Whether you are a follower of the games or not, the numbers are impressive:
- 11,000 athletes will compete in 300 events accompanied by 7000 foreign officials
- 24,000 military and police will provide security, costing £500M
- 200,000 are employed by the London Olympic Committee
- 250,000 people will be at the Olympic park at any one time
- 500,000 international spectators will come to London
- 6,000,000 will visit London for the games in total
- 7,000,000 tickets will be sold
- 60Gb/s of traffic will leave the venue during events
- The BBC will stream 1Tb/s of content to end users at peak times, 5-10x normal
- There are 1800 WIFI and 25 3G base-stations in the park
- 900 Acer servers, 11500 desktops and 1100 laptops
- 3,500 IT specialists will operate these systems including 400 desktop support technicians
- They will be fixing desktops and laptops running Microsoft Windows XP and Vista
Along with the excitement and anticipation, thoughts have now turned firmly to practicalities of continuing business operations. While most of the official advice is around transport, security, and staffing, little has been said concerning IT and Telecommunications. Meanwhile our banking clients at Canary Wharf have already secured nearby hotel rooms for hundreds of key staff, one manufacturing company is providing static caravan's in their car park, another has taken the precaution of obtaining short-term office space outside the capital, complete with local IT. Our international clients began preparing immediately after London was announced, having learned from prior experience in Sydney.
If you are charged with keeping your organisation's technology running during the games, you now have just 70 working days to prepare, test, and put a plan into action. While a London Olympics is only a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, planning for continued operations during the games shares much in common with other more frequent DR or BC challenges like the 2009 flu pandemic, the 2005 terrorist attacks, the 2005 fire, or the 2011 city-wide rioting, all of which are familiar to London businesses.
Even minor disruptions can mean you are denied access to your premises, your datacenter is without power, or the transport network fails. These "little disasters" happen every single day to someone, somewhere in the capital city, as we have already seen. If you haven't done anything yet it is not too late, a lot can be accomplished in 100 days but there is no time to lose.
360is have compiled a check list of things IT managers at London offices should think about before the Olympics. If you want to know how to cope with low bandwidth conditions in an emergency, provide IT service for remote users, tuning infrastructure to cope with VPN workers, or establishing a second datacentre outside London, get in touch.
Send me the 360is Olympic Preparedness Checklist