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Fulham FC launches iPad CCTV

Cloud-based system improves system and cuts football club's IT costs

Fulham FC has implemented a new cloud-based CCTV system that its security team can monitor from mobile devices such as Apple iPads.

The system replaces a network of 27 cameras and six VHS recorders, and allows Fulham FC's security team and the Metropolitan Police to access the system to remotely monitor crowd activity at Fulham's Craven Cottage stadium, as well as at the club's Motspur Park training ground.

"The cloud environment is key to the success of the new system, which we estimate will pay for itself in two years," said Nicolas Pendlebury, head of IT projects at Fulham FC.

"It has enabled us to increase the agility, speed and functionality with which the security team can monitor our sites remotely and safely, and new cameras can be connected to the network at any time."

Fulham has developed a private cloud infrastructure for the new wireless, IP CCTV security system, based on EMC Unified storage and VMware virtualisation technologies. It uses VMware vSphere 4.1 and VMware vCenter Server to manage virtualised storage, and EMC Unisphere storage management software to enable file and block services from a single solution.

The club has also worked with video management software provider Genetec, to enable the mobile device access. While Fulham is initially using Apple iPads, it eventually plans to roll out access to smart phones as well.

The system comprises 63 high-definition (HD) cameras with motion sensors. The cameras record at a low-definition, until motion triggers HD recording with a resolution high enough to capture a car registration plate at 200 feet. Furthermore, the system simultaneously alerts security staff of any potential incident.

Previously, each of the 27 cameras required maintenance before every match, and in the event of a security incident, video tapes would have been manually scanned.

Meanwhile, moving to a cloud-based system has also enabled Fulham to save on infrastructure costs, including floor space and operational expenses.

By deploying two cloud environments, the football club has been able to reduce its servers down from 20 at Motspur Park and 16 at Craven Cottage, down to just six servers. In addition, server racks have been cut down from five to just one.

The new system has been in use since the start of this year's football season, in August.

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