Customer Success Story
Pac-12 Builds All-Star Network to Better Serve Sports-Hungry Fans
The Pac-12 has won more NCAA championships for team sports than any other conference, and millions of fans watch basketball, soccer, football, and other college sports from Pac-12 Networks. To ensure operational simplicity and easy scalability of its digital and TV broadcast operations, the media company of the Pac-12 adopted an all-Juniper network connecting its data center to 116 college sports venues.
Events live streamed across seven TV networks and digital channels to millions of subscribers
Theft of intellectual property that reduced viewership revenue
Pac-12 Networks offers seven 24/7 TV networks and digital properties. Today, the networks currently broadcast 850 live collegiate events each year.
“We knew our large numbers set the bar high and that we would be doing more linear video production than any other collegiate network in the country,” says Howie Chung, director of campus and events infrastructure at Pac-12 Networks.
Serving up hundreds of TV broadcasts and digital content pieces called for a highperformance, ultra-reliable network.
Sports fans loved the dedicated content, and the universities drew up new plays for events and venues. But the high volumes of traffic began to push the existing network’s endurance limits. As requests for new apps and services mounted, the network team began searching for a network that was more powerful and easier to manage for the 2020-21 season.
“Our requirements were growing, and technology was changing quickly,” Chung says. “We started looking at other ways to scale what we had and how to change the existing network to meet current and future needs.”
A lean team played a significant role in the decision. “We are a small team and we were running four or five different vendors’ equipment in our network,” says Grady Rodgers, senior manager of infrastructure and IT at Pac-12 Networks. “It made sense to consolidate to one network provider.”
Pac-12’s IT team had in-depth conversations about network architecture and technology roadmaps that would enable them to build an operationally simple network to meet their demanding requirements. Juniper’s vision of engineering simplicity and trusted solutions sealed the deal for Pac-12’s network and security needs.
“We’ve replaced everything we had with Juniper,” Chung says. “Every time we picked up the phone to speak with tech support, sales, or engineering, we left the conversation feeling smarter and happier. They were definitely the right choice for our IP WAN,” says Chung.
Juniper Networks SRX5600 Services Gateway, which is optimized for large enterprises, provides advanced security and WAN connectivity, including to Internet2 for dedicated transport to the member universities. University venues are connected with Juniper branch firewalls. Juniper Networks QFX5100 line of Switches delivers high-performance, scalable 10GbE/40GbE data center switching.
Juniper Advanced Threat Protection, deployed on the SRX Series Services Gateways, finds and blocks network threats based on policies. It uses SecIntel, Juniper’s security intelligence feed, along with sandboxing and machine learning to identify day-one threats.
The team also depends on the Junos Space Network Management Platform. “Managing our entire infrastructure and environment from Junos Space gives us many advantages,” Chung says. “We can automate and simplify all the configuration, fault, performance, and security management from one platform.”
“A Juniper network minimizes latency so that our subscribers can watch high-quality video with no glitches,” says Rodgers. “The scalability of our network makes it possible to give fans content in all types of formats.”
On game days, Pac-12 Networks pushes a steady stream of traffic from the event venues to its San Francisco data center, and then up to the cloud for broadcast to viewers. The content team can quickly create video posts for digital and social media.
There’s plenty of room for more fans and more events. “Our Juniper network allows us to stream all channels without interruptions,” Chung says. “When we are ready, it is a simple upgrade to 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps.”
“Everything just comes together better in a Juniper world” says Rodgers.
Published May 2020