Miami Marlins Laying the Foundation for Future Success with Panzura
And the Miami Marlins know about perfection. Twice world champions, every person in the Marlins’ organization understands the concept of aiming for a goal and then having each team member doing their part. Coaches, management, front office, IT personnel, video masters, statisticians, grounds crew, trainers, medical staff – all levels of personnel play a distinct role in the team’s success.
For the Marlins, this also means the best available data (video, statistical, financial, etc.) regarding the team, its players, the opposition, and the league – and the ability to distribute and share it seamlessly throughout the organization. Data collection and its evaluation are key components to the Marlins’ success.
In the analysis of team personnel and the upcoming season, the Marlins’ on-field staff collects volumes of video data of its players during spring training. In addition, there are videos of games, workouts, and of the opposition so that coaches can educate their squad as to positioning, player tendencies, and the vagaries of other ballfields. This crucial information needs to be shared, securely stored, and backed up in case of a disaster event.
The Marlins have two office locations and a colocation for a data backup system: Marlins Park hosts the team and the front office headquarters (FO), staffed with more than 200 people; Roger Dean Stadium (RDS) is used during spring training; and the secondary co-location is used as a high availability standby in the event data needs to be restored or recovered.
The Marlins needed to upgrade its data management and storage solution in order to address and automate the data challenges surrounding data accessibility, backup / recovery, replication, archiving, and business continuity. The Marlins also needed a flexible data solution that would allow the club to deploy either a private or public cloud storage platform from a single appliance
Prior to Panzura, the Marlins were using a traditional File Server approach for its Common Internet File System (CIFS), based on traditional NAS architecture, and connected to a Microsoft environment. As the team began its research and subsequent decision process, it was presented with several solutions, none of which encompassed all the requirements the team had set forth.
For instance, the Marlins were exposed to the idea of a Tier 2 cloud solution for file storage or CIFS. Another vendor’s solution required multiple management layers and additional operational costs to supply the needed toolset. Some solutions presented valid video pathways or only the most basic storage architecture, but the team needed a comprehensive solution that would change its approach to the most time consuming IT tasks while making the organization more effective.
It needed efficient access to its data, a quick way to send and share this data, and a method to securely store and backup all this information.
Playing to Win with Panzura
After all the research, Panzura turned out to be the best solution for the team’s particular objectives. Ease of use was immediately noticeable, as was the ability to deal with the multiple protocols that were supported by the team.
In addition, the Marlins embraced the concept that, with Panzura, the organization would be able to extend to the public cloud without in-depth IT involvement. The Marlins’ solution included a Panzura Filer, with 16TB available, at the ballpark headquarters, with an identical HA standby solution at its colocation, and a Virtual Filer at Roger Dean Stadium.
The Marlins have 100 Mbit connectivity between the three sites and Cleversafe (now IBM Cloud Object Storage) is the cloud provider. Panzura provides high-level support. Presently, the Marlins are using Xen Desktop (VDI) with home directories on Panzura. More than 200 people have access to the main Panzura Filer in Miami.
Gaining an Edge
The Panzura Filer integrates with an Active Directory domain so smoothly that it can be managed through Windows Microsoft Management Console (MMC) as if it were any other server. This is immensely beneficial for a full Microsoft shop as it means that workflows are not interrupted, learning curves are minimal if at all, and no additional IT personnel are needed to be hired
According to IT Manager Ozzy Macias, “The Panzura solution has met the needs and requirements that were presented. What we have found since is even more impressive.” Panzura presented a solution to the Marlins that provided ease of use, a minimal learning curve, seamless integration into the organization’s DFS namespace and, recently, the ability to warm the cache at the standby unit. For the team, this last part is huge. It means that in a disaster situation, the Marlins have up to 11TB of the most recent data that has been written or read. Transmission of video data is accomplished quickly and securely, leading to greater insights on the field and cost controls at the office.
In the analysis of team personnel and the upcoming season, the Marlins’ on-field staff collects volumes of video data of its players during spring training. In addition, there are videos of games, workouts, and of the opposition so that coaches can educate their squad as to positioning, player tendencies, and the vagaries of other ballfields.
Panzura makes footage immediately available to authorized users, including archived footage that would otherwise be difficult to retrieve.