As the World Champion Boston Red Sox open their season at home today, one thing is different at Fenway Park. The team’s administrative offices aren’t overflowing with data networking equipment, thanks to high-speed fiber-optic equipment from Ekinops.
Only two weeks ago, just before the 2008 season began, the Red Sox overhauled their data center arrangement, moving equipment from overcrowded facilities at the 96-year-old ballpark to a collocated data center at 1 Summer Street, a few miles away. In order to maintain high speed access to the data center, the Red Sox installed EKINOPS optical transmission equipment, enabling a Fibre Channel and storage area network solution requiring multi-gigabit data traffic between the two sites.
Ekinops, a provider of innovative optical transport, CWDM, DWDM, and aggregation solutions for service providers and enterprise networks, had just the solution for the team’s needs, with its cost-effective EKINOPS 360 DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing) platform.
“The issue for us was that we had outgrown our data center,” said Randy George, senior systems and network analyst for the Red Sox. “We had equipment overflowing from the data center into our employees’ offices, and we had scaled past the power limitations as well. It was definitely a facilities issue that drove us to a collocated data center.”
Because the EKINOPS equipment consumes minimal power and takes up little space, the Red Sox can keep their costs down at the data center, which charges its customers based on how much space they occupy and how much power they consume. The EKINOPS equipment includes aggregation modules that provide the team with eight channels of Gigabit Ethernet on a single 10 Gbps wavelength and five 2 Gbps Fibre Channel links over another 10 Gbps wavelength to connect their storage area network (SAN). The Red Sox are carrying all that capacity over a single fiber, with a second fiber available for redundant operation.
That’s a lot of capacity, but as George explains, the team needs it.
“We have all our financial applications there, along with our scouting system and video analysis system, e-mail, back-end databases, and storage area networking. The brains of our operation are essentially at the data center now, and that’s why the EKINOPS gear is so instrumental,” he said.
George added that the cutover to the data center had an aggressive timeline, with the contract signed in early January and a goal of making the move by the time the season started.
“We were under a lot of pressure to get all this done by Opening Day, and we did it. We had to pull a lot of strings to do it, but we successfully moved the weekend of March 23 and 24. It was completely transparent to users,” George said. The EKINOPS gear had already been tested and was in place for the final relocation of the data networking equipment.
“We are very proud to deliver a solution for the critical data needs of Major League Baseball’s reigning champions,” said Jonathan Amir, Ekinops’ vice president of sales. “Power and size may be important on the field, but it’s just the opposite in a data center, and that’s why our products are such an effective solution.”
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