IBM Technology Serves Up Timely US Open Tennis Results On Demand

IBM eServer i5 System Newest Component to Technology Solution

Select a topic or year


ARMONK, NY - 01 Sep 2004: -- For the thirteenth year in a row, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) will rely on IBM as its technology partner for the 2004 US Open tennis tournament. IBM provides equipment and services for exclusive match results and statistics collection; information and graphics to television broadcasters and other media; tournament data to on-site locations around the USTA National Tennis Center and to the Internet via the official Web site www.USOpen.org.

This year, IBM introduces a new component to the US Open's technology solution -- the recently launched IBM eServer i5 server.

Launched in May 2004, the eServer i5 server was the first server built with IBM's revolutionary POWER5 microprocessor technology and is ideal for small to medium sized businesses like the USTA. Using IBM's Virtualization Engine technology and multiple operating system support, an eServer i5 520 running Linux and i5/OS and integrating an xSeries server allows the USTA to consolidate its applications onto one server. This configuration represents the debut of Linux on IBM's newest POWER5 processor.

The eServer i5 system will run the USOpen.org Internet scoring system, content publisher and staging server through the tournament's conclusion on September 12, 2004.

Tennis fans worldwide will be able to follow the action on USOpen.org thanks to the Internet scoring system fueled by a Linux partition on the eServer i5 server running DB2 Universal Database, WebSphere and Linux on POWER. This solution is crucial to providing on demand point-by-point scoring and statistics craved by loyal fans and necessary for reporters and editors covering the event.

"USOpen.org is a critical component of the US Open and to the over 15.2 million visits to the site. We needed a system that is reliable, flexible and secure to keep up with the constant activity and excitement of the tournament," said Ezra Kucharz, managing director, Advanced Media, USTA. "For us, the eServer i5 was the best choice for our needs. The ability to consolidate our applications onto one server has made it easier for us to manage our technology requirements."

IBM Serves Up Tivoli and Linux at the US Open
Last year IBM introduced Tivoli ThinkDynamic(TM) Orchestrator, which permits autonomic provisioning between different applications, on different servers. Using predictive modeling, the system automatically allocates server capacity to where it is needed, improving utilization rates and cost effectiveness. With Tivoli, other projects can simultaneously take advantage of under-utilized capacity, some of which is built into the IBM infrastructure for redundancy, to effectively leverage resources. During non-peak times for USOpen.org, the servers are also running protein folding and credit scoring applications for other IBM clients.

In 2002, USOpen.org incorporated the open standards-based Linux operating system in its IT infrastructure to handle traffic flowing to the site during the tournament. Linux provides highly scalable, reliable and flexible computing power to manage spikes in demand during the two-week event. The USTA benefits by operating at peak capacity without the expense of a year-round infrastructure.

At the same time, Linux helps meet the site's requirements for high availability, reliability and manageability. Linux was chosen as the Web site Staging server based on its price and performance. The DB2® Universal Database for Linux tallies on-site scores and generates match statistics, live scores, draws, completed matches and player biographies. The scoring system also takes advantage of IBM eServer xSeries® Blade servers running Linux. The BladeCenter combines power with portability and highly effective space utilization.

"The USTA looks to IBM for the technology to enhance the information and service provided to the fans, media and broadcasters through real-time, on demand scoring and analysis as well as hosting USOpen.org," said Rick Singer, director of worldwide sponsorship marketing for IBM. "IBM is constantly looking for ways to bring new technologies to the USTA and fans in a cost-efficient manner. The USTA is a great example of an on demand business looking to provide its constituents with the information they want, whenever and wherever they want it."

Thirty on-site writers, editors, producers, audio/video engineers and photo editors enter, approve and publish the content of the USOpen.org Web site using a Linux-based eServer x365 system running WebSphere Portal content publisher. The x365 is a 4-way, Intel-based server, with no internal storage, attached to the eServer i5 via a high-speed PCI card adaptor. It offloads the i5 server from compute-intensive document preparation and approval tasks so that the Linux partitions can be dedicated to serving the fans and press covering the event. Last year's US Open saw an average of 35 articles, and 80 photos published, with more than 12 hours of broadband programming daily.

The staging server runs in another Linux partition and combines content from the Internet Scoring system and the content publisher to form the USOpen.org Web pages. These pages are then sent to Web servers allowing photos to be sent, scores to be followed and statistics to be monitored.

This year marks the thirteenth year IBM is a proud sponsor of the US Open, the single largest annual sports event in the world with more than 630,000 fans in attendance annually.

IBM is the official information technology partner of the US Open. In addition to USOpen.org, the company provides equipment and services for match results and statistics collection; information and graphics to television broadcasters and other media; and tournament data to on-site locations at the USTA National Tennis Center. IBM and the USTA have worked together to produce the official US Open Web site since 1995.