Managing spikes in demand by putting tennis in the Cloud
For two weeks every summer, demand for information from Australian Open fans is at its highest. So much so that during the tournament, Tennis Australia’s IT infrastructure must expand drastically to meet audience demand and deliver a unique and satisfying experience. How does Tennis Australia scale its IT infrastructure to accommodate the flood of data demand that comes from millions of fans at once?
Application Innovation Services Leader
Will Duckworth has devoted a 20+ year career to the innovation and disruption that emerging technologies bring to business. Will is passionate about the ability for cloud services to provide business with new capabilities, new economies, accelerated speed of execution and new business models.
Sharing a private cloud
Tennis Australia needed a highly scalable IT solution that would allow them to quickly and easily allocate a huge amount of additional resources. They needed a plan to cater for a short but extreme high-traffic period, in a time and cost-effective way.
The solution was for IBM to set up a private cloud that could be shared by other like-minded organisations with similar demand spikes at different times of the year. Those organisations include the US Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, the US Open golf tournament, the Masters, and the Tony Awards.
But such a solution doesn’t just apply to sport and entertainment. Any large companies considering sharing IT resources between internal divisions, departments or projects would benefit from such an arrangement.
Analysing data to tailor business requirements
In the past, monitoring Tennis Australia’s server workloads, and the adjusting resources, has been a manual and reactive task. But once Tennis Australia started applying IBM analytics, they gained the ability to accurately predict, allocate, monitor and adjust capacity. It was done quickly, easily, and more cost effectively than ever.
Now, tournament, player and social sentiment data is analysed to assess when and how much capacity will be needed during the event. Resources can be automatically increased or decreased accordingly. This approach, known as Dynamic Provisioning, analyses historic web use, player popularity, the schedule of play, and the nature of social media buzz about particular matches. The result is just the right amount of resources to deliver a great visitor experience, and minimal energy and money wastage.
Key outcomes for Tennis Australia:
- Can now easily and affordably adjust their IT resources according to fluctuations in traffic and user demand, year-round.
- Able to now free up operational budget for new investment thanks to leveraging virtualisation, energy efficiency, standardisation and automation.
- Can rely on an improved disaster recovery solution that locates back-up systems in separate facilities.
- The number of users has grown by 45% since 2008, while cost per user has decreased by 35%.
- Page views have increased by 42%, while cost per page view has decreased by 34%.
- Additional input, including unstructured data from Twitter commentary, has helped to increase the accuracy of demand predictions for the hosting infrastructure.
What this means for your business
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