As one of the most recognizable names in modern professional sports, the needed to ensure their IT infrastructure could support the accelerating growth and success of the Olde Towne Team. The team ownership was investing in renovations to Fenway Park, committing resources to the on-field success of the team, and expanding into new business ventures and entertainment options for the ballpark. It was at this point that the Red Sox IT team realized they had outgrown their on-premise data center and needed a new solution – one that could grow with them.
The Red Sox could see that it was no longer going to be cost-effective for them to operate an on-premise data center – not to mention that real estate at Fenway Park was becoming harder and harder to come by because of the renovations. The team soon decided it needed access to a multi-tenant data center facility – one that provided access to numerous connectivity options, included disaster recovery capabilities, and allotted for the future growth of the business.
“We required a more modern data center solution than the walls of Fenway Park afforded us,” said Brian Shield, Vice President, IT for the Boston Red Sox. “We needed space to grow, local access to our equipment and a breadth of connectivity options – and to find a way to accomplish this cost-effectively.”
The combination of requirements soon led the Red Sox to turn to Markley Group, a premier provider of mission-critical data center facilities, networking and cloud computing services located in Boston, Mass.
— Quickly & cost-effectively scale the team’s data center
— Uninterrupted, reliable, always-on connectivity
— Unmatched redundancy and security
— 24x7x365 service and maintenance
— Ability to support planned future growth
Markley brought unmatched redundancy, security and scale to the Red Sox’ IT operations. The company’s One Summer Street (Boston) location offered customizable suite and cage designs for the team’s IT infrastructure, with an unrivaled set of connectivity options, high density colocation, in-house support staff, unsurpassed infrastructure, abundant and reliable power, strong backup systems and true network diversity.
The Red Sox hold up to 100 large, often nationally-viewed events each year at Fenway Park, including Red Sox games, concerts, football games, soccer and more. By taking advantage of Markley’s cost-effective colocation offering, the Red Sox were certain they’d have “always-on” reliability for all of their mission-critical applications and would be easily able to upgrade their space at Markley as their business evolved.
“Utilizing Markley has taken the worry out of providing core IT services to our business,” added Shield. “As we have grown in complexity, Markley continues to meet our needs and exceed our expectations.”
Maintained 24x7x365 by on-site operating engineers, technicians and support staff, Markley’s data center offerings are known throughout the industry for providing unmatched customer service, performance and reliability to customers like the Red Sox.
“Markley has a very talented team of experts who are easily reachable,” said Randy George, Vice President of IT Operations for the Boston Red Sox. “One of the most important aspects of our decision was seeing Markley’s continued investment in both its team and its facilities.”
Markley is critical to the resiliency of the Boston Red Sox’ day-to-day operations, which include support of digital fan engagement, enablement of industry-leader analytics on their baseball and business platforms, and simply put, the ability to run the business of baseball. With special events being hosted year-round, the club’s bandwidth and connectivity needs are no longer confined to the summer months.
The capital cost to build a new, data center-quality space on-premises at Fenway Park would have cost several millions of dollars – and, given the space constraints within Fenway Park, it was important to the Red Sox’ business model that every square foot of space available is used to benefit patrons. Carving out several thousand square feet in Fenway Park was just too much of a challenge to overcome and was not the most cost-effective answer, especially in light of the organization’s future growth plans and the service, security, maintenance and 24x7x365 staffing that Markley could offer.
The Red Sox have a relatively lean IT operations staff, so housing the club’s technology in a world-class facility dramatically shifted their employees’ workload to one that supports – instead of manages – a data center facility, leaving the rest to the experts at Markley. Because of the Red Sox’ work with Markley, they’ve been able to focus their team’s attention on supporting other, more value-added elements of their business.
“It was difficult to let go of having direct, hands-on access to our critical infrastructure,” continued Shield, “but it turned out to be one of the best technology decisions that we’ve ever made.”
In the future, the Boston Red Sox are planning to expand disaster recovery capabilities and have made initial plans to leverage Markley’s data center in Lowell, Mass. The Lowell facility can provide the team with geographic diversity as a part of its business continuity plan. With this additional level of redundancy, the Red Sox will be even better positioned to respond to a crisis with the same level of security and operational integrity that they’ve come to expect from Markley.
The Boston Red Sox is a professional baseball team that competes in Major League Baseball’s American League. The team was founded in 1901 in Boston, MA and has won nine World Series Championships.
Markley Group is a premier provider of mission-critical data center facilities, networking, and cloud computing services. The company is trusted by Fortune 1000 companies, major global consumer brands, and the world’s most cutting-edge research firms to deliver high availability, consistent performance, and unparalleled client service.