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London 2012: the ICT Infrastructure Investment

In my first editorial in this series, I introduced the notion of some very bold aspirations for community regeneration and economic growth, that’s about to occur in East London.

I’m sharing the following key data points about the London 2012 socioeconomic impact, to give you an idea of the scale of this purposeful investment strategy — and the anticipated economic development related outcomes.

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Cisco Networking Academy Inspiring a Future Generation

There is a lot of talk about the Olympic legacy for London 2012, yet in some parts of the media in particular there seems to remain some cynicism. But over the past few weeks and months I have witnessed the genuine efforts being made by Cisco to building a brilliant future after the Games.

For example former Olympic silver medallist Roger Black and Cisco ambassador has spent the last week touring around several schools in the east end of London to highlight the Cisco Network Academy programme and inspire kids to look at Science Technology Engineering and Math subjects at school. Read More »

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Technical Rehearsal 2: The Final Hurdle Before The Games

In a few months, thousands of athletes will face the biggest tests of their careers at the Olympics. But, before all that, they need to qualify. It’s the final hurdle before all the years of dedication and hard work are put to the test. It’s also crunch time for us at Cisco, as we go through the final preparations for the Olympics. And there’s a fair amount of pressure on us to get it right too. The IT systems for London 2012 will process 30% more information than any other games in history and Cisco networking is at the heart of it. We’ve supported BT and Atos on a Games Network that connects all competition and event-critical sites.

The numbers

30% more information than any other games doesn’t really give you an idea of the scale, but hopefully a few quick numbers will. Our borderless network infrastructure will run at 94 sites. We’ve set up 1,800 wireless access points and installed 16,500 IP telephones. That’s not to mention the 65,000 active connections and 80,000 data ports. And it all needs to be tested. We need to make sure that, come the Games, we perform to the best of our ability because the network infrastructure is behind everything from big screens at the live sites to information for organisers, competitors and fans. Critically, it’s also behind the results process. It makes sure the venue results system feeds into central information systems and the Internet.

Working together

You can see why the IOC mandates two full technical rehearsals. Information is at the heart of the Games.

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London 2012: the Cisco House Opening

By Pippa Collett,  Cisco UK

“There’s the gun and they’re off!”

Cisco House officially opened its doors yesterday in a five month marathon to inspire leaders seeking new ideas around the business transformation of countries, cities and organisations.

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CSIRT Monitoring for Cisco House at the London 2012 Olympic Games

As part of CSIRT’s mobile monitoring offering for special events, we undertook monitoring of the corporate and customer traffic of the Cisco House at the London 2012 Olympics. This engagement presents us with an excellent opportunity to showcase Cisco technology, while keeping a close watch on potential network security threats. CSIRT monitoring for this event will be active for the entire life-span of the Cisco House, from two months before the Olympics, until two months after.

For the London 2012 engagement, we shipped our gear in a 14RU military-grade rack that is containerized: made for shipping. Inside the mobile monitoring rack we have an assortment of Cisco kit and third-party kit that mirrors the monitoring we do internally:

  • Catalyst 3750 to fan out traffic to all the other devices
  • FireEye for advanced malware detection
  • Two Cisco IronPort WSA devices for web traffic filtering based on reputation
  • Cisco UCS box where we run multiple VMs
  • Lancope StealthWatch collector for NetFlow data
  • and a Cisco 4255 IDS for intrusion detection

We mirror the signatures that we have deployed internally at Cisco out to these remote locations. Depending on the environment where the mobile monitoring rack is deployed, we may also do some custom tuning. The kit in the mobile monitoring rack can do intrusion detection, advanced malware detection, and collect and parse NetFlow and log data for investigation purposes. The Cisco UCS rack server also helps us have several VMs,  allowing us to run multiple tools that complement the other devices in the rack. For example, we run a Splunk instance on a VM to collect the logs generated by all the services. The data from the gear in the mobile monitoring rack is analyzed by our team of analysts and investigators, to eliminate false positives, conduct mitigation and remediation, and finally produce an incident report if required.

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