- I.T. Infrastructure
July 2017 saw Microsoft combine past events MGX, TechReady and S4; collating aspects and programmers from each event led to the planning and delivery of their largest attendee event to date – Microsoft Ready.
Since 1993 F1 Consultancy have worked on becoming Microsoft premium IT supplier. Over the years F1 Consultancy have successfully supported the network and hardware for some of Microsoft’s largest events, offering a technical support all over the world. This often presents unique challenges in terms of logistics, and support while giving F1 Consultancy vast experience in planning, negotiating and troubleshooting various situations.
F1 Consultancy and Microsoft long standing relationship offer F1 Consultancy an advantage at supporting the worldwide software and service leader in the execution of larger, more challenging flagship events showcasing Microsoft innovations and brand reputation globally.
F1 Consultancy were tasked with full responsibility and tasked with providing multi-venue IT and technical support throughout the programme allowing Microsoft to focus on the success of the newly aligned conferences. F1 Consultancy’s end-to-end solution, saw the summer event hosting more than 24,000 delegates and hundreds of vendors across 8 different venues in Las Vegas.
With Microsoft’s focus on bringing together thousands of internal Microsoft employees for educational and networking purposes, F1 Consultancy were focused on ensuring the global leaders were provided with seamless IT infrastructure solutions with overall technical support to the entire Ready event.
Due to the size, location and infancy of Microsoft Ready, the event offered Microsoft, F1 Consultancy and many of the stakeholder’s various challenges and complexities throughout the design, implementation and support of the required IT infrastructure.
New to the Microsoft event calendar, and to those tasked with piecing it together, the inaugural event meant the show was new to everybody. Some planning teams had not previously worked together, and a Microsoft event was yet to be executed across this number of venues simultaneously, complimenting 24,000 delegates was the largest support crew required to date.
Evolving from previous conferences, the combination of events meant Ready 2017 took aspects and programmes from each, including their logistics and planning teams.
Working alongside familiar partners and new, planning started as early as Christmas 2016. Even with such planning and expert teams in place it still allowed Ready to offer its own set of unique challenges. F1 Consultancy had to take into consideration a number factors in order to plan and produce a streamlined event, including:
Stepping up to the task F1 Consultancy designed a custom-built IT infrastructure, required to facilitate all facets of the show and to allow for every possible challenge Ready could offer.
What was asked required:
Taking in to consideration the tight set-up timeframe; forecasting activities, and careful planning from the dedicated network team & project managers allowed for F1 Consultancy to negotiate an early installation of the core network that worked for all parties. With F1 Consultancy’s resources supporting Microsoft Event Inspire in Washington DC, a pre-event team were deployed in early June to install all required kit to the Main and Intermediate Distribution Frames (MDF’s and IDF’s) across all the venues.
Offering the knowledge and experience required the expert network team deployed the core networks essential at each venue. The core network’s install included the installation of 48 port switches within 100 different secure IDF’s throughout the venues, as well as the installation of ASA firewall’s and servers. The event set-up was tight and pre-installation allowed for a quicker and efficient set-up of the event wide and public facing network kit and infrastructure once the full team arrived on site.
All early deployed kit – including fibre links – were monitored by the networking team in Seattle to ensure they remained online, as with all live event spaces F1 Consultancy faced many moving parts; people and kit included.
Working alongside sub-vendor ISP Hyper Networks and the secured venues IT teams (the Venetian Sans, MGM Grand, MGM Garden Arena, MGM signature Hotel, Mirage, Mirage Exhibition Centre, The Cosmopolitan and The Aria Hotel) F1 Consultancy led the initiative in creating one physical fibre network ensuring all the Microsoft Ready venues were connected by a single network, not only ensuring network consistency for the 24,000- delegate event but also future proofing the selected venues for later use by Microsoft.
Ensuring the Venues were connected by one fibre network allowed for network troubleshooting and fault finding while allowing the attendees to move from building to building, remaining on the same SSP, ensuring attendee ease of experience with a secure and seamless network.
As with any live event, F1 Consultancy were prone and expectant to continuous changes in the planning, including that of introducing a new venue, complete 2 days before, relocation of resources.
Creating one of the largest networks by F1 Consultancy to date meant considering each venue as its own entity, with the real challenge being to get all the venues talking together. own dedicated network team to help create the larger network.
A fully controlled local and wireless area network (LAN & WLAN) allows constant monitoring of all aspects of the network in real time – F1 Consultancy often know about an issue before the user. Being able to monitor and influence the network in such a way allows F1 Consultancy to make dynamic and strategic decisions mid-event, act accordingly and strategic ‘traffic shaping’ to safeguard continued high performance and coverage without disruption to its thousands of users. From such monitoring F1 Consultancy saw Microsoft Ready:
The end of any successful event allows the experiences and lessons to be applied to the next… F1 Consultancy are currently in full organization mode for Ready 2018.