World Youth Day's IT hangover

The men, and the network, behind the largest and most technological religious youth gathering yet.

Originally there was no intention to run so much bandwidth around the two major event sites, but as more and more network needs cropped up HP suggested to WYD's IT staff that they run all network needs on the one 10-Gigabit backbone.

"I think that was the handiest thing we had across the sites," Lemon said.

"That 10-Gig backbone ran a few different networks. What we did was setup a stack of VLANs at both Randwick and Barangaroo; one contained a fibre network into the head office; another was a pure Internet connection for the media, and that was also used for smaller things like merchandisers; and it also ran production stuff like the lighting and audio guys who ran their own proprietary IP network on that backbone.

"The beauty of it was whenever the audio guys or another contractor on site came to us asking for Internet on a port or switch that they were using for lighting, we could just tag that with a VLAN and off they went. And we weren't running loads of fibre across the sites for ten different networks to use."

Lemon said the network held up without any hitches during WYD events, and only came close to around 50 percent capacity. Running so many different contractors and companies over the same network had never been done before at any WYD, nor at such a large scale.

The network also boasted significant redundancy levels during the week-long series of events, running across diverse fibres to different exchanges, in case Telstra suffered an exchange outage or the fibre link was severed somewhere during crucial events such as the Pope's Mass.

But now that WYD is over, all that IT equipment is sitting in warehouses and at the WYD head office, waiting to be inventoried and reconfigured.

Lemon said WYD organisers are still working through the details of what will happen to it all, with redistribution to Australian Catholic schools likely.

"The plan was for a lot of it to go back into Catholic schools and be redeployed there, but in terms of how far and wide that will spread we're still to be given direction on that. At the moment we're still in the middle of cleaning everything up," he said.

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Andrew Hendry

Computerworld
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