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Inside a Las Vegas casino resort datacentre

ZDNet UK took a tour around one of the datacentres that is used to run the Venetian and Palazzo casino resorts in the US gambling mecca
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1 of 7 David Meyer/ZDNet

The Las Vegas Sands Corporation runs two casino resorts in the gambling mecca, the Venetian and the Palazzo.

The two establishments run off the same infrastructure, which uses 300 servers to support more than 11,000 suites and rooms, 3,000 slot machines and 200 gambling tables, and run nine websites. Last week, ZDNet UK took a rare look inside one of the datacentres used to keep the Venetian and Palazzo systems running.

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2 of 7 David Meyer/ZDNet

Steve Vollmer, the chief technology officer and vice president at the Venetian, guided ZDNet UK around the casino resort's datacentre.

The Venetian and Palazzo have two datacentres between them — the one we were shown is the backup datacentre in the Palazzo. There is a 10Gb Ethernet link between the two. According to Vollmer, the 3,000-foot distance between the two datacentres is their disaster recovery strategy.

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3 of 7 David Meyer/ZDNet

The bulk of the Venetian and Palazzo's core systems run on six IBM's iSeries servers, formerly known as AS/400s.

The gambling machines, which are all IP-based these days, run on Bally Technologies' ACSC slot management systems. Agilysys PMS property management systems are used to run the hotel side of the business.

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4 of 7 David Meyer/ZDNet

These HP ProCurve switches are used for the audiovisual systems in the establishments.

The casinos use around a thousand switches, predominantly from the 5400 and 3500 series. The routers are mostly from Cisco — two 7206 routers, three 2600 Series routers and one 2800 Series router. According to Vollmer, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation is considering a trial of 3Com routers, now sold under the ProCurve brand, as part of a move towards using HP across its worldwide operations.

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5 of 7 David Meyer/ZDNet

These Dell casings contain a mix of Dell PowerEdge servers and HP C-series blades, which are used for data warehousing, SQL Server and other support applications.

This — representing about five percent of the total workload — is the only part of the Venetian and Palazzo datacentres that is currently virtualised, Vollmer said.

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6 of 7 David Meyer/ZDNet

This picture shows the phone switches for the Venetian and Palazzo casino resorts — according to Vollmer, the establishments are in the process of switching over to IP-based communications.

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7 of 7 David Meyer/ZDNet

One of the HP serial attached SCSI (SAS) drives in the Venetian datacentre. SAS remains popular in datacentres because its signalling system is more robust electrically, can operate over longer cables and is better suited to server backplanes than SATA.

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