As for the tale of the tape, Xerox is deploying some 6,000 printers, copiers and multifunction printer machines (2,000 more devices than was called for in the Summer Games in Sydney, Australia, in 2000). Most of those devices, however, are the companys WorkCentre Pro 35 and 55 models. The key function of the Xerox infrastructure is without question the key to the Olympics: tabulating the results of the 37 games and then, almost instantaneously, moving that data from the 140 venues to the press center, which, said Schaffer, resembles a "printer farm.""Its an elixir that saved us a lot of staffing issues," said Schaffer. "In the past, weve had to load the drivers on each individual machine thats connected to the printers." For that central location, Xerox constructed the Technology Operations Centre, a war room of sorts, equipped with large plasma screens and set behind glass walls. If you think thats a lot of work just for printing, youre right. Xerox estimates its machines will pump out 120 to 140 million pages during the 17-day Olympiad. But when the torch is extinguished, Xerox wont hit the showers. The company will begin almost immediately retrofitting the operation for the 2004 Paralympic Games, also in Athens, beginning Sept. 9. Read how the Athens Games will reuse technology infrastructure from the Salt Lake City Winter Games in an effort to cut costs. Ironically, after all the time and preparation Xerox has put into both games, the thing that keeps Schaffer up at night is rather simple. "The biggest issue now is if the PC isnt turned on," he said. But Schaffer has that covered, too. One job of a team of 230 Xerox engineers roaming the grounds will be to check PC on/off switches. Check out eWEEK.coms Infrastructure Center at http://infrastructure.eweek.com for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.
To help manage this farm, as well as the printers and devices at the rest of the venues, Xerox turned to its CentreWare Web-based printer networking software and a network it dubbed the Games Management System. With CentreWare, Xerox can not only monitor the status of all 6,000 devices but also manage and configure them from a central location, saving the company time and resources.