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Lenovo puts on last spurt before Olympics

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After a full year of Beijing-based international athletic competitions used to test the technology infrastructure supporting the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Lenovo is preparing for the final and most grueling test of all, a three-day comprehensive technology rehearsal on June 9-12 that will involve more than 300 Lenovo engineers and thousands of Lenovo PCs.

More than 20 000 pieces of Lenovo equipment have been put to the test in more than one year of “Good Luck Beijing” athletic competitions, including Olympic sports ranging from archery and diving to synchronised swimming and taekwondo.
As a worldwide Olympic partner and the exclusive computing equipment provider, Lenovo is providing the Beijing Organising Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) with more than 30,000 pieces of equipment including desktop and notebook PCs, monitors, servers and desktop printers.
During the Good Luck Beijing events, much of this equipment underwent extensive testing and fine-tuning, providing invaluable hands-on experience for many of the 560 Lenovo engineers who will be working on-site in August.
With the test events complete on June 1, the final preparatory event will be the comprehensive technical rehearsal conducted by BOCOG on 9 to 12 June. The physical equipment supporting the Olympic Games and the thousands of personnel who oversee it will participate in “Technical Rehearsal 2” (TR2), simulating three of the busiest days at the Games.
The rehearsal will force participants to practice managing an array of potential problems and scenarios – missing equipment, slashed cables, security breaches and power outages. Nearly 95% of Lenovo’s computing equipment at every venue will be deployed over the three days of intensive practice and problem-solving.
“Lenovo is delighted to report that the successful Good Luck Beijing test events proved the strength of our hardware backbone and our team of technicians that will support every aspect of the Beijing Games,” says Alice Li, Lenovo vice-president of Olympic Marketing.
“The next challenge will be the comprehensive rehearsal, where BOCOG will flip the ‘on’ switch, implementing all the technology systems and looking for anything that can possibly go wrong. We know that our PCs, which are the best-engineered in the world, as well as our team of engineers, will meet this challenge with ingenuity and determination.”   
Lenovo products were carefully chosen for the Olympic Games technology solution and the Good Luck Beijing events have proven their features are well-suited to the challenge.
For example, the primary desktop PC – the ThinkCentre M55e – was tested in every venue, including the Beijing National Aquatics Center, often called the “Water Cube.” These PCs are particularly adaptable to damp environments and operated optimally during extreme situations – up to 90% humidity used in testing.
Similarly, the equipment to be used at outdoor competition venues has been specially selected to withstand the challenges of Beijing’s summer, including high temperatures, dust and humidity.  
The test events also allowed the team to successfully put the equipment through endurance tests. During the course of the 2008 Olympic Games, 630 competitive events will be held in 17 days, with one competition following closely on the heels of another. Equipment in the competition venues will be running constantly from 6am to midnight, and equipment in non-competition venues will run continuously for 24 hours a day.
Much of Lenovo’s equipment will run critical applications such as the Games Management System which handles many important functions including accreditation, transportation, sports entries, qualifications and staff and volunteer deployment. The remainder of the Lenovo equipment will support the company’s personnel on site and Lenovo Internet lounges in the Athlete’s Village and more.
To operate and maintain this complex computing infrastructure, Lenovo is undergoing a massive training program to equip 560 of its finest engineers with the skills required to ensure smooth operation. After several days of classes, they are tested in the field where they perform rigorous hands-on exercises and mock scenarios.
All of the engineers are trained to operate and troubleshoot the notebooks, desktops and printers used for the Olympic Games. Those working on the Lenovo servers receive an extra two days of training. In addition to this preparation, BOCOG will conduct separate training sessions with the engineering teams from Lenovo and other Olympic partners to ensure successful execution during the Olympic Games.