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Blue mammoth Games

IHSE KVM system solves security and connectivity issues.

The Customer

In the past decade, game development and the world of esports have exploded in popularity with multimillion dollar arenas hosting worldwide competitions. And as result, game developers have much more complex equipment requirements and demands. Game development studio Blue Mammoth Games, based in Atlanta — a well-known esports and gaming city — has found a stronghold in the industry with its fighting game Brawlhalla. Brawlhalla has grown to over 5 million
players and now hosts a Brawlhalla World Championship annually.

As the Blue Mammoth’s community has grown, so too has its facility. The company outfitted an extension of the office to work as a broadcast studio that includes a control room, server room, and two sets. Each space houses essential broadcast equipment that needs to be accessed and integrated as if in the same room.

The Challenge

At Blue Mammoth, the control room was where all the game developer’s PCs were located. These PCs generate several broadcast-critical elements, including graphics, replay, playback, and audio. The server room, however, housed the Carbonite Switcher, networking, and encoder, which was equally essential to their broadcasts. As a result of these separate spaces and equipment, Blue Mammoth was taxed with running a significant amount of cabling between the control room and
the server room. Any time new equipment was added, it called for additional cable runs, either through the ceiling, or in last minute cases, across the floor. Blue Mammoth has run upwards of 2500 feet of cabling.

Additionally, this setup posed potential security and connectivity issues. On the security side, anyone with access to the control room was able to interface directly with critical broadcast infrastructure. There was also the change that during operation that cables could be disconnected if bumped or tripped over. These issues occurred because the company had computers providing broadcast critical signals that needed to be operated from one space and sent to another.

The Solution

Installing a KVM system would allow Blue Mammoth to move all the broadcast-critical machines into the server room, reduce a significant amount of cabling, allow for a greater degree of flexibility in upgrading and changing new equipment as well as address arising security issues.
The company sought out a proven KVM solution that could meet all their requirements. The NAB Show in Las Vegas offered the perfect opportunity to evaluate several KVM manufactures at once. Among the KVM solutions providers at the show, IHSE stood out from the pack.

IHSE offered a show-stopping matrix-based and IP-based options with rich features that would solve these challenges and allow Blue Mammoth to scale in the future. The company selected IHSE’s Draco tera flex KVM matrix switch and Draco vario HDMI extenders. Introduced in 2020, the Draco tera flex KVM matrix systems bring advanced features found in IHSE‘s larger-scale matrix frames in a design built for smaller applications. Port options range from 16 ports to 160 ports and
can be packaged in 1-, 2-, or 4-RU frames sizes. The Draco tera flex incorporates several advanced features from the Draco tera enterprise series, including LDAPS, encrypted communication for maximum security, and fast booting. The switch‘s modular structure permits the simple interchange of individual components and paves the way for future expansion.

IHSE’s Draco vario HDMI extender gives users real-time access to HDMI computers from a remote workstation, including monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, and other peripheral devices. It’s the perfect extender for high-resolution HDMI video signals of superior quality, including 3D formats, full HD, and 2K, as well as digital audio signals. Multi-head applications are achieved using an optional module.

The Benefit

For the price point and scalability Blue Mammoth was looking for, no other manufacturer offered the richness of features. The company was able to install the IHSE KVM system over the course of two days, full revamping the studio, including running additional Cat-6 for the user stations. With IHSE’s KVM and extender solutions, Blue Mammoth was able to greatly reduce the amount of cabling between the control room and the server room. This had the added benefit of improving noise levels, heat, and available space in the control room. Solo operation of the broadcast studio is also significantly easier. One user can macro into any computer as needed with no delay and without posing security risks.

“The IHSE KVM system has been one of my favorite additions to the studio this year. The flexibility and reliability of the product has really allowed us to push our broadcasts forward.“

Mateo Palfreman, manager of broadcast at Blue Mammoth Games


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