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Many records were broken at the Winter Games, but Microsoft can claim some credit for helping to break at least one more: The largest-ever audience on an authenticated stream for any sporting event in history. More than 2.1 million people tuned in to watch NBC Sports Digital’s record-setting stream of Team USA versus Canada in the semifinal hockey game, thanks in part to Microsoft’s public cloud platform - Windows Azure.
Like the elite athletes who competed, the Windows Azure cloud platform stepped up to deliver rapid and cost-effective development and operation of a dynamic, high-performance site at scale. During the 18 days of one of the biggest sporting events in the world Windows Azure provided information on the Games to more than 100 million fans and guests through sochi2014.com and delivered more than 6,000 hours of high-definition streaming from Windows Azure Media Services, to 5 broadcasters across 22 countries in 4 continents. This included 204 live streaming channels, more than 100 TB of storage and around 500 billion storage transactions. None of this would have been feasible without a globally distributed public cloud platform like Windows Azure.
In addition to Windows Azure, Microsoft Dynamics powered the IT infrastructure for the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and Microsoft’s Enterprise Services handled the design, development and support of the solutions.
“It is a great recognition and honor for Microsoft Russia to become a supplier of the Sochi Olympics. Microsoft technologies ensured that the innovative Olympic Games in Sochi were organized at the highest level and, in our view, contributed to the establishment of a new technological standard for large sports events organization in Russia and the whole world,” says Nikolay Pryanishnikov, the president of Microsoft Russia.
Fans using Windows Phone devices were also able to get instant information on the Winter Games through two mobile apps: Sochi 2014 Guide and Sochi 2014 Results. These apps made the Top 20 free applications at the Windows Phone Store in Russia, with more than 1 million people installing them.
“Microsoft is the industry leader with a unique and convincing vision of the future. We are very happy that millions of fans and guests of the Games can get acquainted with Microsoft’s technologies,” says Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, in a press release. “By collaborating with the company, we were able to use the latest and most reliable information technologies during preparing for the first Olympic Winter Games in Russia, the most innovative Games throughout history.”
Microsoft technologies also played a big part behind the scenes with the continuous and effective operations of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee. Microsoft partnered with the Organizing Committee to manage finance and management accounting, logistics and procurement management to human resources and personnel management. The “Dynamics for Olympics” system managed 800,000 units of equipment, 36,000 square meters of warehouse space, 1.2 million liters of diesel fuel and 18,500 truck deliveries in the last three months.
SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics CRM also helped run the enormous logistics involved in preparing and staging the Olympics, including arrivals, departures and accommodations.
For more details on how Microsoft helped power the infrastructure behind the Winter Games and made information and coverage about it accessible to fans, check out the Microsoft Russia press release and the announcement from Microsoft and NBC at the commencement of the Winter Games.
Athima Chansanchai Microsoft News Center Staff