Olympic Flame To Rise In The Cloud

The Olympic Games are adopting the cloud.

Atos, the French IT services giant and longtime partner of the International Olympic Committee, has been tasked with creating a cloud platform agile and secure enough to host the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The Olympics create technical challenges that seem ideally suited for a cloud solution: short-lived but demanding IT workloads that need to scale quickly and allow for intense collaboration and coordination between geographically dispersed users.

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To that end, Atos is developing a private cloud solution that can provide secure, resilient and reliable infrastructure for the global community in Brazil, said Marta Sanfeliu, general manager for the Olympics at Atos.

Atos will deploy the IOC's workloads on a single-tenant IaaS platform hosted by Canopy, the London-based cloud service provider the company formed a couple of years ago through a partnership with EMC and VMware.

"We believe the Olympic environment is a perfect fit for cloud computing and essentially Canopy," Sanfeliu told CRN.

Sanfeliu led the delivery of IT services in Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Games.

Those were the first Olympics to test the waters -- competition results were delivered to the official Olympic Games website through a cloud service.

But Rio de Janeiro will be the first Olympics Games in which core planning systems for accreditation, entries, qualifications and workforce management will all be hosted in the cloud. There's even a cloud-based volunteer portal that was launched in August.

By the time the world turns its attention to Pyeongchang in 2018 for the next Winter Games, the Olympic Committee will have migrated its entire IT infrastructure to the Canopy cloud.

"We have been delivering solutions flawless for the IOC since 1992 so we're comfortable the move to the cloud will not impact delivery," Sanfeliu told CRN.

Atos has been the official IT partner for the Olympic Games since 2001 and, through an acquired company, its history with the international sporting event goes all the way back to Barcelona in 1992.

Atos and the IOC signed a contract in 2013 to start transitioning all Olympic IT services to Canopy. The Rio solution will be delivered through a partnership between Atos, Embratel, Cisco Systems and EMC.

Jean-Benoît Gauthier, technology and information director for the IOC, in a prepared statement said: ’Atos is our long-term worldwide IT partner who has played a critical role in helping us deliver seven successful Olympic Games. We are now trusting it to transfer the delivery of the IT for the Games to the cloud, so we can continue to innovate and ensure an excellent Games experience for all.’