As the 20th Commonwealth Games kicks off in Glasgow, most of the attention will be focused on the athletes attempting to turn years of hard work into gold medals. However, there is another less public, yet still hugely important, side of the games that we think also deserves some attention.
Behind the scenes in Scotland, computer giant Dell will have an integral role in providing the IT infrastructure that will help meet the demands of the 71 participating federations and ensure that the entire event runs as smoothly as possible.
A statement on the Dell's website reads, "Our IT solutions will provide the reliability and support needed to ensure that everyone involved — the fans, volunteers, athletes and officials will have the best experience possible."
It will deploy what it describes as a large-scale, end-to-end infrastructure designed to support business critical functions and connect athletes, volunteers and officials on a global scale, through the provision of 2,400 desktops and laptops, 2300 monitors, 50 servers and storage solutions across 40 competition and non-competition sites.
The setup will connect across all 40 competition and supporting venues, including the Technology Operations Centre, Media Centre and Athletes' Village.
The Technology Operations Centre will act as the central hub, where Dell will monitor, operate and manage the games using PowerEdge servers equipped with Intel Xeon processors and Dell EqualLogic and PowerVault storage, as well as providing a helpdesk for any technology queries.
Its equipment will be used at the Media Centre to efficiently deliver results to the press, and in a logistical capacity at the Athletes' Village, covering tasks such as ordering food, coordinating laundry services for all 6,762 beds and ensuring that all athletes make it to their events on time.
The importance of IT in the running of the games was highlighted by Brian Nourse, the chief technology officer for Glasgow 2014. "Technology underpins everything at the Commonwealth Games and we have multiple sites across Glasgow that require a fit-for-purpose technology solution.
"Dell's role is crucial in ensuring that we have a robust, flexible infrastructure in place that can guarantee everything runs flawlessly – both in the planning and staging of the Games, and during the 11 days of competition."
Tim Griffin, the vice president and managing director of Dell UK, said, "Technology is often the unsung hero of the sporting world. Nearly everything, from coverage of the events and ticketing, to how athletes perform and results are reported, requires a high level of technology support."
This is not the first time Dell has delivered technology for a global sporting event. In 2006 it was the official hardware provider for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, supplying desktops, servers and storage technology.