san francisco forty niners (49ers)

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Hitachi IT Solutions for Services: Security — Success StoryS U C C E S S S T O R Y
San Francisco Forty Niners (49ers)
INDUSTRY Professional Sports: Security
SOLUTION Modular Platform, Business Continuity: Video Surveillance Hardware — Hitachi Adaptable Modular Storage 2100 (4), Hitachi
Compute Rack 220 Services — Provided by Hitachi Data Systems Global Solution Services
“I need everything to be up, I
need it all to be working and I
need it to be accomplished as
swiftly as possible without any
glitches. This solution seemed
to do that for me.” Jim Mercurio VP, Stadium Operations and Security San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers Score High-tech Video Surveillance Solution Backed by Advanced Hitachi I/O and Storage
The San Francisco 49ers needed to replace a legacy video sur-
veillance system that was limited in functionality and reliability, to
better support security goals in Candlestick Park. Working with
IPVision, the stadium and the 49ers created a very resilient, high-
density, full-featured video surveillance platform using Axis Video
Encoders, OnSSI Ocularis NVR software, and Hitachi servers
and storage.
The Kickoff for Reliability and Functionality From managing hot spots, processing patron ticketing and addressing potential hazards to improving the game day experience, stadium security is serious business. The security cameras distributed around the property had been daisy-chained together between data closets in excess of 1,000 feet apart. Not all the analog cameras were aggregated back to a single point, so the footage recorded from each camera was being stored across various pieces of equipment.
“The system cameras recorded everything in their fields of view. To retrieve footage for any reason required us to specify a time range and then look through the footage until we’d see motion or find what we might be looking for. And to adjust a setting meant physically going to each camera — some of those were in tricky locations you hope you don’t have to revisit. In the booth, during a game, we had multiple monitors but not an integrated video and event management platform, so there were issues retrieving stored data as quickly as we might want, and we didn’t have pan tilt zoom capabilities to zero in on events,” explains Julian Sakti, manager of game operations and security for the 49ers.
Mercurio and Sakti wanted to be able to cap- ture or target areas of interest on camera, in real time, as well as retrieve desired footage without delay or guesswork. Safeguarding retained footage was also a top priority. Typically, legacy video recording systems were not configured for redundancy, so if hard drives or recorders failed, there would be no backup options.
The San Francisco 49ers continue to shine as a legendary dynasty in National Football League history. With 5 Super Bowl Championships, a recent West Division Championship and several Hall of Fame athletes, this professional football organization is as magical as the city it represents. Intertwined with its celebrated history is Candlestick Park.
Located adjacent to the San Francisco Bay, Candlestick Park was originally constructed as a baseball stadium for the San Francisco Giants, opening in 1961 with 45,000 seats. A decade later, the park made room for the 49ers, adding infrastructure improvements and increasing seating capacity to 59,000. Very few changes have been made to the park since then.
The City of San Francisco owns and oper- ates the building and security systems but has worked in partnership with the 49ers to improve security for the stadium and sur- rounding grounds at Candlestick Park. The San Francisco police department and the
49ers security staff work collaboratively in a shared Security Operations Center from a press booth in the stadium on game days. A 2nd center is located in the park and managed by city park rangers on non-game days. Video surveillance systems and more than 100 analog cameras were installed years back to support security operations for Candlestick Park’s stadium seating sections, walkways, concession areas, gate entrances and parking lots. As with any technology, systems can quickly become antiquated.
“The 49ers continually strive to improve policies, personnel and infrastructure. From a security perspective, we had begun the process of looking to upgrade the stadium surveillance platform. The building is admit- tedly very old and can be a hindrance at several levels, and we needed to deploy a more advanced technology solution that would allow security to be both proactive and highly responsive throughout the ball- park,” says Jim Mercurio, vice president of stadium operations and security for the San Francisco 49ers.
“Everything came together in a holistic, collaborative security environment that is precise, swift and repeatable, affording us the opportunity to communicate and take action in real time or anytime.” Jim Mercurio VP, Stadium Operations and Security San Francisco 49ers
Rather than replace existing legacy hard- ware with similar equipment, the City of San Francisco and the 49ers decided to upgrade the entire infrastructure, and wanted to be able to leverage existing cameras. Mercurio engaged IPVision, a leading provider of enterprise-class IP video surveillance solutions, to further assess the stadium’s current system and help orchestrate an advanced intelligent security platform. After thorough consultation, design and planning with IPVision, the 49ers chose a top-notch surveillance solution based on best-of-breed technologies from Axis, ONSSI and Hitachi Data Systems.
“Assembling the right team and getting the right equipment are critical to the end result. But this was about one thing for me: Reliability. When we’re in the command post, and a call comes in about an issue, and we need to pull up the cameras or review foot- age, we need everything to be up, we need it all to be working, and we need it to be accomplished as swiftly as possible without any glitches. This solution seemed to do that for me,” Mercurio says.
Scoring the Right Video Surveillance Solution The implementation for overhauling the video surveillance framework was cor- doned into 3 key phases: migration from the legacy equipment, deployment of the new platform and laying the ground- work for additional capabilities. To begin, IPVision first wanted to set up encoding functionality for the analog cameras.
Axis Q7401, Q7404 and Q7406 Video Encoders were used to transform the analog video signals from 120 cameras into digital images that could be sent over an IP
network. In this way, large numbers of analog cameras are integrated into the network for high-quality video streaming, without negatively affecting performance or band- width. The video encoders can be configured to manage varying compression formats, resolutions and frame rates, based on user needs or policies.
The existing DVRs were replaced with an IP-based, open architecture, network video recorder (NVR) platform from OnSSI. The OnSSI Ocularis is a comprehensive video and event management platform capable of streaming, recording and managing an unlimited number of multivendor cameras at multiple sites. With advanced video investiga- tion tools, control room video-wall manage- ment and centralized user rights, OnSSI Ocularis delivers a collaborative environment for converting video and alerts into meaning- ful data that can be easily shared.
The Ocularis Video Wall enables camera video to be sent directly across the net- work to the video wall installed in both of the stadium’s Security Operations Centers. Bulky individual monitors were replaced with sleek LCD wall screens and a map-based controller interface, creating an advanced virtual video matrix. Camera streams can be controlled using optical and digital pan tilt zoom, ideal for dynamic environments such as the 49ers control booths.
Storage Offense Takes the Field Video archiving is now handled by Hitachi servers and storage, and the entire surveil- lance solution is supported by Hitachi Data Systems Global Solution Services. Because large amounts of video traffic are transmit- ted across the network, the servers and storage need to have enough I/O speed and
management capability to effectively support that video, and to record at the appropriate frame rates.
Four Hitachi Compute Rack 220 servers provide the foundation of high reliability and high performance required to enable the dependable streaming of video data without interruption, and provide seamless manageability with HDS storage for a truly integrated solution and simplified opera- tion. The solution is also using a dedicated Cisco switching network infrastructure for security applications.
When video is being streamed to the OnSSI Ocularis VMS NVR, the live video comes in first, and then must be archived. For advanced I/O and resiliency, IPVision recom- mended Hitachi Adaptable Modular Storage 2100 (AMS 2100), a midrange storage sys- tem intended to amplify operational efficien- cies, meet high-performance requirements and simplify scalability. The 49ers video archiving is scheduled for every hour and doubles the I/O activity on the servers. The AMS 2100 back-end system provides up to 32 data paths and 9,600MB per second bandwidth, with a point-to-point SAS design for greater throughput and concurrent I/O capacity to process heavy application workloads. And innovative Hitachi active-active controllers virtualize data and dynamically balance workloads without manual intervention.
The previous surveillance system could not provide redundancy and led to loss of crucial data when it was needed. The entire Hitachi solution is based on redundant architecture, with RAID controllers on the servers, and 99.999% data availability and redundancy on the storage. The 49ers now have the ability to dynamically move video streams
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between servers, to reconfigure storage whenever data volumes spike or change, and reallocate video on the fly in the unlikely event of server failure or outage.
“We chose the Hitachi products for the NVR platform, because of their ability to handle high-density video surveillance deployments and the reliability needed to optimize perfor- mance of the OnSSI Ocularis client for view- ing live and archive video. Traditionally, NVR platforms don’t provide the storage footprint for long-term archiving, which means putting together products from various vendors, which in turn can lead to ownership and support issues.
With this implementation, we were able to create a unified storage solution and end- to-end support of the entire video surveil- lance structure with Hitachi Data Systems. Now, the 49ers organization has a stan- dardized, no-headache solution,” says Ben Green, vice president of engineering at IPVision.
The initial system migration was completed in 1 week, with another 2 spent fine-tuning advanced features of the video wall and map integration. “One of the most dif- ficult challenges of the project was actually timing. The goal was to get the system operational in between home games. Everyone worked around the clock to meet timelines, and I was very impressed with the
teamwork and speed of design and deploy- ment,” adds Mercurio.
Post Game Analysis of the Win Today, the 49ers have a video surveillance platform in place that is highly responsive, with intelligent and centralized features, which helps provide for a strong foundation and greatly improves security and safety at Candlestick Park. This is however, just the beginning. The City of San Francisco and the 49ers continually strive to further improve and have begun discussions for additional cameras in the parking lots and concourse. Looking to the near future, the operations and security team is considering adding video analytics, access control inte- gration and custom text-based messaging integration, as well as mobile video clients for roaming stadium security staff.
“This solution provided the ability to digitize our older cameras, and get them onto a fast, reliable, scalable IP network and storage solution. We have state-of-the-art video surveillance equipment and are well positioned for adding mobile clients and additional functionality as needed. The dif- ference between what we had and what we have now is night and day. The capabilities are vastly superior, from how we can store, retrieve and view video, to how we deal with events throughout the park. We can quickly isolate a camera or an area to find footage,
we can bookmark, export and circulate video clips, and perform better, faster veri- fication before taking action on a security matter,” explains Sakti.
With the amount of people gathered at a NFL game, security perpetually has to tackle chal- lenging situations. The flexibility and depend- ability of the 49ers video surveillance system enables rapid response to incidents, as well as the ability to be proactive about protecting guests throughout the stadium. Just a few of the use cases cited by Mercurio and his team include being able to validate complaints, provide documentation for pending cases, pinpoint hot spots at the gates, seating sec- tions and concession areas, and curtail illegal or suspicious actions.
“We have constant activity at the stadium. It’s as if it is a small city within a city. The video surveillance solution we put in place gives us many more options for now and for the future. Everything came together in a holistic, collaborative security environment that is precise, swift and repeatable, af- fording us the opportunity to communicate and take action in real time or anytime. I am confident that this proved to be the right decision to make for our organization and our guests,” finishes Mercurio.