Network(ing) to the Limit

 By Karen Shamban

While Oracle OpenWorld attendees are networking, there's an Oracle Global IT team that builds and maintains the massive networks that help run the show. The objective? To keep things running as seamlessly and smoothly as possible, constantly evaluate priorities, mitigate risk, and be ready for whatever might happen -- because things do happen when there are 50,000 plus attendees, tens of thousands of devices, unexpected requirements, and a constant flow of up-to-the-minute information.

Here's just some of what it takes to keep the conference going, network style:

  • 100 Oracle network, voice, and desktop engineers; security, risk management, and other IT experts, who come in from 17 countries 
  • 1000+ network switches
  • 300+ miles of copper and fiber
  • 485 wireless access points
  • 2,500 wired laptops
  • 300 VoIP phones

And just where are all these networks and devices deployed? This is what the team had to build and manage:

  • Moscone North, South, and West, including:
    • The keynote hall
    • Oracle DEMOgrounds in the Exhibition Halls
    • Hundreds of session rooms
    • Connection Centers, Social Avenue, Lounges
    • Registration
  • The Howard Street Tent and Taylor Street Cafe tented venues
  • Oracle Square (Union Square)
  • Yerba Buena Gardens
  • Masonic Auditorium (JavaOne keynote hall)
  • Sessions and demos at 8 hotel venues

That's a whole lot of networking going on. And here's the kicker: the team has only 4 days to bring get it all up and running across these many venues, and exactly 12 hours to take it all down once the show ends. The Global IT team puts in the equivalent of 152 24-hour days for set-up, 227 24-hour days of support during the conferences, and then tears it all down in about 20 24-hour days.

And in case you were wondering, the planning for next year's Oracle OpenWorld starts ... next week. No rest for the weary.

 Now THAT's networking!  So hats off to the Global IT team -- the job ain't easy, but somebody's got to do it, and they do it remarkably well.


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