Clair Global is one of the primary developers of Rock Lititz, a campus shared with other companies in the live event industry. The 96-acre campus in the middle of a cornfield in Lancaster County, PA, brings together top production-based vendors and resources for live entertainment. Guests, vendors, touring crews and artists overnight at the Hotel Rock Lititz, a 139 room, 92,000 square foot boutique lodging experience designed to showcase the integration between music and technology. Hotel Rock Lititz is the place to drive creativity, conversation, and collaboration for the next great concert experience!
Challenge: Providing a world-class experience for the music industry’s top artists
Matt Clair, CIO of Clair Global, partnered with Cisco to devise a networking strategy to get top performing artists like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, and Katy Perry (all used to visiting facilities in LA or New York) to come to, and feel comfortable in, the rural setting of Lititz, PA. Therein lay their goal: How do we properly design and deploy a world class network on the Rock Lititz campus to create a technology environment where these artists, vendors, production crews, and employees all feel comfortable and feel like they are being taken care of?
“Providing the best service possible is our top priority. This requires a network that is fast, strong, and resilient to keep users connected
and the business moving. That is why we leverage the expertise from the Cisco Customer Experience team as well as a complete stack of
Cisco technologies from DNA Center Automation and Assurance to Wi-Fi 6 access points and beyond.”
—Matt Clair, Chief Information Officer, Clair Global, Lititz, PA
Focusing specifically on the attributes that define a world class hospitality network for Hotel Rock Lititz, Clair Global’s IT organization crafted a set of daunting expectations and brought them to Cisco:
- Track every network devices’ software updates and revisions to protect their guests from security threats
- Eliminate manual errors in configuration and deployment to keep the network running like a champ
- Support high-density wireless environments so everyone connected has blazing fast access
- Slash Wi-Fi triage times throughout the network to virtually eliminate downtime
- Accelerate the onboarding of new devices to expand the network for an event in a hurry
Solution: A complete stack of Cisco gear plus Cisco software gets the job done
Cisco Customer Experience (CX) advised, proposed, and helped deploy a multi-layered hardware and software approach to ensure that Hotel Rock Lititz would provide a world-class hospitality network to its guests and employees. As a trusted advisor, Cisco CX helped drive Clair’s strategy and overall vision for their network while ensuring a timely deployment that met all requirements for their complex environment.
The hardware-based foundation of Clair Global’s campus network is comprised of Cisco Switches, Cisco Routers and Cisco Wireless devices. But this was only one aspect of the deployment. Beginning a few years ago, with the advent of intent-based networking and Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA), Cisco broadened its business focus to include software-based continuous improvement underwritten by Cisco DNA software subscriptions. Therefore, much of the world-class hospitality network functionality is derived from the Cisco DNA Advantage for Wireless and Cisco DNA Advantage for Switching subscription software suites; for example, Cisco DNA Assurance, and Cisco DNA Spaces, and SD-Access capabilities and Zero Trust secure onboarding.
|· Deploy a world class hospitality network for guests and employees |
· Track every network devices’ software updates and revisions
· Eliminate the possibility of manual errors in configuration and deployment
· Support high-density wireless environments
· Reduce Wi-Fi triage times throughout the network
· Accelerate the onboarding of new devices
|· Cisco Intent-Based Networking||· Consistent guest, user, vendor employee network experience |
· Automatic provisioning of devices and clients
· Increased speed for all devices via Wi-Fi 6 compatible APs
· Simplified network device management and updates
· Cutting edge network security and intrusion prevention
Let’s parse out what exactly the benefits Clair Global has realized through its deployment of Cisco DNA.
Cisco DNA Center: Assurance & Automation
Clair Global uses the Cisco DNA Center to automatically provision network devices, speeding up deployment times and eliminating manual errors. Its policy enforcement prioritizes traffic such as latency-sensitive voice and video to ensure a consistent guest experience campus-wide. Additionally, the network telemetry collected by the Cisco DNA Center enables Clair Global’s use of AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning). This real time feedback is the secret sauce behind Cisco DNA Assurance: proactively triangulate and identify issues, automate and accelerate troubleshooting and triage, before any guest is impacted. Clair also leverages the Cisco Aironet Active Sensor to dynamically test network availability and validate wireless client performance.
DNA Spaces and OpenRoaming: Personalized experiences in an always connected environment
Cisco DNA Spaces offers a single pane of glass for all location-based services by sensing and synthesizing location data across compatible Cisco and Meraki access points to deliver location-based services at scale. Clair Global can now understand how people and things are behaving within their wireless network space. Some examples include: define and develop personas (employee, guest, vendor, etc.), view the historical density of guests on campus, map the spatial utilization and occupancy by location, provide captive portals for hotel guests, detect and locate devices onsite (via both real-time and historical data). In the near future, Clair will also take advantage of OpenRoaming, which seamlessly onboards guests as they roam between cellular and Wi-Fi networks.
Wi-Fi 6: Fast and reliable connectivity
Clair Global uses Cisco’s Wi-Fi 6 compatible access points to enable more efficient spectrum usage (particularly in high-density coverage in areas such as the hotel lobby, restaurant and studios) and to increase speed for all connected devices. Wi-Fi 6 provides greater flexibility in how Clair Global designed its network and provides the necessary horsepower to drive high bandwidth applications. The faster speeds also bring a whole new level of connectivity to guests who want the best possible access to all of their applications: voice, video, gaming, social media, and ultimately, to their fans!
Cisco Security: SD-Access and Zero Trust
Clair Global understands that guests’, vendors’ and employees’ trust in the network infrastructure is earned every day. Commencing in 2020, Clair Global will shelve their detailed manual processes to instead rely on Cisco Zero Trust security framework to systematically prevent unauthorized access, contain breaches, and reduce the risk of an attacker’s lateral movement through its network. Cisco’s Identity Services Engine will segment all Clair Global’s users, whether guest, vendor, employee, device, or other, to ensure that each client has access to only their predefined authorized resources. That’s how Clair Global will automate a secure network where potential security vulnerabilities are eliminated.
But where does all of this progress leave Clair Global’s networking personnel? After all, from an operational standpoint, having a single operating system across switches, access points, and controllers simplifies management and updates. Some may think that would minimize the role of Network Engineers. “Far from it,” says Matt. “The implementation of Cisco DNA has expanded the existing role of the Network Engineer into managing the software stack as well.”
With the programmable nature of the network, the automation that accompanies programmability, and the emergence of AI/ML in network assurance, those same Network Engineers are leading the charge into the software-defined networking frontier! Things like custom GUIs, API calls, and scripting, will ultimately bring the world of networking and applications together. And Clair Global’s network engineers are at the center of it all.
So who needs New York or LA? Plan your next trip to rural Lancaster County, PA, stay at the Hotel Rock Lititz, rub shoulders with some of the most famous artists in the world, and experience the network for yourself!