Dell: Industry standards crucial to the Games' success

The decision to go with industry standards across the network has been crucial to the success of the technology behind the Commonwealth Games, said Dell enterprise marketing manager Simon Johnston.

By industry standards, Johnston means Intel's x86 industry standard servers, as opposed to using larger (and often proprietary) Symmetrical Multiprocessing Systems (SMPs).

Dell is supplying most of the hardware and some services to the Games.

Housed within the Games Technology Operations Centre is a combination of 68 tower and rack Dell PowerEdge servers which are hosting a broad array of business-critical systems, ranging from results and scoring information to recruitment and rostering systems for the 15,000-strong volunteer workforce.

Close to 70 Dell/EMC AX100 storage devices, which the vendor claims to be the largest single deployment in the Asia-Pacific region, have been implemented to record, store and manage all security surveillance footage from a multitude of sites across Melbourne city and Games facilities.

Other Dell systems in use across the Games' sites include 1300 OptiPlex desktops, 150 Latitude notebooks, 1350 flat panel monitors and 50 Axim handhelds. Included among the many venues using Dell technology is the Commonwealth Games Village, where athletes from 71 nations will communicate via an Internet Centre to family, friends and fans across the globe.

Johnston declined to put a dollar figure on how much the contract was worth to Dell, "but you can see from the number of machines that are in there, that the Commonwealth Games is a quite substantial customer," he said.

Johnston said the biggest challenges are in the temporary nature of the deployment and the short time scale around it.

"There has been no margin for error. In the scheme of such a complex and large-scale deployment we have had a very narrow time frame - talking months instead of years," he said.

The fact that the Commonwealth Games decided to go with industry standards across the network has been critical to its success, according to Johnston.

This has made it easy for partners to come in and work on the infrastructure, he said. "We have an industry standard infrastructure that is flexible, scalable and cost effective."

The industry standard infrastructure is easy to scale up and down, making it ideal, Johnston said, for all enterprise customer environments.

Other technology partners that are working with Dell include Microsoft, Unisys and EMC.

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