As the 2013 U.S. Open tennis Grand Slam tournament serves up aces and wicked forehand winners for fans around the world, IBM Power Systems servers deliver the digital experience.
In fact, to handle the enormous spike in fan interest during the tournament, IBM maintains three separate data centers linked together through PowerVM virtualization, which creates an extremely robust private cloud. Each data center is sized to handle 50 percent of the anticipated traffic demands, which means an entire data center could potentially go down due to a zombie attack . . . and U.S. Open fans wouldn't even notice as the other two virtualized centers ran at 100 percent capacity.
Although zombie attacks are unlikely, IBM remains prepared for any natural disaster that could possibly take a data center offline.
AIX with a Dose of Linux
IBM's Power Systems-based private cloud runs primarily on AIX with a some Linux. The setup is actually used for all four of the major Grand Slam tennis tournaments—U.S. Open, Wimbledon, French Open, and Australian Open. Plus, IBM is behind some of the world's most famous golf tournaments, too, including the Masters.
Big Data and Thousands of Tweets
In addition to simply posting up photos, videos, news, standard draw data, and results, IBM analyzes the players' past performance and even works to figure out what players need to do in the heat of a match in order to win. For example, if they're down in the third set, what data points (as they're applied to predictive analytics) can lead to a winning outcome? IBM's SlamTracker shares the data with fans and provides an IBM-generated "keys to the match" analysis based on what's happening on the court during live play.
Plus, IBM measures social sentiment via tweets throughout matches, noting how positive tweets reflect how fans are reacting to players as they battle it out.
And while all this is going on, IBM is constantly measuring activity and scaling its cloud services up and down to reflect the actual computing performance the U.S. Open needs.
The point? To deliver the U.S. Open via the web and mobile apps, there's a lot of cool IBM technology and techniques working—and it's all based on an IBM Power Systems foundation that uses readily available AIX, Linux, and PowerVM solutions and techniques.