BOSTON, Mass. - April 25, 2006 -
Whether playing home games before sold-out crowds at historic Fenway Park or traveling around the American League, the first-place Boston Red Sox rely on their EMC information infrastructure. From the players – including some of the most talented and accomplished in Major League Baseball – to the coaching staff and management team that helped deliver Boston's first World Series championship in 86 years, the Red Sox have become as information-centric in their approach to competing and winning as any large global corporation. EMC Corporation, a Massachusetts-based neighbor of the Red Sox, is the world leader in information management and storage.
"Information is vital to the Boston Red Sox," said Larry Lucchino, President/CEO of the Boston Red Sox. "We participate in a highly competitive, rapidly evolving environment that demands access to the freshest information available, in many forms, around the clock. With EMC information management and storage solutions, we operate with the confidence that our executive team has what it needs to make business decisions, our baseball operations staff has the ability to research and evaluate talent in real time, and our coaching staff and players can scout opponents and hone their own performances throughout the season."
When information comes together, the Sox make their mark
In its role as the Official Information Management and Storage Provider of the Boston Red Sox, EMC provides the systems, software and services that enable a variety of common business applications as well as some highly specialized ones, such as digitized video. Before, during and after every home and away game, Red Sox players, coaches and Field Manager Terry Francona have virtually instant access to several years' worth of video of every play from every game, to help them prepare for specific opponents, review and evaluate their own performances, or fine-tune their mechanics.
Theo Epstein, the Red Sox' Executive Vice President/General Manager, said, "We believe in providing our players with the information and the tools they need to be successful. With the EMC system, the players and coaches have information at their fingertips that can help us win games." The Red Sox use Sydex sports software to digitally capture and log each pitch and at-bat by the team and its opponents, storing the information on EMC CLARiiON storage systems, which are known for unmatched performance and reliability.
Previously, the Red Sox stored this information on a small server-based storage system, which they quickly outgrew and which experienced frequent downtime at critical times during games. After evaluating their options, the Red Sox purchased two fault-tolerant, highly reliable EMC CLARiiON® systems to meet the organization's networked storage requirements. Storing several years of video footage, this comprehensive system enables players to review, from the dugout, their very last at-bat or their performance history against a certain pitcher or hitter.
"We have some unique IT challenges," said Steve Conley, Director of IT for the Boston Red Sox. "Our data needs to move dozens of times a year for road games, so we need a durable, scalable and portable system that enables the team to access the information needed and eliminates the risk of downtime."
In total, the Red Sox have deployed 15 terabytes of EMC networked storage systems. The Sox' SAN (storage area network) environment includes a new EMC Celerra NAS Gateway. One EMC CLARiiON CX700 system supports Red Sox core business operations, including online editing of video and other content for the broadcast and print news media, photographic and statistical archives, the popular Fanfoto service, and Microsoft Exchange, as well as the digital video system used for home games at Fenway Park. Another, an EMC CLARiiON CX500 system, travels with the team for all away games. To support these systems over the course of a six-month, 162-game regular season and postseason playoffs, the Red Sox leverage EMC Navisphere® storage management software, which collects performance information and analyzes system capacity to configure, manage and monitor all aspects of the CLARiiON system. Additionally, to support its information protection and recovery processes, the Red Sox use EMC PowerPath® to prioritize information access based on business requirements and enhance application and information availability in the event of failure.
"From day one, EMC has been there to implement our solution and support us with any of our needs," said Conley. "We now have the foundation needed to deliver data quickly, efficiently and securely to support the Red Sox on the field and off."
The Red Sox are a model of modern success among professional sports franchises. They have qualified for the postseason playoffs for the past three consecutive years for the first time in franchise history. They have renovated historic Fenway Park with numerous enhancements and improvements, including the construction of the new EMC Club for 2006. When they return to Boston next Monday to face the archrival New York Yankees, they will add to the longest active streak of consecutive sold-out games in Major League Baseball: now at 236 games and counting. Quietly in the background, their ability to manage, access and protect their information assets is helping to keep the momentum going.
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