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By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2007-04-15 Print this article Print

Any Giants player can come into the video room at any time, put in a query to see a particular video clip and then view it as many times as he wants. "We have standard and custom requests," Woolley said. "The standard [video] stuff is already prepared for each player before each game. We know the standard slate of things they might want to see. If they come in with any kind of custom request, then they can ask it of the video-operations folks, or they can do it themselves, if they have the skill set."
When a Giants batter is about to face a pitcher such as future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux of the San Diego Padres, for example, he can observe how Maddux tends to pitch in certain situations and how the player did against him in the past, Woolley said.
"They can view the video right here in the video room, or they can burn a DVD on the spot and take it home with them," Woolley said, showing a visitor to the clubhouse how it all works. The same kind of access to all the video archives is available at the spring training facility in Scottsdale. A T-1 line and WAN connect the two facilities, so there is little latency in moving the digital content from one place to another. The Giants also use a Nexsan RAID array, coupled with the Data Domain storage. Sydex Sports Software, in Grand Rapids, Mich., handles the Giants baseball analysis software. "We were one of their early clients; now they have half of baseball," Woolley said. The IT operation throughout the stadium uses Fibre Channel connectivity—from the data center to the business office to the video production rooms to the Sony and Panasonic high-definition television screens scattered throughout the park to the main scoreboard above center field to running the clubs Web site—which is hosted on-site. "Were using Panasonic hardware on the front end of our video system," Giants vice president and CIO Bill Schlough said. "Panasonic has been pretty much the key integrator for our whole system." Major League Baseball knows where you live! Find out more here. The AT&T Wi-Fi network, which added a few dozen new access points during the off-season and now has more than 150 of them in operation, also connects to the main data center. "The network is fed by four T-1 lines out to the Internet," Schlough said. "All the concession booths, our retail store, the press box [and] the clubhouse are hooked up. Were actually installing a bunch of new APs [access points] for remote vendors to go wireless, so theyre not restricted anymore for their point-of-sale work," he said. AT&T Park is adjacent to a large marina on San Francisco Bay. Boat owners can sail right up to the stadium on game days, dock their vessels and go watch the ballgame. While docked, they can check their e-mail or browse the Web using the Giants free local Wi-Fi access; this includes those hearty souls who venture out into McCovey Cove, just beyond the right-field wall, in small boats and inflatables to station themselves in hopes of recovering a ball hit into the bay. As of April 10, there have been 41 so-called splash hits—where a home run lands in McCovey Cove without hitting anything at the stadium. Bonds has had 33 of them. Only six other players have had splash hits. The Giants are pushing out more wireless point-of-sale accessibility, even to fans during the games. "It always used to be that the vendors [selling food and drinks] walking the aisles could only take cash, but fans will [eventually] be able to use their [credit] cards to buy refreshments," Woolley said. The need for vendors to carry piles of cash will disappear. The timetable for that isnt set yet, he said. The wireless capabilities extend all the way to the parking lots, Woolley said. "They have wireless scanners out in the parking lots [to take payments at the gates] that do connect [to the data center]. ... There are some access points on the B level of the parking lot that are fed from here." The Giants have a total of about 20TB of storage for video and for all business systems at AT&T Parks small but efficient data centers, Woolley said. At the moment, he said, the system is using only about 30 percent of its raw storage capacity. "Were getting like 27-1 compression ratio, due to the efficiency of the system," Woolley said. Next Page: The key ingredient.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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