Auckland Web developer Netbyte designed, built and hosted an official Australian Olympic Team Web site during the games fortnight. Commissioned by the Australian Olympic Committee for a six-figure sum, www.boxingkangaroo.com.au went live in July. It has since been coping with up to 500,000 page impressions per day, with the capacity for ten times that, says Netbyte technical director Scott Wilson. Dominated by images of the yellow and red boxing kangaroo, Australia’s Olympic mascot, the site contains interviews with members of the Australian team, a photo gallery, news updates from the Athlete’s Village, an online store offering Boxing Kangaroo merchandise and a “webtoon”. Wilson says his company brought in heavy-duty hosting equipment to cope with the expected traffic. “We implemented an Intel 7170 Traffic Director – a device used for balancing load across multiple Web servers.” He says the company utilised three dual Pentium III 700 Web servers, two single Pentium III 700 dedicated image servers and a quad-processor Xeon 400 database server. “The hosting infrastructure and scripting had to be very stable, because the site was updated continuously to keep up with Olympic results,” he says. The whole site is built using Java servlets and Java server pages, reading from a Sybase SQL server. Netbyte brought in three new Java developers to help with the construction. Wilson says he kept quiet about the project until the last week of the games to ensure everything was running smoothly before speaking out. "I don't like having egg on my face," he says. His firm is working on other "major projects", involving e-commerce and a "large New Zealand organisation", though he declined to elaborate. Netbyte is part of the Infinity Group IT solutions company, which bought half the company in March this year. The company has 20 staff and has more than doubled in size this year.
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