Intelligent CIO North America Issue 24 - Page 62

Network scalability was also a challenge . The infrastructure had to support a private network for 500 corporate employees , integrate building automation technologies and deliver always-on , mission-critical public connectivity for over 40,000 fans – not including support staff and media . the Rangers ’ IT team could choose among the best technology solutions for the new venue .
It began with an exhaustive technical assessment of all large venue OEM suppliers across core , wired and Wi-Fi networks . It inventoried legacy equipment and noted service gaps , looked at visibility and security needs and concluded that existing Microsoft DNS and DHCP with IPAM by spreadsheet just couldn ’ t meet network speed , availability , performance and security requirements .
With a small IT staff , the Rangers needed a single control plane , and a robust , reliable , force multiplier , set and forget DNS , DHCP and IPAM ( DDI ) solution that didn ’ t require much on-going IT engagement .
The architecture had to accommodate continued onpremises legacy deployments yet be fully modernized to support all major cloud providers in varying degrees . An on-premises , hybrid , vendor-agnostic multi-cloud solution was needed .
The challenges
It had to handle the massive influx of devices and traffic , onboard individuals and groups and quickly enable over 100K disparate devices in minutes , including smartphones , tablets , laptops , the latest robotic cameras and recording devices – all without knowing these in advance – across wired , wireless , corporate and public networks . It also had to churn the public network for the next event , often within 24 hours .
Connectivity and performance were further concerns . The network had to be 100 % available , reliable , resilient and lightning fast to support multi-platform media streaming across varied technologies . And it had to deliver crucial redundancy for a consistent private and public network experience , along with HVAC , power management , security , public safety and other building automation services .
In addition , the core platform needed to accommodate a variety of integrations . It needed to map VLANs for streaming media devices using Aruba , ClearPass , Airwave and Hewlett Packard Enterprise ( HPE ). In the process , it also had to resolve a mix of legacy Microsoft DNS and DHCP , and other gear and roll Rangers ’ affiliates into the new platform to ensure speed , reliable uptime and resilient hosted network services .
Beyond Globe Life Field , geo-location support presented another critical consideration . The Rangers needed to connect its former home , Globe Life Park , with its old mix of Microsoft DNS , DHCP and IPAM .
Any new major stadium project faces a myriad of challenges and the Texas Rangers ’ Globe Life Field venture was no exception . Starting with the schedule , initial project completion was estimated at 44 months , but due to scheduling the venue ’ s first major highprofile sporting event – the 2020 World Series – the timeline was compressed to 36 and then to 30 months .
It also needed to support minor league affiliates , XFL , college and high school football , soccer , rugby and other events , along with the Rangers ’ spring training venues at Surprise Stadium in Arizona plus a new US $ 12.5 million Baseball Academy in Boca Chica , Dominican Republic .
The solution
Making matters worse , reduced timelines were compounded by expanding COVID-19 delays , which impacted construction labor , suppliers and materials . Nonetheless , the venue had to be ready .
Not only did the 2020 World Series promote and showcase MLB ’ s newest stadium , but it was also the first major sporting event in North America with live fans ( 16,000 ) and media ( 25 % occupancy ) at the peak of the global pandemic .
With these challenges in mind , the Rangers ’ IT team planned a traditional hub-and-spoke architecture on a modern platform with scalability for the future .
The plan included backhauling affiliate location traffic to the Internet through the new infrastructure . The Rangers selected Infoblox DNS , DHCP and IPAM ( DDI ), Advanced DNS Protection ( ADP ), Network Insight asset discovery , Security Ecosystem , Reporting and Analytics and Professional Services .
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