But as we started to move into Olympic stadiums and basketball arenas, we realized there was a gap between our live game infrastructure and the esports side of the business.”
To fill this gap, Riot built out a data center in Dublin, Ireland (with another under construction in Seattle) and invested in switching, computing, management and wireless connectivity tools from Cisco. The investment has allowed Riot to move the repeatable aspects of broadcasting to the centralized facility while continuing to set up portable infrastructure at tournament sites to power zero-latency gameplay.
The Vital Importance of the Data Center
Some businesses, especially those with extremely strict latency requirements, have come to realize that upgrades to on-premises infrastructure are a better fit for certain workloads than migrating resources to the public cloud. Sean Graham, research director for IT data centers at IDC, says that companies that sprouted up as “digital natives” are more likely than others to view the data center as critical to business success.
“Their conversations are about growth as opposed to simply keeping operations running,” Graham says.
Riot Games invested in Cisco Nexus 9000 series switches to connect live feeds to its Dublin data center, Cisco Intersight Infrastructure Service to manage infrastructure and proactively detect errors before they can affect tournament viewership or gameplay, Cisco UCS servers to support esports competitions, and the Cisco Meraki cloud network platform to provide an onsite network that connects game servers to broadcast devices at tournaments.