cutting- edge infrastructure needed to make sure the Games run without a hitch. For example, they will seamlessly connect nearly 100 different locations across the UK into one virtual Games venue while managing the network traffic of 200,000 visitors and media personnel via 1,800 wireless access points. Like Tim, Cisco faces a monumental task that leaves no room for error. Fortunately they are just as prepared.
For Cisco, getting it right first time is imperative to the success of the Games.
So while the world’s most famous Olympians take centre stage, behind the scenes a much less celebrated, yet vital, team will ensure that spectators around the world enjoy and share what’s set to be the most connected Games ever.
Cisco’s philosophy “Built for the Human Network” could have been made for this moment. They believe technology shouldn’t define what we do, but provide the backdrop that makes human excellence possible.
Combined with a track record that includes the Beijing 2008 Games and FIFA World Cup 2010 – as well as working with top Fortune 500 Companies, telecoms and utility providers – Cisco has the experience and passion necessary to embrace their biggest challenge yet.
To start, they helped build the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) from scratch.
Working with their fellow technology partners, Cisco, helped to develop Locog’s conferencing and collaboration software. Starting with just two employees working on the Games in 2009, Cisco now has upwards of 80 employees and volunteers all dedicated to the smooth running of Locog and London 2012.
Four years on, Cisco has succeeded in creating one of the most robust, secure and available network infrastructures the world has ever seen. The stadia, venues and infrastructure built around the Olympic Park are second to none and Cisco’s borderless network infrastructure will connect it all together.
“The IT systems for London 2012 will process 30 per cent more information than any other Games in history and Cisco networking is at the heart of it,”
says Neil Crockett, managing director for London 2012 at Cisco Systems With a huge increase in network traffic from previous Olympic Games, Cisco is braced to provide recordbreaking amounts of data, video and voice via a fully converged IP network for the very first time ever. With 1,800 wireless access points, 16,500 IP telephones, 65,000 active connections and 80,000 data ports they are fully prepared for the network demands of the 11 million reporters, fans, athletes and staff descending upon London this summer.
The network infrastructure will not only cope with staggering amounts of data, but will also be responsible for connecting nearly 100 locations – including 36 competition venues, 20 further venues such as the Olympic Village and operations centre, and around 50 other spectator and athlete sites including transport hubs, training grounds and ticketing booths.
A mission-critical network infrastructure also requires round-theclock technical support. Cisco is ready to provide rapid-response expert assistance and support to their fellow technology partners in their roles, to ensure successful delivery of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. What’s more, they are upping their support to their non-Olympic customers, helping them keep their businesses running as usual during this busy time.
In 2008 Tim Brabants took Britian’s first ever kayaking Gold – but no one witnessed his historic victory live on a tablet device. Unsurprisingly, technology has changed a lot since Beijing.
High Definition has become virtually synonymous with sports broadcasting, and smart phones have worked their way into our psyches, becoming indispensable to our lives.
Part of Cisco’s challenge was anticipating how technology would evolve over four years, while developing infrastructure to cope with future innovations.
Cisco has created network infrastructure to meet new consumer demands – such as watching the Games in full HD, or relying on quick and secure network connections.
Cisco Games face brings a human touch to Cisco’s offering. Visitors to the Cisco Cloud in Stratford can upload their favourite photos of the Games in order to create a 3D artwork commemorating their unique experience of London 2012. Londoners aren’t the only ones who can join in the fun – the application is also available online for fans nationwide.
Looking beyond tomorrow
With technology continually evolving, and sustainability and urban regeneration high on the agenda, Cisco needed vision to create a network infrastructure that would take the 2012 Games, London and the UK into the future.
The British Innovation Gateway (BIG) is the start of Cisco’s five-year effort to drive economic growth through high-tech innovation. Launched in January 2011 by David Cameron and global CEO John Chambers it will repurpose the infrastructure of London 2012 to foster entrepreneurship and enable small and medium high-tech businesses in a sustainable and scalable way.
“I welcome this major statement of support from Cisco,” says David Cameron. “This will help create many new jobs and opportunities, and support our drive to diversify our economy and generate sus tainabl e economic growth.”
Cisco’s network infrastructure will also connect research clusters, higher education establishments and science parks all over the country. They will continue to support STEM initiatives in schools, inspiring young people to study maths and sciences. By encouraging collaborations and innovation in this crucial area of the economy, Cisco will continue to have a hand in London’s 2012 legacy for years to come.
Over the final hurdle
Coordinating the network infrastructure for an event equivalent to 46 World Championships is no small accomplishment – but Cisco is not resting on its laurels. Their staff will continue to work around the clock throughout the Games to make sure the hard work dedicated to this Herculean effort results in a personal success worthy of Gold.
“Preparation is very, very key to ultimate performance,” says Tim Brabant as he looks forward to his own challenge at Eton Dorney. It’s a sentiment perfectly echoed by Cisco over the past four years. And now everything is finally in place – the network infrastructure tested to the limits. They’ve completed two extensive technical rehearsals.
They’ve run over 200,000 hours of testing. They’ve passed the final sign off from the London 2012 Organising Committee.
Now let’s see what Cisco, and Great Britain, can do.
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