Blogger: Abrão Laranjeira
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Amphitheater, TV Compound, Shopping Mall… It looks like the weekend schedule for the family, but it is more than that. The building has been used by Volvo IT to install the network devices (antennas, etc.) that provide, among other things, connectivity for video stream during the Pro AM, In-Port Race and the boats’ departure on Sunday finishing the stop-over in South Africa.
Business is business! Thinking about having a simple network, but using a robust solution. Besides a “Ring” network topology that provides Redundancy in case of failure, we deployed an alternative path – a contingency solution utilizing 5 GHz Radios that interconnect the Media Center straight to the TV compound building via directional antennas.
A few hours before the In-Port Race starts, the performance of the network in TV compound area was less than expected and we went on location to verify if the symptoms were related to a physical problem or interference. Off course, “Murphy” has been there!!! (Murphy’s Law); The TV team needed to move their hoister 1 or 2 meters and that was enough for the hoister’s arm to stand precisely between our two mini-links antennas that connect the control tower to the TV building. In other words, the communication was blocked! We had to act very fast because we were just a few hours from the official race start.
After the deal with TV team about the final localization of the hoister, using a cherry-picker, we moved the radio link to another place avoiding interruptions. Ok, everybody can enjoy the Race images again!
In the last Volvo Ocean Race, I worked in the Brazil Stop-over, Rio de Janeiro in 2009, and it was excellent, a very good experience, something that I will share with people forever. But I have to say, even though we have been participated in races before, the challenges have also increased and been more interesting due to the new technologies that have been used. As far as the IT infrastructure, the client’s devices are demanding a better and reliable infrastructure. These challenges drive us constantly to look for complex solutions that work with different platforms.
Bye for now!