Footy fans get enterprise reliability

With finals season upon us, footy fans will have real-time scores available over the Web thanks to the completion of a $150,000 server implementation.

The AFL’s Internet and statistics manager Ian Weeding said the score data is taken as the official statistics for the media, including newspapers and television.

“The AFL’s data is managed by Champion Data who also provide the hosting services,” Weeding said. “Through agreements with the clubs, the raw data can be tagged with vision to help produce video highlights.”

The AFL’s server infrastructure consists of 10 Sun servers including five Netra V100 and two Netra T1 servers as well as two 220R servers and one 280R.

Weeding said the V100 servers provide HTML and WAP services while the 280R is used for the AFL database.

“With between 70 and 80 full-time staff at the AFL we do use Intel servers in-house but for this project we left the purchasing decision to Champion Data who chose Sun hardware,” Weeding said. “We were comfortable with that arrangement as scalability was definitely in mind because we knew the project would grow.”

Champion Data’s Internet operations manager Grant Upjohn said there have been no issues with the reliability of the servers and their performance is good.

“Sun is good value from a reliability perspective and although the support is pricey it is very good,” Upjohn said. “The price of the servers was more than Intel but Sun’s servers are now comparable and I consider them to be better.”

When asked if the AFL performed an evaluation process of server offerings other than Sun, Weeding said only a mention was made of competing products.

“IBM and HP were mentioned to the AFL but Sun was the recommended vendor,” he said. “With the server infrastructure in place, at a cost of less than $150,000, we are looking at upgrading the core servers next year.”

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