This year’s Games are the first to take place in Brazil (and in South America). From the 5th to the 21st of August, about 3.6 billion people are expected to watch the competition and Brazilian arenas will host 206 countries with 10,500 participant athletes, across 306 different events. Every four years we witness how the event brings something unique from the technology perspective. London 2012 were the most digital so far and the first social media Games. Four years of digital development later, will surely make this a summer of records as well as a technological showcase. To make it possible, a team of Rio 2016 Cloud companies is also playing in the Games: supporting the systems, supplying the technology and sponsoring the sports celebration.

Supporting the systems, supplying the technology and sponsoring the sports celebration.

In the upcoming weeks, we’ll all be checking the medal rankings and watch if Usain Bolt breaks a world record again (FYI: Men’s 100m event is on 14 August, the 200m event on 18 August and the men’s 4×100 relay on 19 August), but if you’re also interested in how an event of this size is managed from the technological side, here’s an overview of the work that tech companies and Rio 2016 cloud companies are doing behind the scenes:

Atos: A Games Management System from the cloud

This European IT services company is a Worldwide partner and lead integrator of the past 7 events, doing work around cloud Service Integration and Management (SIAM). To borrow their words, they’re turning the Games into a fully connected global experience. They’ve built a Games Management System to support the planning and operations of the games. The system facilitates accreditations, sports entries and qualification, medical encounter reports, workforce management and a volunteer portal to help recruit and support 50,000 volunteers.

What happens if a coach wants to know the latest competition results? They also support that with the Information Diffusion systems over the cloud. They’ll be delivering real-time results and athlete information to the media, judges, coaches, and sponsors.

The Summer Games are undergoing a digital transformation. For Rio 2016 all systems and applications have transitioned to Canopy, the Atos Private Cloud service with EMC as the delivery partner. The IT provider plans for PyeongChang 2018, Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022 and beyond, are to run the Games entirely from the Cloud.

Microsoft: Thousands of hours of streaming coverage with Azure

This will be the second Games in which Microsoft Azure will provide live and on-demand multiplatform streaming coverage for NBC Olympics, official media partner in the US. Viewers will tune into NBC Olympics to access news, highlights and programming using the NBC Sports app on whichever device they prefer, via end-to-end live streaming entirely in the cloud.

During the Sochi competition, NBC Olympics had more than 1 million concurrent live viewers watching a collective average of 600,000 hours of coverage per day, supported by the cloud by Microsoft Azure. To give you an idea of the scale at which Azure will be delivering, Rio 2016 has nearly three times as many events per day as the Sochi Games.

Microsoft is also utilizing Bing and Outlook to enhance this experience: Bing will provide a schedule that offers daily updated Events to Watch. And if you don’t want to miss an event, Outlook has added a calendar functionality in Outlook.com and Outlook on the web for events, starting with the Summer Games, enabling viewers to add their favorite events to their calendar schedule.

Cisco:  The Games infrastructure is set

As an Official Supporter of Rio 2016, they’re providing the network and server equipment. They will support and supply all network equipment infrastructure, including fixed and mobile broadband equipment, IP routers, network security equipment, data center and network management systems.

Besides supporting the Games’ network, they’re running additional technological initiatives across Rio de Janeiro. Collaborative spaces, startup partnerships, a Center of Innovation focused on Internet of Everything (IoE) projects, a “living lab” in Porto Maravilha, and quite a few more. You can see them all on this interactive map.

Symantec: Cybersecurity is a priority

A sports event of this size means an economic boom for the host, but it also represents a large playground for cyber attackers. During the London games, organizers reported 166 million security-related events, including half-dozen major attacks. Cyber criminals are opportunistic and Rio 2016 is expected to have significantly high levels of illicit cyber activity.

Symantec will deliver the supply, implementation, and operation of more than 15 Symantec security solutions such as Endpoint Security, Data Loss Prevention and Mobile Security Management, for mobile platforms, cloud, PCs, and servers. The company will also provide technical support, consulting and training to keep Rio 2016 safe. Brazil is the source of 2% of all detected global cyber threats in the last year, according to Symantec’s 2015 Internet Security Threat Report. This Games they’ll be dealing with a lot of the hackers’ favourites: fan-oriented scams, identity theft, phishing, public Wi-Fi vulnerability or political hacktivism.

Aruba Networks: The airport upgrade

The International Airport in Rio de Janeiro will be the main transfer point for world travelers and sports teams, with an expected traffic of 1.5 million people who will be passing through the airport for the Summer games. The airport has almost doubled its passenger capacity, added nearly 100 new shops and restaurants, and upgraded its network infrastructure.

Aruba Networks has prepared the infrastructure by installing new access points, controllers, switches and network management software. The airport is also offering travelers a mobile app powered by Aruba’s Meridian platform to help them get around the terminals’ 100,000 square meters of space, get up-to-the-minute flight status and assistance.

Paula Fernandez Guerra

Paula is our Web Content Specialist. She has a creative background and digital experience from multinational companies, both in a B2B and B2C setting. A content and innovation enthusiast, she supports the execution of all online marketing campaigns and makes sure that our clients’ inbound marketing strategy is meaningful.

She’s almost always using her headphones, focused on reading, writing and creating new work. She laughs a lot and is trying hard to teach everyone around her some Spanish. So far it seems the ‘¡Hola! ¿Qué tal?’ has stuck well.