Audio Visual Machines (AVM) has carried out an upgrade for a key client in the banking sector, refitting its Data Operations Centre in the north of England with a new Christie video wall.
The South YorkshireGroup Data Centre in Barnsley is the Command Centre for all the bank EMEA region activities where operations are close monitored.
While AVM already has the maintenance and support contract for the bank’s offices around the UK, the integrators still needed to win a competitive tender against three other AV companies (and other data wall manufacturers).
“Our technical team had originally approached several different companies to see what they could deliver and found Christie was the best of what we wanted, within the budget,” said David Whitehouse, the Bank’s Data Centre Operations Team Leader.
The AVM proposal, based around ten rear-projection Entero CSP50XP 50” SXGA+ 1-chip DLP LED illuminated cubes — delivered with CrossPrism high viewing angle screens and optimised by a Christie TVC-1210 Digital Display Wall Controller — thus formed the winning bid.
With solid state LED technology replacing traditional mercury arc lamp based systems, the rear projection engine is virtually maintenance free for long term performance and 24/7 reliability while the new TVC-1210 controller features the latest Intel® Xeon® single quad-core ultra-fast processing technology.
The server-based system features high performance multi-video capability (with up to 16 real-time videos per display) and the flexibility to accept multiple external video, RGB and client desktops for display anywhere and any size.
David Whitehouse says that by replacing the previous single static wall display, they have created additional versatility. “The wall is running 24/7 and we can now build up different applications whereas a lot of software simply couldn’t be used with the previous wall,” he said.
The bank runs its own bespoke software from servers in the Data Centre. This enables them to carry out surveillance on around 1100 systems — mostly in Europe — with a further 300 shortly being fed into the system from London. “This will give us 1400 systems to manage by next year, with operations running on many platforms, including IBM mainframe, AS/400 and so on,” said Mr. Whitehouse.
He added that with the Christie solution a system that would import a single screen shot has developed into “an active wall, offering exceptional reporting and allowing us to implement a traffic light system for incident reporting.”
Limitations with the previous videowall meant the Global Dashboard could not be displayed. However, it is now assigned to the four cubes (2 x 2) that feature at the right of the 5 x 2 wall display and offers high level monitoring. A new third party server has also been installed to further maximise the potential of the new Christie system.
Interfacing between the client and the suppliers throughout — particularly with regard to exploitation of the new system — has been one of the Bank’s Senior Technical Specialists in Enterprise Systems Management, who had also formed part of the procurement process.
Thanks to the new design, a utility KVM connection to one of the operator’s desks enables the bank to view multiple inputs screens, which can be placed at any size and position on the videowall. Currently this gives them two connections with updates of live incidents running across the bottom on ticker tape.
Some of the applications have a service tracker embedded, which handles such elements as ATM availability and deposit machines. A spider lens pinpoints problems and displays the whole infrastructure, designed to keep the banking network operational and protecting the main service.
The Bank originally moved into the Barnsley premises — on the site of a former mine — around 25 years ago. Recently they added a new, second Data Centre at nearby Wakefield. Mr. Whitehouse says “The whole infrastructure can simply be monitored from Barnsley, where we run five shifts, each comprising 30 personnel, including incident managers and day staff. It’s a more economical solution.”
The Christie solution is proving a much more elegant solution than the old cumbersome chassis. “Instead of six blocks across ten tablets, mounted on rails for rear access servicing — we have a neat structure which looks a lot more professional. It is certainly providing us with a lot more information than we had before.”