Miami Heat delivers all-star fan experiences over agile data center network.

When fans enter the eye-catching, waterfront FTX Arena for a Miami Heat hardcourt matchup, the crowd knows they are in for a fast-paced, exciting basketball game. The three-time NBA champions play tough defense and a run-and-gun offense that packs the 19,000-seat arena with sports lovers.

Ticketless entry, online food ordering, and wayfaring make for fun-filled, can’t forget events. With a reliable, secure data center network from Juniper, Miami Heat executives never worry about outages that could ruin the day.  

Overview


Company Miami Heat
Industry Media and Entertainment
Products used QFX5100MX960EX4300SRX5400JSA Virtual Appliance
Region Americas
Miami Heat Image
Customer Success At-a-glance

100%

First basketball arena to adopt 100% paperless ticketing

600%

600% capital cost savings by choosing Juniper

Seamless connection to data center network for event setup and breakdown

All Juniper security from perimeter to core

Challenge

Building a network for media-hungry fans.

The gifted Miami Heat athletes play defense and offense with deceptive ease. The Heat’s players, though, aren’t the only team with loads of talent. Way beyond the three-point arc and the nets, the Heat’s IT leaders have built a rock-solid Juniper infrastructure that marries agility with power in the data center.

The network serves an elite squad of athletes and guests at the FTX Arena. On any given night, basketball fans fill the arena, and in only hours after they file out, a production team for a touring band can be unloading and connecting a mobile data center to the network, preparing for a concert the next day. With so many guests, the arena and data center networks must be highly secure, consistently reliable, and unbeatable performers.  

Solution

Heat pick Juniper for security, performance, and reliability for long term.

The Miami Heat recruited Juniper in 2010 to modernize the arena, and since then have consistently invested to ensure it always has the latest Juniper innovations.

The Juniper MX960 Universal Routing Platform provides enterprise routing. In the data center, Juniper QFX5100 and Juniper EX4300 Ethernet Switches provide high-performance data center switching. Multichassis link aggregation facilitates scalable, resilient Layer 2 connectivity.

The Heat tapped into Juniper’s security solutions for network protection and threat insight. The Juniper SRX5400 Services Gateway protects the data center and enterprise edge with next-generation firewall services. Juniper Secure Analytics is a critical player that monitors security events in real time. Working together, the team of advanced Juniper solutions supports business operations and guest events.

Outcome

Digital innovation leads to amazing fan experiences.

The Miami Heat was the first NBA team to offer ticketless entry for fans, and the digital innovation team is constantly adding to that success. A Juniper network lets the team be innovative with new experiences without worrying about what the technology can handle.

From the moment when fans rush in to when they happily file out, the arena and data center network cannot commit a single foul. Scanning tickets, ordering food, buying merchandise, and interacting on social media put a huge load on the network, and Juniper consistently delivers an all-star performance.

“The majority of our revenue is earned during a three- to four-hour window,” says Drew Dorben, Chief Technology Officer for the Miami Heat. “We get a giant rush of 19,000 people, and it puts a big load on the network. During those hours, we can’t have major outages or intermittent problems. Even one hour of downtime means losing a huge chunk of revenue. We’ve never experienced any downtime with Juniper, and the network’s performance and reliability mean we can deliver amazing fan experiences.”

When Heat fans aren’t in the arena, it’s filled with musicians, magicians, wrestlers, ice skaters, and their fans. A highly segmented network makes it easy for production crews, video teams, and anyone else to maintain event operations without impacting the corporate network.

The Juniper data center network is a core foundation of the Heat’s digital-first, smart arena. Automated industrial controls, concession wait time alerts, building entry, and an intruder detection safety system all flow through the Juniper network.

As each basketball season closes, the Heat’s IT executives have lots of successes to reflect on. And whatever plays they draw up next, they know the reliable, powerful Juniper network has them set up for success.    

"Whether we’re in the middle of a game or a live event, the Juniper infrastructure cannot miss a beat. We’re thrilled that Juniper is always rock solid."
Drew Dorben Chief Technology Officer, Miami Heat

Published June 2021