IT & Network Infrastructure : HP Technologies Drive the Dallas Cowboys' Stadium
HP Technologies Drive the Dallas Cowboys Stadium
by Darryl K. Taft
Although a staff of 13 IT experts help run the Dallas Cowboys data center operation, it is a "lights out" facility. A lights out data center facility is one that contains a number of servers and, under normal operating conditions, requires no human operators to be in constant attendance.
A view of the outside of the Dallas Cowboys data center, filled with HP blade technology (including blade servers and storage) with the lights on.
Data Center Operations
The Dallas Cowboys data center operation is a closed-door environment. Photos inside the live data center operation are forbidden.
An outside look at some of the control consoles for the Dallas Cowboys data center, which supports the operation of the entire stadium, from TV monitors and security cameras to point-of-sale terminals and ticket machines.
A partial view of the video room where all the video mixing and finagling is done.
Pro Shop POS
The Dallas Cowboys data center drives the Pro Shop point-of-sale terminals, as selling Cowboys' merchandise is a major source of revenue for the club.
Womens NFL Apparel
In the Cowboys Pro Shop, clerks said women's apparel is the fastest-growing segment, with more women buying jerseys of their favorite players.
View of the Cowboys Stadium Field
The field is decked out in its Cotton Bowl attire just days after the bowl game. It will be redone to support the 2011 Super Bowl.
Headquartered behind this door is the Cowboys Stadium operations brain trust.
Bill Haggard, director of enterprise infrastructure for the Cowboys, explains how the Cowboys have scored a touchdown with HP's Converged Infrastructure strategy. Haggard, himself a former college QB, was but a shoulder injury away from having his own shot at the big leagues.
End Zone Screen
A view of the famed Cowboys Stadium "Jumbotron" HD video display from the end zone. Although HPs systems are not directly connected to the Mitsubishi display screens, the video displays represent the centerpiece of the fans stadium experience.
A close-up view of the end zone screen.
There are more than 3,100 TV screens spread throughout the stadium. HPs systems drive these screens and they can be programmed to show whatever any client in any section or club in the stadium wants to display.
Alyson Griffin, director of worldwide marketing at HP, welcomes bloggers to the data center at Cowboys Stadium. HP blade systems and storage systems help run the stadium operations.
Duncan Campbell of HP
Duncan Campbell, vice president of HP's Converged Infrastructure strategy, talks about why the Cowboys IT staff chose HP.
HP's Duncan Campbell identifies three mega trends driving the industry. These are: Evolving business models, technology advancements and a changing workforce.
HP's Duncan Campbell also identifies five points to building a converged infrastructure. The five requirements to a converged infrastructure are that the systems need to be virtualized, resilient, open, orchestrated and modular.
A view of the field from a press sky box. HP systems provide support for working press with WiFi and high-speed connectivity and other resources.
Under the Jumbotron
This is a view from under the Jumbotron with a look at the retractable roof of the Cowboys Stadium dome. Punters have tried (and succeeded in a preseason game) in hitting the screen. The video display is one of the technical marvels of the NFL.
AT&T sponsored the Cotton Bowl, but Dallas Cowboys stadium can support any and all sponsors for its events. HPs systems will drive changes in the displays on the monitors in various club rooms or sections to support the team of fans in that area.
The Press Conference Room
This is where, win or lose, the Cowboys players and coaches come to answer those hard questions from the press. HPs equipment operates the systems that run the press conference operations.
Cowboys Stadium has implemented enhanced cellular technology to enable attendees to better use their cell phones and other devices that leverage wireless technology. The stadium itself is an AT&T hotspot, costing users $3.99. The stadium supports cellular service for Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and MetroPCS users.
Owner Jerry Jones poses with three Lombardi NFL Championship trophies, but he wants more, particularly as this year's Super Bowl is being played in his high-tech, state-of-the-art stadium.