Why 2012 London Olympics is not using the Cloud?

2012 london olympicsIt’s official: 2012 London Olympics are not using the cloud. Ajay Budhraja indicates that although the cloud can be a great match for the Olympics, it seems that the biggest sports event is still too big for the cloud to handle.

Cloud computing, however, power everything else related to the Olympics. The media reporting on the Olympics events are definitely using cloud-based technology – such as conferencing to share information in real time. Also, the surrounding businesses are encouraged to adopt the cloud long before Olympics 2012 kick start due to the potentially 1 billion people hitting the servers during the 17-day event.

The cloud plays an important role, but not a major role in the Olympics just yet, although theoretically the cloud is more than able to tackle the traffic spikes due to the scalability and on-demand nature of the cloud.

That raises a question: Why the Olympics are not entirely powered by the cloud?

The answer is unanimous: The cloud is not yet trusted to power such a big and important event. Tech people working on the Olympics’ infrastructure were forced to be more conservative in tech deployment. Some are being more skeptical than the others, saying that the Olympics might take down the cloud. Even the IOC felt the need to ask Olympics fans not to tweet during the events so the networks won’t be severely impacted by surges of traffic.

Referring to the latest high profile cloud outages, like Amazon AWS’, I personally think that it’s a good decision. You can’t afford to run the Olympics on a powerful-yet-still-unstable technology like cloud computing. What if the Olympics’ IT back-end shut down for 24 hours during the events? That would be a total disaster!

If the cloud was adopted, it would be easy for the infrastructure to be removed off-premise after the Olympics end. However, looking at the bright side, not adopting the cloud means that post-Olympics IT infrastructure will be there, making the surrounding area high-tech, making it attractive for businesses.

Like Ajay Budhraja, I want to see the cloud powers the next Olympics – that would be awesome! So, how about you – do you think the cloud is ready for the Olympics?

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