IT a key to World Cup success

While much of the world has been watching soccer for the past month, Gerard Gouillou has been monitoring data.

Gouillou, CIO at the Zurich-based Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), which runs soccer's World Cup tournament, spent the past month making sure the rest of the world could follow the games without a hitch. By the time the dust settles after Sunday's final game between Brazil and Germany, the FIFA network will have moved close to 10TB of data, Gouillou said.

The converged voice and data network, built and maintained by Avaya Inc. in Basking Ridge, N.J., performed without a hitch, according to Gouillou. But the popularity of the World Cup games meant the network required constant monitoring.

A groundswell of European fans followed the games on the Internet, flooding the FIFA Web site. As of June 21, FIFA had logged 1.45 billion page views, with a one-day high mark of 127.9 million page views. FIFA reported that its site had surpassed the total page views for the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City just one week after the World Cup started.

"We didn't expect anywhere near that kind of Internet traffic," Gouillou said.

Meanwhile, the main media centers in Korea and Japan generated far less network traffic than anticipated -- even though the individual stadiums generated far more traffic.

"The one thing we had to change often was the way we were monitoring," said Gouillou. "You develop a model, but you cannot predict the way you have to monitor once everything starts."

Concord Communications Inc. in Marlboro, Mass., was the vendor chosen for the monitoring job, and Gouillou said much of his duties revolved around the information being provided by that software, especially its predictive capabilities.

"You want to know what will happen in the next minute, the next 15 minutes," he said. "The more reliant you get on that, the more addicted you get to it."

David Simpson, Avaya's vice president for international services, noted that the network was built to run far in excess of its expected peak capacity. That mean the monitoring tools could be used more to anticipate network congestion rather than predict crises.

In fact, nearly 98 percent of the Web site problems were resolved without anyone being dispatched.

Avaya reported that its packet delivery rate was 99.99999 percent -- significantly higher than the "five nines" reliability rate common in the telephone industry. Voice over IP constituted a fair amount of that traffic, with the networking handling an average of 100,000 IP telephony calls per day.

The network was even able to withstand a one-day barrage of 400,000 e-mails received from angry Italian fans after their team lost to the South Koreans.

"It turns out that the extra bandwidth we built in was our saving grace," Simpson said.

Gouillou said that what made him happiest about the games was how little attention was paid to his department.

"My goal for the World Cup is that IT should go unnoticed," he said. "People should be paying attention to football, not our network performance."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Meehan

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?