IBM to offer automated web traffic provisioning for tennis fans

News Maxwell Cooter Jan 17, 2013

New technology from IBM could provide a way for companies to anticipate demand and scale web servers accordingly

A new technology from IBM will help prevent websites falling over when faced with increased traffic associated with popular personalities.

The technology, which is being introduced to support the IBM-run Australian Open tennis tournament, will allow the website to be scaled up or down depending on the players on court that day.

The technology works by examining tennis player popularity, historical data logs and volume of social media conversations (from Twitter and Facebook, for example) and uses this information to predict the effect on the Australian Open webite.

By applying this forecast, IBM’s predictive cloud provisioning technology will automatically set the appropriate level of computing power required to cope with the expected traffic.

“We are committed to giving all our tennis fans an incredibly connected experience to the Australian Open event,” said Samir Mahir, CIO, Tennis Australia. “With analytics we can help predict when demand is expected to spike, such as when a crowd favourite goes on court to compete. Predicting the (website) demand from fans ahead of time and automatically provisioning capacity, means we have a highly efficient solution that ensures our interactive tournament website is available for all our fans even during the peaks of our busiest periods.” 

While this is being rolled out for a tennis tournament, the technology would work not just for tennis but would provide a way for website operators to manage traffic that involved any popular event or personality.

This ability to handle web traffic demand automatically could also prove to be a very useful tool for businesses, particularly those that have to cope with highly variable peaks and troughs.