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Interview: Resilient networks ensured smooth games

T.C. Seow | Aug. 1, 2014
How the SEA Games in Myanmar last year was conducted successfully with the deployment of tested solutions for games management and scoreboarding.

We had to choose solutions and platforms that ensured the systems remained highly available, agile and adaptable under different scenarios. In addition, we had a tight deadline for implementation. For the private network which the GMS and SVIS ran on, we deployed Ruckus Virtualised SmartCell Gateway (vSCG) which removed the need for us to ship a controller from overseas and build a monitoring system. This saved us time. With our available APs and a Ruckus vSCG on hand, we could simply get off-the-shelf servers and implement Wi-Fi services across multiple locations within just a few hours. The virtualisation technology and vSCG clustering ensured high availability.

Could you elaborate on the provision of SVIS and GMS at the SEA games? Why was it important to the smooth management of the games?

It was important for the systems to run smoothly from the beginning of the game to its end. 

  • SVIS – When the delegates arrived from overseas via plane, their identities were verified using SVIS. At the entrance of competition venues, the identities of the athletes and delegates are also verified.  When the spectators arrive, they were required to verify their identities using Verification Cards, issued prior using SVIS system. 
  • GMS – Once the games were underway, the official scoring of the game, the game results and medal tallies relied on the private network. 

So it was essential that all parts of the software and hardware were running smoothly, and that both the SVIS and the private network were secure and stable.

What about the security aspect? How did you prevent Wi-Fi hacks and other intrusions to the wireless network?
As the official system was running on Wi-Fi network, the system had to be impermeable to both intentional and unintentional intrusions. We safeguarded the system with Ruckus' VLAN isolation, client isolation and captive portal technologies.

The mesh backhaul provided the connectivity for the fixed SVIS terminals deployed outside the gates at various venues, where cabling and wiring were not options for us. The terminals were wired by Ethernet and terminated at the Ruckus Mesh AP which then carried traffic back to the data centre securely. The Wi-Fi access also allowed our mobile SVIS tablets to connect to the SVIS servers in the data centres.

Please tell us more about the Ruckus smart Wi-Fi implementation and how similar large-scale events would benefit from it.

Ruckus enabled us to quickly deploy the network without lengthy modifications. This was necessary when time was of the essence. We had a tight deadline of the games commencing and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.  We relied on Ruckus because we knew that its solutions offered large-scale capacity has been proven in other sports arenas.

 

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