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SEGA Beefs Up Its Data Center Network

by Rainier on Jan. 9, 2006 @ 11:16 p.m. PST

SEGA has signed a deal with Force10 Networks to deploy the TeraScale E-Series in its gaming data center to provide a reliable, high performance foundation for its online interactive worlds, especially for its upcoming MMO RF Online and Xbox 360 multiplayer enabled mech shooter Chromehounds.

"To provide the online gaming experience our users demand, we needed a robust infrastructure that could both provide performance predictability and scale as new players enter the game," said Yoshimi Agata, network engineer in the Network Operations Department at SEGA. "The E-Series switch/router provided us with the high capacity we needed to simplify our network and allowed us to create the reliability of an offline game in an interactive online world."

In 2004, SEGA moved from individual network infrastructures for each game to a consolidated network that could scale as new subscribers joined the online worlds without compromising the users' experience. With industry-leading Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet densities, the Force10 TeraScale E-Series enables SEGA to connect several hundred servers to a single system, simplifying network topologies and reducing both capital and operational costs. Additionally, SEGA is leveraging the robust BGP capabilities of the TeraScale E-Series to peer with its Internet service provider.

To provide the complex online worlds in which hundreds of thousands of gamers interact in real time, SEGA required a high level of resiliency that would ensure the online games delivered the same seamless experience as typical arcade games. Leveraging a unique three CPU architecture, the Force10 TeraScale E-Series distributes switching, routing and management functionality between distinct processors and maximizes network uptime.

"As a bandwidth-intensive application, online gaming requires not only a high capacity network but also maximum reliability and resiliency to ensure that interactions in the online worlds are in real time," said Mark Cooper, senior vice president of worldwide sales at Force10 Networks. "The E-Series has proven itself in some of the largest and most complex networks in the world, and now we are bringing that experience to enterprises like SEGA that require the same reliable, high performance networks."

In 2000, SEGA launched the world's first interactive online gaming network, and with the rapid worldwide adoption of always-on broadband connections, online gaming has proliferated. As consumers continue to move to broadband, SEGA expects to see a dramatic increase in traffic on its gaming network. To guarantee predictable performance as traffic increases, SEGA required the scalability of the Force10 TeraScale E-Series.

Among its current titles that are leveraging the SEGA gaming data center is RF Online, a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) that is set to debut in the U.S. next year. SEGA will also run its upcoming games Phantasy Star Universe and Chromehounds on the same network.

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