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The Olympic-Sized Tech Tour

Technical Architect +Paul Bunnell gave us a tour around the London Olympics Technology Centre this afternoon. This is a massive effort, with 4,000 employees (Rackspace has about the same number of employees, except the Olympics employees were hired only for one to three years). These computer centers are where all the official results will be kept track off, along with other things like traffic. 

On Google+ you can watch the Olympics at +London 2012 

They don't include where the press will be housed or their technology, which is a massive effort too. Did you know that there will be more media at the Olympics than athletes? 

When you visit a headquarters like this you realize just what kind of economic impact the Olympic games has on a city and what kind of effort it takes to keep it all up and running for the few days it's here. Paul has been working with his teams for three years now and is about to see his job end.

Thanks Paul for the fun tour and hope all of your architecture works well! (He planned many of the computer systems you see here, along with the team he works with).

This is a London few will get a chance to see (within a few days this centre will be locked down and no visitors will be allowed inside for security reasons).

One thing that caught my eye is the Web analytics. I hear that we should expect to see many millions of visitors to the website every day, instead of the hundreds of thousands that it's recording now. This one place tech startups played a role, hopefully he can get approval to talk about more.

Some things I learned at the earlier Facebook event: athletes will be allowed to do photos, and text posts from inside the venues, but they are asked not to do video inside the venues because that would infringe on video licenses that broadcasters have paid for.

Thanks, Paul, for the great tour of the Olympic "brain center." This is a place few of us will be able to see, very honored you got us in.

Over the next hour I'll add more on each photo about what we saw, just wanted to get these up.
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16 comments
 
Hey - we weren't allowed to take photos of the TOC when we were there yesterday, and we "work" for LOCOG, tut tut tut.
 
+Chris Kimpton yeah, we were kept in the public areas for the most part, and my photos don't show all that much except for row-after-row of computers.
 
That would have been a great experience, especially given that the chance doesn't come around all that often!
 
I should have said that this is a visual tour of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, or LOCOG's headquarters.
 
+Robert Scoble didnt meet +Paul Bunnell but the other Tech Mgrs who gave us the training were all super motivated/pumped by the project - very inspiring. Feeling privileged ourselves to be involved from a gamesmaker perspective.
 
+Chris Kimpton you should be, the work done here so far sure looks top-rate and every effort was made to deal with more than a billion viewers/participants of these two events around the world.
 
What a great opportunity! I can only imagine the massive amount of equipment and staff they will have to run the games.
 
+John Heaters yeah, when you see it on TV you don't realize just how many people and computers it takes to make everything run.
 
Yeah Robert. They make it look so easy, once to start to think about it, just the broadcasting piece is insane. 
 
they certainly don't want any embarrassment not agreeing with north Korea style injunctions on athletes. 
 
I work for Atos, the company providing all the IT infrastructure for the Olympics.  We also run the IT and broadcasting infrastructure for the BBC, so this is a double-whammy for Atos!
 
Ha, I note one of the diagrams on the notice board still has us down as 'Atos Origin' - we dropped that name when we acquired Siemens IT Services over a year ago!
 
It's amassive website and we are ready to make it work for the mass of olympic fans worldwide
 
Are athletes permitted unrestricted use of social media this year? My feelings w.r.t. the Olympics are definitely split. I admire and respect the athletes but despise the IOC and their totalitarianism.
 
Its very impressive, its even more impressive when you look at all the bandwidth needed to run the International Broadcast Center for the Olympics. The MOD is also spending £553m on security with surface-to-air missiles, Typhoon Jets and special ops helicopters ready to swoop in should anything go wrong.  BTW +Cory Riddell I have read that no LOCOG employee or athlete was allowed to post photos onto social media, looks like that has changed.
 
Lets hope their website hold up better than it did during the ticketing fiasco. 
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