No-Fail Allied Telesis Network Ramps Up Leeds United Fan Experience

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  September 12, 2022

On most Saturdays or Sundays on any given week, Elland Road Stadium in Leeds, England, creates a buzzing fan experience as nearly 40,000 fans chant “We All Love Leeds” in support of their football club, Leeds United.

Leeds United further improved the fan experience, including the turnstiles and other aspects of the club’s business, with reliable connectivity to a high-capacity Allied Telesis network. In fact, in 15 years, the network, which is designed, installed, maintained and supported by NETprotocol, experienced no downtime.

As more modern systems are onboarded and services become digitalized, especially following promotion to the Premier League after the 2019-20 season, Leeds United’s network becomes more critical. Delivering 24/7 no-fail network operations for all internal businesses within a stadium built in 1897, such as CCTV security system, hospitality and back-office administration, is no easy task.

For example, CCTV has about 200 cameras around the stadium designed to protect fans and workers on game days. A failure in the CCTV system would trigger match cancellation. To prevent system failure, NETprotocol installed a dedicated network layer using an Allied Telesis (News - Alert) switch that supports POE to each camera.

"We put our trust in NETprotocol's expertise and Allied Telesis all those years ago when they assured us that the network would be highly reliable, said Mark Broadley, head of IT and facilities for Leeds United. “The network has run continuously since then and that is valuable to us."

The Leeds United network is based on two high-capacity, diversely routed fiber connections constituting the network core. One 20GB connection is in the main data center in the East Stand and one 20GB connection in the ticket office in the West Stand, creating a faultless 40GB ring.

Connected to these two cores are edge cabinets that run the rest of the structure. A Vista Manager EX network management platform and the Autonomous Management Framework from Allied Telesis is run from a single pane of glass management platform to allow centralized display of network detail and automate firmware updates, backups and zero-touch provisioning.

“When we install, secure and modernize a network, its longevity is of paramount importance to us,” said Chris Dyke, sales director U.K. and Ireland, Allied Telesis. “We look forward to our partnership lasting many more years."

Edited by Erik Linask
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