Acer has the legs to run the Olympic marathon

Acer has revealed the extraordinary PC power it will take to run the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Speaking at a briefing attended by Pocket-lint at the tech hub for the games in London's Docklands (if we told you where exactly then Lord Coe himself would personally hunt us down) Michael Trainor, project manager for Acer's Olympic project, told the assembled media that the Games will require no fewer than 13,500 PCs for all of its computing needs.

That's 11,500 Acer Veriton desktop machines, 1,100 Acer TravelMate notebooks and 900 servers, to be staffed by 350 or so technicians - running everything from the overall infrastructure and organisation of the world's biggest sporting event to just giving Usain Bolt and his pals PCs to check their Twitter feeds on.

Working alongside partners such as Atos, Airwave, BT, Cisco, Omega, Panasonic and Samsung, Acer has the responsibility of ensuring that the hardware side of the tech operation has no glitches. It's calling the project the "technical delivery" of the Games.

And it's a responsibility that the computing giant is taking seriously. Pocket-lint was given a whistle stop tour of The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games' (LOCOG) Integration Test Lab, a huge area with cells divided up to concentrate on specific events such as archery, handball, equestrian and so on.

These cell packs a wealth of computing power, running exactly as they would at the Olympic venues and with testing more vigorous than a suspected cross-gender middle distance runner could be expected to endure - should she/he smash one too many world records at the Games. Every computer is configured in the same way, and each has access to the various software platforms that will be required come game-time.

Software such as the Commentator Information System, a database containing an absolute wealth of performance and statistical data that the media will be able to tap into (quite literally as there will be touchscreen PCs on hand).

We also got a sneaky peak at the Technology Operations Centre, the mission control of the whole PC setup for the Games. Think NASA at Houston, but with less rockets and more leotards (not the staff - the athletes on screen). Staffed by 350-400 people come July next year, this is more than your average IT help desk.

One of the key aspects of the 2012 Games is the legacy, and this isn't ignored on the technology side. Trainor was keen to stress the importance of reliability and sustainability with the Acer machines selected. LOCOG owns all of the Acer PCs being used, and will find uses for them in the future.

The computers chosen also have a green stamp of approval too - the Acer Veriton PC, for example, the most commonly used machine in the setup, has a 30 per cent reduced power consumption compared to similar spec'd machines and all of the servers chosen meet the strictest standards for energy conservation.

The tech side of the Olympics isn't likely to gain many, if any, of the headlines next summer. But it's an incredible setup and one that makes all of the fun stuff possible.



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