First Fatso the Wombat, now this ...

Tired of cruel Aussie jokes about our Olympic prowess? It may be some comfort to learn that the Australian Olympic mascot's Website is actually built and hosted in New Zealand.

Tired of cruel Aussie jokes about our Olympic prowess? It may be some comfort to learn that the Australian Olympic mascot's Website is actually built and hosted in New Zealand.

Auckland-based developer Netbyte was commissioned by the Australian Olympic committee to build a site for the Boxing Kangaroo, which went live in July and carries news, interviews and photographs of the Australian team, as well as an online store for merchandise and regular Boxing Kangaroo "Webtoons".

Netbyte, which began life as an ISP before concentrating on corporate Web development, took a step up in March this year when the IT services group Infinity Group took a 50% stake. Its staff has since doubled to 20.

But in delivering the Boxing Kangaroo project, Netbyte had to plan at a greater scale than ever before. The Australian Olympic Committee estimated the site could serve up to 5,000,000 page impressions a day during the games.

Netbyte's Technical Director Scott Wilson says the infrastructure the company deployed the first hosting solution of its kind in the Pacific.

"We implemented an Intel 7170 Traffic Director - a device used for balancing load across multiple web servers. There are currently 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 is updated continuously to keep up with Olympic results".

The 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.

Netbyte managing director Penny Wilson says the backing of the Infinity Group is helping the company work on "a number of other large projects in the pipeline" and would increas its ability to compete in markets like Australia.

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