Skiing in the cloud

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I will tell you a real story of where the use of cloud has given high value in many ways.

Here is my story:

Every first Sunday in March, the Vasaloppet happens in Sweden. Vasaloppet is the oldest, the longest and the biggest (in terms of participants) cross-country ski race in the world.

The arrangement runs over a week, and this year it was 65,000 skiers competing. There were about 15,000 starters in the main event.

I am proud of having a good friend who is a really good skier. He was seeded to start in the first group with the best. His name is Anders, and I followed his race on my phone, where I was able to get timely, frequent updates.

I also cheered  him on, sending a message from my phone to be displayed on the big jumbotrons. I was, of course, not alone doing this for my friend; I believe most of the 15,000 skiers had followers. The jumbotrons were flashing many times per minute all day long!

I think you already have an understanding of how much computer capacity this event might consume. It’s here that the story perhaps becomes more interesting.

In the “old” days, the equipment was shipped on trucks up to Mora, where the main office of the race is located. They were unloaded, plugged in and installed. Advanced calculations on capacity had been made so the size of the equipment should cover all needs, especially the peak on Sunday.

But this way of working and delivering computer capacity is now at its end.

This year all capacity was delivered as a cloud service from a datacenter in Ehningen, Germany. No trucks were sent up to Mora, no need of techies to unpack, plug in, install, tune and perform all the other techie tasks that techie guys do.

The capacity is delivered from a pool of resources, deployed when needed and deprovisioned when not needed anymore. Adding more resources for peak load is far more easy than in ”old” days.

No more trucks on the road and no more installation of over capacity to be able to handle peak loads. A much better business case from my perspective, lower cost and limitless capacity. This is cloud in a nutshell.

And the very best of all: We all got reliable service so we could follow our friends and families in the race.

I look forward to next year’s race, and I already have a list of people I will follow.  Who will you follow and even more interesting, how do you use cloud? Connect with me on Twitter: @monicaclaeson.

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