Security and storage take center stage at Atlanta’s premier sports and entertainment venue
Mercedes-Benz Stadium + IBM
 Atlanta Falcons fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, roof open

To meet its evolving security and storage needs, AMB Sports and Entertainment (AMBSE)—which owns and operates Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta—turned to IBM and its partners to build a highly automated security operations center (SOC) and an enterprise-grade hybrid storage system.

Business challenge

Security breaches are not an option for a sports and entertainment venue that hosts some of the highest profile events in the world. As the threat landscape evolves, AMBSE needed to upgrade its security systems accordingly. Also, storing the enormous video files produced from surveillance cameras—and the 4K files that feed one of the world’s largest digital displays—had become too costly and burdensome.

Transformation

IBM and AMBSE are reimagining the existing SOC, adding world-class AI, automation and 24x7 managed security services to thwart cyberthreats. In addition, IBM and its partners are installing a powerful software-defined storage system with 18 petabytes of capacity.

Results 24x7 eyes on glass

from the team of cybersecurity experts at IBM X-Force®

18 petabytes

of storage to house security footage and 4K Halo Board video files

5:1 consolidation

of storage solutions, reducing cost and complexity

Business challenge story
Delivering a premier experience to fans

Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is the 72,000-seat home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, MLS’s Atlanta United, and a steady procession of high-profile events, from Taylor Swift concerts to the 2026 FIFA World Cup. It’s also one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world, boasting 4,800 miles of fiber optic cable, 1,800 wi-fi access points and the world’s largest digital display—the iconic Halo Board.

IBM has been there since the beginning, designing and building the digital infrastructure that supports a fan experience that consistently ranks among the best. In fact, in the NFL’s Annual Voice of the Fan Survey, Mercedes-Benz Stadium ranked first in “Overall Stadium Technology.” So when the team at AMBSE was looking to upgrade its storage and security solutions, IBM was an obvious choice.

“A positive fan experience ultimately depends on consistent, high-performance storage and security, which is precisely what IBM provides to AMBSE,” says Kevin Pope, VP and CIO, AMBSE.

Transformation story
Agile, multifaceted security and robust data storage

To meet the concurrent needs of AMBSE, teams from IBM and its partners worked together to develop solutions for both security and storage.

First, a team from IBM Security® performed a gap analysis and developed recommendations for building an SOC that would automate tasks, harden defenses and provide constant vigilance of incoming threats.

“We host some of the highest profile events in the world, so failure is not an option,” says Carlton Powers, Senior Director, Information Security, AMBSE. “We need security that can evolve with our business, and IBM is helping us create a world-class security operations center that will allow MBS to operate at the highest level with optimal protection against malicious intent.”

To achieve this, the team plans to implement three key solutions:

IBM Security Randori® Recon
If you want to defend against attackers, you have to think like an attacker. And the IBM Security team will be using Randori Recon to do just that. This attack surface management solution helps identify potential vulnerabilities across complex networks, discovering risk and prioritizing remediation.

IBM Security QRadar® Suite
Staying ahead of evolving threats requires a modern, AI-powered threat detection and response system. That’s why AMBSE chose the IBM Security QRadar Suite to solve the problem of “too many threats and not enough eyes.” QRadar uses powerful AI to perform triage of potential threats, ignoring harmless activity and alerting cybersecurity analysts to more serious security incidents. The result? Fortified defenses and a more productive cybersecurity team.

IBM X-Force
IBM’s team of world-renowned cybersecurity analysts will provide ongoing support to AMB, monitoring, analyzing and preventing threats 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And because they operate in more than 170 countries around the world, the X-Force team benefits from a global view of threat intelligence, identifying new attack vectors before they reach your doorstep.

The need for a more robust storage system was driven by two requirements: the enormous 4K video files that serve the Halo Board and thousands of hours of HD video content from security cameras that provide continuous surveillance in and around the stadium.

IBM worked with IBM Business Partner Flagship Solutions Group to design and implement an enterprise-class hybrid storage environment built around IBM Storage Scale System, which consolidates all file and object workloads into a single software-defined storage pool with 18 petabytes of capacity.

“IBM presented us with a distinctive infrastructure solution that enabled us to efficiently manage all stored data, including event and security videos, in a centralized location,” says Sherry Millette, Senior Director, IT Infrastructure, AMBSE. “This solution proved to be a significant advantage for us as the standardization and consolidation of data led to substantial cost reductions.”

A positive fan experience ultimately depends on consistent, high-performance storage and security, which is precisely what IBM provides to AMBSE. Kevin Pope VP and CIO AMBSE
Results story
Greater efficiency, lower costs

Although the work is ongoing, the team at AMBSE already has a clear picture of the expected outcomes. For example, a Forrester Consulting study found that Randori Recon can result in 90% fewer hours of vulnerability scanning annually, reduce losses due to external attack by 85%, and generate a 300% return on investment over three years. And by consolidating their storage solutions into a single, software-defined platform, the AMBSE team expects to enjoy higher capacity at lower costs.

“IBM solutions are a key enabler of the outstanding experiences we provide—both physical and digital—for up to 72,000 fans at a time,” says Pope.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS) logo
About Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Mercedes-Benz Stadium (link resides outside of ibm.com) is a world-class sports and entertainment facility located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Opened in August 2017, the stadium is home to the Atlanta Falcons football and the Atlanta United soccer teams, and it is operated by AMB Sports and Entertainment (AMBSE). The USD 1.5 billion, multipurpose stadium also hosts marquee sports, civic, cultural and private events, including championship games for professional football, college football and college basketball.

Flagship Solutions Group logo
About Flagship Solutions

IBM Business Partner Flagship Solutions (link resides outside of ibm.com) provides IBM solutions, managed services and cloud solutions worldwide. These include data center strategic planning and hybrid cloud implementations which are based on a wide range of assessments that look at virtualization, server consolidation, security and infrastructure-focused integration. Flagship’s managed services include cloud-based server monitoring and management, 24×7 helpdesk support and data center infrastructure management.

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Produced in the United States of America, March 2024.

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