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US Open


For the past thirteen years, IBM has been the official information technology provider for the United States Tennis Association's flagship event, the US Open. The USTA needs to provide online fans and broadcasters with a differentiated Web experience. Also, since Web traffic peaks around the month of the championship, it needs a scalable and flexible infrastructure to help align its cost structure with its highly seasonal business model. With help from IBM On Demand Business solutions, the US Open can now deliver real-time information—instantaneously—to millions of online fans and broadcasters around the world. From automatically delivering updated point-by-point scores, aces, first-serve percentages, etc., fans, the press and other key groups will have a wealth of real-time information at their fingertips. Using instant infrastructure from IBM, the USTA has turned the ultimate sense and respond sport into the ultimate sense-and-respond business.

How they became an on demand business

The solutions for the US Open site were designed and developed by IBM Global Services, including IBM Business Consulting Services, comprised of Application Management Services, e-business Hosting, and IBM SurfAid Analytics.

IBM WebSphere® Business Integration Event Broker enables real-time score distribution using a robust publish/subscribe message broker to publish real-time scores to HTML pages without the need to refresh the whole page - speeding downloads, while also lowering bandwidth demands and lowering costs. IBM WebSphere Portal Content Publisher is used by the USTA editors, writers, photographers, and audio/video specialists. It has a customized approval process and enables the publisher and approver/s to be based in different locations. WebSphere Application Server is built on open standards-based technology, and is used for the HTTP serving, as well as the NetPoll and Feedback Applications. Tivoli Management Software provides extensive application and hardware platform monitoring for the entire events infrastructure. IBM Tivoli Intelligent Think Dynamics Orchestrator permits autonomic provisioning between different applications, on different servers. Using predictive modelling, the system automatically allocates server capacity to where it is needed, helping to improve utilization rates and cost-effectiveness. WebSphere MQ is used to provide the scores and statistics to the Internet audience. It allows only changed data to be sent, and logs information, so any network distribution can ensure that no data is lost.

At the core of the technology are IBM iSeries servers running Linux on Power, IBM xSeries servers running Linux, IBM pSeries servers running AIX. A single eServer i5 520 will run the Internet Scoring system and the Web site Staging server on Linux (SLES 9) in separate LPARs and the Publisher on Linux (SLES 8) on an IXA attached xSeries. The eServer i5 520 will be used to manage the CPU and memory for the Internet Scoring system and the Web site staging server and managing the disk for all of the systems. Multiple geographically dispersed server "farms" are virtualized as one, and used to handle the substantial increase in traffic to the Web site during the tournament. This component of the solution provides the USTA with a scalable, highly responsive infrastructure that compliments their existing systems, without the USTA having to make a large capital investment in a permanent infrastructure that would be under-utilized 11 months of the year.

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