A Customer Success from the Experts in Business-Critical Continuity .

A Customer Success
from the Experts in
Business-Critical ContinuityTM.
No downtime is top priority
When Ticketmaster needed to consolidate data center space and gain remote
access to their servers, they turned to Avocent, the leader in KVM over IP
switching systems.
Ticketmaster is the exclusive ticketing service for hundreds of leading arenas,
stadiums, performing arts venues and theaters. They offer event tickets at more
than 3,500 retail ticket center outlets and 12 worldwide telephone call centers.
They also host one of the largest e-commerce Internet sites.
With offices all over the country, Ticketmaster’s technical staff spends much of
its time providing client services as well as handling ticket printer outages and
other related problems. Like their Web group that maintains a complete 24/7
infrastructure, the data center staff also needs to assure that there are no central
points of failure. They strive for 100 percent uptime.
Type of Business
Web site
DSR KVM over IP switch
“The Avocent solution was able to provide connectivity
remotely and didn’t require additional space in the data
center. With this solutoin we’re much more organized within
our data center and able to use our space more efficiently.”
– Jeffrey Scheller, National Director of Network Engineering
“Our data centers were filled with monitors and keyboards scattered all over
the place and we needed to consolidate space,” said Jeffrey Scheller, national
director of network engineering for Ticketmaster. “We wanted a technology
solution that would enable us to run long cables to various locations as well as
provide remote KVM capability so anyone troubleshooting could do whatever
was needed to quickly solve problems.”
Remote access around the clock
Scheller stressed that maximizing use of their existing space and creating new
space for additional communication gear, including additional servers, were the
key drivers for looking at new technology.
“We had some KVMs in place but we still needed dedicated keyboard, mouse
and monitors for some servers because we didn’t have enough KVM ports,”
explained Scheller. “The Avocent solution was able to provide connectivity
remotely and didn’t require that additional space in the data center. With this
solution we’re much more organized within our data center and able to use our
space more efficiently.”
With five domestic data centers, two based in Canada, and one each in Australia
and the United Kingdom, Ticketmaster has 222 servers connected to KVM
A Customer Success
from the Experts in
Business-Critical ContinuityTM.
Another Ticketmaster priority was system security.
equipment. The Ticketmaster system includes Windows NT and
2000 as well as several Linux systems. Since people always need to
purchase event tickets, the service is up and running 24/7 with 30
senior technical staff members servicing the data centers.
“The biggest challenge in installing the solution was getting the
time for my staff to do the installation,” said Scheller. “We did face
a few technical hurdles and the Avocent staff was gracious enough
to get us through that. When we accidentally corrupted the PS/2
dongles, they wanted to help and provided the additional equipment
necessary to get us running again.”
Dongles are server interface modules. Avocent’s modules, called IQ
cables, provide the connection between a KVM switch and a server.
They are known as “smart cables” and transfer information through a
built-in microprocessor.
Making the right choices
When Scheller and his team evaluate new products, the first step is
the lab in the Ticketmaster research office in Phoenix, Ariz. All the
equipment in the various data centers is duplicated there for testing,
evaluation and disaster recovery.
“We evaluated another vendor and had both systems running in two
locations to test the remove connectivity,” Scheller said. “The other
solution required a separate device that had to be plugged into the
KVM matrix. It wasn’t a complete digital solution like the Avocent
To expand space in their data center and meet their remote
connectivity needs, Ticketmaster installed 15 Avocent DSR4160 and
12 DSR 2161 units. “The Avocent solution integrates well into the
rack space and the DSR equipment is an all-in-one unit so you don’t
need to buy any additional equipment,” explained Scheller.
“The remote control capability we were using before caused concern
about the security of their encryption algorighms and did not allow
us to utilize a centralized account database” said Scheller. “The
Avocent solution builds on NT architecture. Since we were able to
utilize the user accounts within our administrative network, it didn’t
require end users of the KVM system to remember a new password
or something separate in order to access servers from the KVM
network. We are able to leverage our existing security standards on
our administrative network and maintain those password policies
and password expirations that were overlooked by the previous
Saving space and money
Ticketmaster was able to realize savings with the Avocent solution
because it did not require additional remote control software to be
installed on critical systems where Ticketmaster needed remote
“We spent a lot of time analyzing different solutions and selecting
the best one,” concludes Scheller. “Space savings in our center
translates to money since expanding a center costs quite a bit. With
an Avocent KVM solution, everything is built-in to that single piece
of hardware and is easy to manipulate and manage within our racks.
Avocent’s solution provides superior remote capability as well as
better space utilization in the data center thereby allowing us to
deploy new solutions to our customers.”
Emerson Network Power.
The global leader in enabling Business-Critical ContinuityTM.
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