Olympic committee lifts website game


Avoids Winter Olympics bug despite heavier load.

The Australian Olympics Committee (AOC) has redesigned its web infrastructure to tap a "pre-warmed" pool of cloud resources in case of any unexpectedly heavy traffic.

The team decided to redevelop its caching software and applications prior to the Summer Olympics in London this year after suffering a day-long outage during the Vancouver Winter Olympics two years ago.

Lorenzo Modesto from the AOC’s web hosting provider Bulletproof Networks explained that AOC had not expected its Winter Olympics site to attract as much traffic as it did.

As a result, the site became “resource bound” during the 2010 opening ceremony, triggering an “irregular” software bug that took a full day to resolve.

In preparation for this year’s Summer Olympics in London, the AOC decided to rebuild its caching system to take some load off application servers.

Jason Barnes from the AOC’s web consultancy Daemon said that caching was a particular challenge because of user demand for real-time results – or as near to it as possible.

So far, the team has received, stored and processed more than 357,000 xml data files containing results to be published online.

Barnes said it was a challenge “keeping cache ‘expiries’ as low as possible [to provide near-real-time data] without putting too much load on the servers”.

According to Modesto, the new caching system had decreased the load on servers by 90 percent, while making the website more responsive.

The AOC committed to spending 30 percent more to host the site on Bulletproof’s ‘managed cloud’ over the London Olympics period, after which it hoped to scale back its spend.

Modesto said the AOC had a “significant number of ‘pre-warmed’ public managed cloud server instances” in case of traffic spikes but did not reveal details.

Bulletproof has tapped Amazon Web Services servers for previous, international customers, including Movember websites.

Daemon’s Barnes said the team conducted significant load testing prior to the current Olympics season, which has attracted more than a million page views to the AOC site a day.

“It's been a smooth run so far from a technology and architecture point of view. We are actually using less servers than we did for Vancouver while handling almost sixteen times the traffic,” he said.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.

Olympic committee lifts website game
Top Stories
Westpac interim CIO resigns
Group CIO yet to be appointed.
Earning the right to innovate
Breaking down the barriers to innovation is a long, but rewarding process, says Bank of Queensland Group CIO, Julie Bale.
A call for timely reporting
[Blog post] Businesses need incentives to keep customer data secure.
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
Latest Comments
What is delaying adoption of public cloud in your organisation?

   |   View results
Lock-in concerns
Application integration concerns
Security and compliance concerns
Unreliable network infrastructure
Data sovereignty concerns
Lack of stakeholder support
Protecting on-premise IT jobs
Difficulty transitioning CapEx budget into OpEx