Akamai Technologies, Inc. is a global content delivery network, cloud services, and cybersecurity provider. Hosting one of the world’s largest distributed computing platforms, Akamai is responsible for serving 15% to 30% of worldwide web traffic. Customers pay to host web content across Akamai’s global network of servers. When a user navigates to a URL managed by Akamai, they are redirected to the nearest hosted copy of that customer’s site to reduce load times and bandwidth considerations.
Akamai opted to refresh their existing control rooms when they moved their Cambridge, MA headquarters. The company already had a history of working with Constant Technologies, a command center systems integrator for 24/7 control room spaces, which they brought in to help develop and equip this new control room space. Akamai planned to create a single, large control room that would house both their BOCC and NOCC. In this combined space, the company sought to incorporate new technologies that would enhance workflows and streamline operations. Realizing Akamai’s vision for these control centers, Constant Tech knew that Haivision would be the right partner to help deliver the necessary products and solutions.
For the NOCC portion of the room, Akamai desired a more streamlined customer tour experience. Previously, operators ran demos from their desks while additional representatives guided customers through the information highlighted on the wall. Akamai representatives wanted to raise the bar when it came to walking customers through their products and services. They wanted to access and drill into their suite of applications from anywhere in the room, on the fly, as they spoke with customers. However, the solution they needed to fully realize this space didn’t yet exist in the market.
On the BOCC side, day-to-day operations focused on the continual monitoring of raw content streams and playback on a collection of the world’s most used media players. Operators needed to access streaming devices such as Apple TVs and Roku boxes to guarantee that real-time broadcasts performed as intended. To interface with these devices directly, operators had to use a physical touch screen at the back of the room that governed the functionality of each input to their video wall. Akamai wanted a solution that could not only serve the needs of the NOCC but could also help streamline the BOCC side by allowing direct user interface (UI) access to device controls for all operators in the room.
Knowing that Akamai wanted new video processing capabilities, Constant Tech recognized that Haivision had the unique ability to quickly develop a secure and reliable solution to address the company’s needs. Haivision drew upon feedback that came directly from both Akamai and Constant Tech to design the solution that would meet the demands of this combined NOCC and BOCC. However, it was the introduction of a new piece of Haivision hardware, CineAgent, that provided Akamai with the added functionality they desired. With immediate research and development, Haivision brought this new technology to market for Akamai’s needs and future use cases.
CineAgent makes it easier for users to stream, interact with, and share any web-based or locally installed application across their control room network. Implementing CineAgent servers across Akamai’s NOCC lets operators continuously run the broad suite of web applications and tools they wanted to showcase without relying on workstations that are in use by other operators. As users hold demonstrations, they can bring up the applications hosted on the CineAgent servers from any hand-held device, anywhere in the room, presenting the type of dynamic presentation they aimed to deliver to their customers.
With two teams of operators, both BOCC and NOCC, utilizing the space simultaneously, a 25×3 panel video wall was installed at the front of the control room. Operator workstations were built to house each team behind their respective half of the video wall. A small air gap between the BOCC side and NOCC side extended through the room and video wall itself. If either team needed to section itself off from the other, a glass partition would slide into this gap to separate both sides and divide video wall content between their respective teams. Two Alpha FX Elite Processors, two Site Managers, CineAgent servers, and a series of CineLink 4k encoders and decoders were installed to power both sides of the control room and manage all incoming and outgoing content through each workstation with Haivision’s CineNet software.