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How Iomega Played Key Role in IT at Olympic Village

As the world's Olympic athletes move out of their village in Vancouver, B.C., the day after the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Games, they take with them a lot of great memories -- whether or not they won medals. Now, many of them can forget about training for a while and take a well-deserved rest -- and not have to worry about as many things as prior to the Games.

One of the things those visitors didn't have to worry about during their several-week stay in the village was the IT system set up for their wireless and data storage use. All the Olympic athletes, coaches and international support staffs were given free wireless Internet access -- and the use of personal data storage devices -- from EMC's consumer and small-business storage provider, Iomega.

"Yeah, it was a lot of work but it all worked out pretty well," said Jon Larson, IT director of the U.S. Ski Association's Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah. "We set up a small infrastructure there [before the Games], and we'll go back and take it down [this week]."

Larson and his 100-person crew also set up two hospitality suites for the athletes with gaming rooms, cable television, TiVo and other amenities. "It's a lot like an Internet cafe," Larson said. "We had 19 other TVs set up in the waiting rooms and the green rooms where the athletes go when they medal. We also had some digital signage going on."

The U.S. athletes had use of Iomega's desktop storage SANs to store their personal files -- mainly video and photo files -- until they were ready to head back home. The U.S. Ski Association had already standardized its storage on the Iomega machines at the Park City headquarters.

During the Games, the USSA utilized more than a dozen of Iomega's small and mid-size business rackmount and desktop NAS units to consolidate data backup, provide mass storage for athlete data files, and network compatibility with existing VMware virtualization systems.

"During the transition from the old facility, the IT department was able to update the majority of the infrastructure including phone, network, audiovisual and security systems," Larson said. "The missing piece was finding a cost effective storage solution that would allow us to consolidate our backup solutions, provide mass storage for our content repositories, and provide compatibility with our existing VMware virtualization systems.

"This is where Iomega's NAS storage solutions shine, exceeding my expectations with features like replication, active directory integration, and media serving."

Sounds like Iomega won a virtual gold medal for its performance.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...