NetApp and the NFL: Bringing Our Infrastructure A-Game to the Super Bowl

12088700706_fd1b650e52_b.jpgBy Jonathan Kelly, Media and Entertainment Expert at NetApp

As many of you may already know, NetApp's agile and reliable storage technologies have secured our position at The Big Game, providing continuous availability of game day data to the NFL. Our road to Super Bowl XLVII actually began last month when the NFL and NetApp entered into a multi-year relationship, and one of our first undertakings is managing the massive amounts of data that needs to be collected, accessed, protected, and shared at Super Bowl XLVII.

Long before the players take to the field, the NFL staff and their NetApp teammates are already hard at work – involved in an infrastructure game in which there can be no fumbles, no injuries, no poorly-called plays. The kickoff for this technology event actually began some 30 days prior to The Big Game and runs until 2 days after the event; with 768 hours of continual game play – there are no time outs for the NFL or for NetApp.

NetApp's MVP for this year’s Super Bowl technology team is our FAS2220 storage system, designed to provide the same agility and reliability that is expected from any Super Bowl player. But rather than making tackles and tossing touchdowns, the suite of NetApp FAS2220 systems on-site in New Orleans will deliver the fast, efficient data availability and disaster recovery that an event of this magnitude mandates.

The FAS2220 will take its position in New Orleans to support the NFL’s three mobile Data Centers, providing key infrastructure to keep the entire event running smoothly:

  1. In the IT nerve center -- The NFL's IT operations are running from a temporary HQ in New Orleans for a full month leading up to Super Bowl XLVII. Our job was to get them up and running quickly and without the luxury of a traditional, stationary data center. Fortunately, NetApp's ease of installation, agility, and interoperability with technology partners are up to the task, with 96% of Fortune 100 companies already relying NetApp to run their mission-critical infrastructures.
  2. In the Media Center – NetApp is providing the infrastructure essential to support the security credentialing of Super Bowl personnel, covering everyone from the vendors working the stands to the world’s media covering every aspect of the game. The Super Bowl staff need real-time access to the parts of the stadium they are credentialed for, and there is simply no room for downtime or infrastructure problems. NetApp provides the stability and dependability needed for such a critical infrastructure, as well as to support other materials the NFL uses to serve the media.
  3. In the NFL Broadcast Compound – This centralized hub will store, access, replicate, and distribute the hundreds of thousands of NFL official photographs taken at the Super Bowl. NetApp is providing the first-ever collaborative storage environment for the Broadcast Compound, designed to streamline the process of capturing, sorting, and accessing the official NFL photos taken at the event. Photos will be ingested into the Broadcast Compound, to be immediately sent to the NFL's internal Digital Media Staff at the NFL's office in Culver City. At the same time, NetApp will ensure both on-site and off-site staff from the NFL and will have secure and immediate access to find the right photo to accompany each media statement.

There are many challenges that come with providing infrastructure for the Super Bowl and it can be a complex operation to manage. This year NetApp is streamlining it all, helping the NFL centralize with a faster, more efficient, and agile infrastructure to eliminate downtime.

Of course the NetApp & NFL relationship has just kicked off and they will continue to team for the deployment of services out to your favorite team. Which team you ask? Try all 32 of them! Stay tuned to find out more…