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Three years away

The company overseeing the tech for the London 2012 Olympic Games has revealed how it's warming up in preparation for the starter's gun on July 27, 2012.

A technology road map for the Games, released Friday, details how Atos Origin, the London Olympics IT supplier, and its partners will prepare for 2012. They are building a network capable of streaming 6GB of sporting results every second to the watching world--the equivalent of the entire contents of Wikipedia every five seconds.

According to the road map shown here, Atos Origin will have completed work on the designing and testing of the Games' complex mesh of technology infrastructure and systems by the end of December.

"The technology road map for each Games is divided into four phases and we are now close to completing phase one--design of the technology infrastructure and systems that will relay the results to the world in a fraction of a second," Atos' Michele Hyron, chief integrator at London 2012, said in a statement.

According to Hyron, the infrastructure at the 2012 Games will allow Atos to "provide more news from the Games than ever before."

Nick Heath of reported from London.

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Web portal and volunteers

In July 2010, a Web portal will be launched that will allow people to apply to become one of the 70,000 volunteers needed to help stage the Games.

Volunteers will carry out a range of essential tasks, from language services to medical care.

The 3,500 people overseeing the IT at the Games will also include some volunteers.

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200,000 hours of testing

In September 2010, Atos Origin will begin putting the Games' technology through its paces.

To ensure the hardware and software used by Atos Origin and the other technology companies supplying London 2012 are able to work together, the systems and infrastructure will be subjected to more than 200,000 hours of testing before the Games start on July 27, 2012.

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Equipment Deployment Center

Next off the starting block will be the opening of the Equipment Deployment Centre. Starting in February 2011, it will oversee the distribution and configuration of the hardware for the Games' 94 sites across the U.K.

The Games' mammoth IT estate will include 900 servers, 1,000 network security devices, and 8,000 computers when it is fully deployed.

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Testing hardware

Once the hardware is in place, Atos Origin will begin building and testing key systems and infrastructure at the venues, starting around June 2011.

The venues--spread hundreds of miles apart, from the sailing events in Weymouth to football events in Newcastle--will stage sporting contests ahead of the Olympics to see how systems cope with the stresses of a real-life event.

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Technology Operations Center

By 2012, the Games will be on the home stretch. February will see the opening of the nerve center of the Games, the Technology Operations Centre.

It will monitor the technology continuously, checking for and fixing any glitches in results systems, drop-offs in network bandwidth, or security alerts. It will contain more than 200 workstations and banks of screens where staff from Atos Origin and its technology partners will pore over information from the Games' systems.

Later in February, the Games will also launch an accreditation system to control access to the Games for staff and competitors.

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Final rehearsal

The final technical rehearsal will take place in May 2012.

The rehearsal will simulate the venues' ability to send out results from multiple sporting events simultaneously and play out the busiest days of the Games against hundreds of scenarios. These will include multiple disaster situations, ranging from network disconnections and software bugs to changes to the competition schedule.

In the days before the London 2012 Games open, the results system that streams the latest outcomes will become operational.

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