Cloud was a non-starter for London 2012, says LOCOG CIO

By Peter Gothard
10 Jul 2012 View Comments
London 2012 CIO Gerry Pennell

The three-and-a-half-year preparation period between the 2008 Beijing Olympics and this summer's 2012 Games was not a long enough to introduce cloud operations to the event's infrastructure, LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) CIO Gerry Pennell (pictured) has told Computing.

"It was certainly not possible to do in the three and a half years we had between 2008 and 2012," said Pennell.

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"The infrastructure in the cloud is not sufficiently mature enough to support the kinds of things we're doing in the Olympics," continued Pennell, before stating that many applications being used for the Olympic systems were not written for the cloud, and it would be "quite a big migration" to make them cloud compliant, "particularly for the core infrastructure".

While stating that the Olympic Games was too "mission critical" to be offered up to the cloud in 2012, Pennell suggested it was "somewhere where it will go" in the future.

"Economically, and in the longer term, it would make a lot of sense for the Olympics to be done on a cloud infrastructure basis, because it's a very peaking operation," Pennell said.

"Being able to call up resources and use them in a very short amount of time would make a great deal of sense," he added.

While LOCOG is steering clear of cloud for the bulk of the Olympic's IT infrastructure, BT's telephony services are cloud hosted, with web content for the games also cached in the cloud.

"Where the technology was there, we used it," said CTO of BT London 2012 Delivery Programme Tim Boden, citing BT's cloud contributions as "tried and tested" approaches.

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