Euro 2016 is already considered the biggest in the tournament's history – and that's no exaggeration: 24 teams compete for the cup, compared to 16 teams in previous tournaments. For UEFA (Union of European Football Associations), and the tournament's host country, France, the growth of the championship means an additional infrastructure challenge, with 11 different venues selected to host matches during the competition, which started in 10 June and ends in Paris on July 10th.
That expansion, like that of any company, brings with it greater involvement, greater investment and, of course, a much larger audience. The rise of the Euro also complicates the logistics of the tournament that will be held and, in particular, there is greater concern with technical logistics. With the proliferation of applications and content affiliated with major sporting events based on Cloud Computing, how can coaches reliably, securely, and efficiently deliver this material en masse? How will the tournament run smoothly for the numerous fans?
What happened last time?
The Euro 2012 tournament, hosted in Poland and Ukraine, had already taken advantage of the mobile trend and developed an official app for smartphones and other mobile apps (completely free). The application has several functionalities, such as the live score of the games and, it allows users to keep in touch with information and the best bids of the games in real time. The app also includes a feature called Bantr, a forum for fans to communicate with one another, as well as general news, game-related wallpapers, and a handy feature for pinpointing upcoming game locations. These functions have been hosted in the cloud, to allow access wherever the user is.
And in 2016?
This time around, the operation behind the games has a lot more structure. A command center was created specifically for the technical infrastructure of the 2016 tournament, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. By doing so, Euro was able to release remote software on a much larger scale than in previous UEFA championships. The key to the mobile software developed for the tournament is content based on Cloud Computing. In 2016, Euro's software is hosted on a scalable private cloud, thus enabling it to handle peaks in demand, almost inevitable in the case of a goal.
The role of the cloud
In places where mobile internet connections are often very difficult, such as in a sports stadium, cloud fueling applications allow you to work offline. By storing the core in the cloud, the centralized service can be kept under one roof. UEFA therefore has the flexibility to allocate resources to the cloud-based content areas that most need them, without compromising security and maintaining their remote availability for users . Contrary to the common perception that cloud computing is an insecure platform, the UEFA Private Cloud was designed to be as secure a system as possible and to protect users and the core network.
UEFA relies on the cloud to host tournament content for four main reasons. First, cloud-based content can be made available via smartphones, as fans often move around a lot, which makes the material more accessible. Two: the infrastructure can be centralized and easily monitored, giving UEFA data autonomy. Three: Variable demand can be met due to a scalable capacity model. Four: All of this can be achieved without suffering any security threats.
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