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Technology Solutions for the Pacific

PATARA sponsors South Pacific Games 2003 and provides Information & Communications Technology for a "Smart Games"

spgsupplierPATARA committed to be a corporate sponsor for the 2003 South Pacific Games (SPG) and was awarded Official Supplier status in February 2002. PATARA was tasked with the design, supply, implementation and support of the Information Technology requirements for the Games. This included IT hardware and network systems, and presented itself as an unique project with intensive 24/7 support for a varied group of users over various locations before, during and the wind-down period after the Games. Technologies used included high-speed (44Mbps) wireless networking, Gigabit Ethernet (over fibre and copper cable), Voice-over-IP (VoIP), ISDN, off-shore (Melbourne, Australia) database connectivity with real-time updates over the internet, VPN, and remote system control and management.

About the South Pacific Games

The first South Pacific Games were held in Suva, Fiji in 1963 and since then has been held in various countries and territories in the Pacific. The Games are currently held every 4 years with participation from Pacific Island countries. The South Pacific Games is the largest regular sporting event in the Pacific.

2003 South Pacific Games
The 2003 Games were held in Suva, Fiji from 28 June to 12 July 2003 and had 22 Countries contesting 34 Sports. There were around 3500 Athletes and Officials involved with the number of Athletes similar in size to the Commonwealth Games.The official mascot for the Games was "Tau" (friend in Fijian). Tau was modelled on an Iguana endemic to Fiji.

There were 20 corporate sponsors for the 2003 Games (including PATARA) and around 2500 volunteers to ensure a successful Games. Funding assistance for new Games facilities was provided by the Government of China at a cost of some $16 million. The 2003 Games was the largest and most successful in history.

2003 South Pacific Games and ICT

The primary objective was the use of ICT to deliver a “smart games”. ICT was to be used to optimise and streamline delivery of the Games and various Games Support Services critical to the event's success. There was also a need to provide instant access and immediate official information for International Media covering the Games.

2003 South Pacific Games and ICT: The Work Required

The ICT requirements for the 2003 Games presented itself as a major ICT integration effort (quite easily the largest of its nature in the Pacific) to be delivered in 3 months. There was a need:

(i) to fast-track a secure, flexible, high-bandwidth network that leveraged legacy IT systems to meet the demands of thousands of users in multiple locations, and
(ii) for Network and Systems to support: Accreditation, Volunteer Management, Ticketing, Security, Sports and Materials Inventory & Logistics, Accommodation and Meals, Results System, Media Information System, Internet Connectivity for authorised users

2003 South Pacific Games and ICT: System Requirements

- Cover 34 locations in total (29 around the greater Suva area)
- Connect to main Results Database in
Melbourne, Australia on ONOC (Oceania National Olympic Committee) System via the Internet
- Internet connectivity for all locations for results updates to Melbourne and for Accreditation
- Minimum equipment for each location:
Telephone, Fax, PC, Printer
- Need for localised Communications for larger Games venues
- Designated Pools of PCs and Printers for Media System and Results Management
- Seamless, roaming Wireless LAN
Connectivity for Officials
- Connectivity for country officials and media personnel
- Secure network (particularly against
those bringing their own machines to connect to the Games network)
- Connectivity for delivery of Television and Radio Services
- 24/7 Systems Support for everything!

2003 South Pacific Games and ICT: The Solution

- Core Network on Optical Fibre for Data and Video at Sports City – main sports venue at Laucala Bay
- Wireless LAN around Network Management Centre, Results Centre, Media Centre and other locations as necessary
- Wireless (CDMA) Data Connectivity for remote sites without Telephone Lines
- Dial-up Connectivity for remote sites with Telephone Lines
- ISDN Connectivity for Admin Centre and Main Accreditation Centre
- CDMA Mobile Phones for Games Support Staff and Officials
- Walkie-Talkies for localised communications
- PBX Telephone System for Sports City
- Games Management System Software provided by ONOC and integrated into network for Results Management, Accreditation, Meals, Results Publishing
- Proprietary Volunteer Management, Inventory, Logistics Systems using Database Systems (eg. Access, SQL), and Spreadsheets (eg. Excel) as necessary
- Structured Cabling for Major Games Venues and Support Centres
- Network Operations Centre (NOC) to enable and support all these systems

2003 South Pacific Games and ICT: Equipment Used

spg5All network equipment used were from PLANET. These included Optical Gigabit Ethernet Media Converters, Copper Gigabit Ethernet Switches, Backbone Switches, Workgroup Switches, ISDN Routers, Internal and External Modems, Wireless Access Points, VoIP Gateway and VoIP Phones.

All active equipment (computers, network devices, etc.) were protected by UPS Systems from MGE UPS Systems. Redundant centralised UPS Systems were used on the core network (including servers) and a stand-by Diesel Generator was deployed at the Network Operations Centre, in case of longer outages, to ensure the core systems remained online for off-shore connectivity.

All PCs and Servers were custom-built in-house by PATARA for reliability and durability. Linux-based Servers were used for Firewalls and Network authentication as well as for the Mail Server. MS Windows 2000 Professional were used on some PCs to support the Games Management Software (developed by others) which would not run on Linux. PCs had OpenOffice and MS Office installed.

spg4All Printers were from OKI. Colour Laser Printers and Monochrome Laser Printers were used and all had internal HTTP Servers embedded for network-wide system monitoring using the OKIView Network-wide Printer Management system.

2003 South Pacific Games and ICT: System Management

spg1All devices on the Games system were SNMP-enabled allowing centralised monitoring and control. Remote control software was installed on each PC on the network which resulted in over 40% of problems being resolved remotely without site visits.

The OKIView Management System provided real-time status updates for Printers eg. toner life, drum life, pages printed, paper tray status, paper jams, and so on. Typically support staff would respond before getting a call to supply consumables or fix paper jams – this usually surprised most users when the Network Operations Centre would call them to say the paper tray was empty or nearing empty and they should add more paper!

The Network Operations Centre had twelve PCs setup for network and system management, out of which one was dedicated for network monitoring, one for printer monitoring, and the rest for general monitoring and remote control. Various protocol analysers and tools were used for network sniffing and monitoring rogues on the network.

spg2The Network Operations Centre was manned 24 hours with Staff on three shifts per 24-hour day. Four teams of mobile staff were also on the road roaming between remote sites. At least two Help Desk Staff were on hand at any one time for call logging and there were ten support Staff at available at any one time to ensure efficient support.

2003 South Pacific Games: A Sucessful and Smart Games!

The 2003 Games were the largest and most successful in history. The use of ICT technology contributed to the success with real-time updates available on the Internet and extensive systems in place to cater for Games logistics, planning and event management. With sound engineering and system planning PATARA was able to deliver the ICT requirements for the South Pacific Games 2003 with zero downtime.

spg6 spg7

The system ran so smoothly with no downtime that close to the end of the Games, over a couple of beers, we even contemplated bringing the system down for a few minutes just to remind Users that we were there making it all happen. Of course, we didn't do that and PATARA was proud to be a part of the 2003 South Pacific Games. We also take great pride in the fact that we delivered a "Smart Games" with zero downtime and truly were able to showcase the "Pacific at its best", said Rajnesh D. Singh, Project Manager SPG2003 for PATARA and Member of the South Pacific Games Organising Committee's Technology Group.

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