No Time-Outs for Denver Broncos IT Team


NetApp, preparation, and teamwork drive success

Russ Trainor, VP of IT for the Denver Broncos, may not be squaring off against 300-pound linemen, but his job includes challenges that are just as intimidatin. Like a quarterback, Trainor and his team must have the right assets, the right game plan, and the ability to react quickly to an unpredictable, fast-moving event.

The foundation for success for the Broncos’ IT team is NetApp. The club deploys NetApp FAS2240 storage systems at its primary data center at Sports Authority Field at Mile High and its secondary data center at Dove Valley. More than 50 terabytes of data — scalable to nearly a petabyte — are stored on the Data ONTAP 8 architecture operating in 7-Mode.

A dependable platform is critical since there are no IT time-outs available during the game. Trainor says, “there’s a sense of urgency in everything we do. We have a small IT staff, but we rely on enterprise data center systems, because we can’t afford down time.”

Preparation is key, Trainor says, and the window shrinks from preseason to the regular season. “In the preseason, we’re still fixing bugs — especially in the first three games,” Trainor says. “In the regular season, we go to an even smaller window: The only time we can make changes is between midnight and about 5am –people start coming in at 6, and they expect everything to be perfect.”

The NetApp platform also supports the organization’s PlayerLync application, which provides digital video playback, playbook, and communication features to Broncos players and staff as they prepare for upcoming games. NetApp OnCommand management software is deployed to control NetApp storage systems as a single pool of resources across the SAN environment.

“We can simply do things better and faster with NetApp, and with no impact to the Broncos staff in costly downtime,” notes Chris Newman, IT architect for the Broncos. “Whether our accounting team is managing financial data or Broncos players are viewing videos on their iPads in our training facility, they can keep doing what they’re doing.”

Unitek Education is a premier NetApp storage training provider. Unitek Education takes pride in training IT teams throughout the USA.



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