Slideshow

In pictures: IT at the Australian Open

Behind the scenes with IBM at Australia's Grand Slam tennis event

  • The Australian Open is in full swing in Melbourne. Computerworld went behind the scenes with IBM to see the technology that runs the Grand Slam tennis event.

  • IBM remotely tracks server use across its three hosting locations, monitoring energy use, temperature and exhaust.

  • The Turning Point player momentum analysis. It all begins with the courtside radar gun, which clocks the speed of the serve and its direction. But it doesn't stop there; on centre court, three statisticians enter data about each point won and lost on a PDA, capturing the attributes relating the match such as unforced errors. The information is uploaded immediately and pushed out to broadcasters around the world. IBM's Turning Point software collates the data into a structured, entertaining form that can be used for information, entertainment and coaching purposes.

  • Penny Brown, consultant with IBM Global Business Services, explains the data centre threat map. IBM tracks potential risks to its three data centre sites, identifying legitimate traffic and turning away non-legitmate traffic. During the event, the data centres serve at 150% capacity; maintaining availability even if an entire data centre were to go offline.

  • Penny Brown, consultant with IBM Global Business Services, demonstrates the scheduling system. Tennis Australia has overhauled its scheduling system, streamling draw revisions. The system allows for enhanced event setup, schedule of play, players schedules and website administration.

  • Penny Brown, Consultant, IBM Global Business Services, explains the behind the scenes technology.

  • The scheduling system is displayed in throughout the centre. Scheduled games are in black. When the text turns green, players know that it's time to make their way to the courts.

  • The servers operate in a virtualised environment to cater for increased loads. In past years, more than 60 servers were required to cope with the traffic spike during the Australian Open. This year, Tennis Australia will use six.

  • Active Energy Manager monitors servers, allowing IBM to alter CPU clock speed during non-busy periods, dropping power to the devices and returning the energy to the grid.

  • Tennis Australia's infrastructure manager, Andrew Player, in the newly-revamped tournament server room. "Before anybody asks, yes, that is really my name," he said. Servers used to be at floor level but have been raised as part of the $500,000 upgrade. The middle aisle runs cold, while outside aisles are warmer, maintaining air flow that keeps the servers cool even during summer heatwaves. Each server runs 96GB RAM.

  • Tennis Australia's infrastructure manager, Andrew Player in the tournament server room.

  • Tennis Australia CIO, Chris Yates, who implemented a two-year plan for a more scalable IT structure. The resulting consolidation of servers means Tennis Australia can get maximum power out of minimum space in its server room.

  • Tennis Australia CIO, Chris Yates. This is his third Australian Open.

  • Beneath centre court, the all-important control room monitors broadcasts, scoring and schedules.

  • Nick Davies, Tennis Australia Web producer, is responsible for creating and producing the Official Australian Open Tournament website as well as the Tennis Australia website, player websites and mobile applications. This is his 6th Australian Open.

  • The IBM Seer application, seen here on the HTC Tattoo smartphone, uses a GPS and camera technology to direct users around the Australian Open venue. The technology provides up to the minute information, providing in-progress game scores, food and beverage information and even where and when the next player autograph session will take place.

  • IBM remotely tracks server use across its three hosting locations, monitoring energy use, temperature and exhaust.

  • Beneath centre court, the all-important control room monitors broadcasts, scoring and schedules.

  • The control room is built beneath Rod Laver Arena for each Australian Open. It's the engine room of the Australian Open, where staff monitor broadcasts, scoring and schedules.

  • IBM's XIV servers

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