Spent some time last night with IBM server team over at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows (in that lovely burough known as Queens).
IBM has been a long-time sponsor (13 years) of the tournament's organizer, the U.S. Tennis Association, which relies on heavily on the vendor's server and notebook hardware to keep the event running smoothly.
On the court Tuesday night, 2004 women's Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova almost let the underdog and crowd favorite Laura Granville slip by her. But you didn't think IBM brought me there to watch tennis, did you?
Before the evening's center-court matches, IBM took a bunch of reporters on what was basically a back-stage tour of the technology churning out all those instant scores and statistics AND acting as the content publisher and staging server for the organization's Web site.
This year, all that stuff has been consolidated down onto a single eServer i5 server. (Another Linux-based eServer x365 running WebSphere Portal is actually the one used by approximately 30 onsite writers, editors, producers and photo gurus to update the U.S. open site.)
As sites go, the U.S. Open boasts some pretty impressive stats. Last year, it attracted more than 15 million visits, 2.5 million unique viewers and some folks spent up to 90 minutes on the site. If only!