How many personal electronic devices do you use in your home? With a world awash in smart phones, chances are you have one of your own and maybe a computer, printer, laptop, e-reader and even a tablet on top of that. It takes a lot to keep all those devices going, so could you imagine doing it for an entire casino? Our resort's Information Technology (IT) Department makes sure all electronic communication at M runs smoothly, right down to the very last slot machine.
Essentially every device inside our nearly two million square foot resort resides on one network, meaning more than 600 laptops, printers, servers; more than 1,500 slot machines; over 100 point of sale terminals; 1,400 telephones including 400 wireless IP phones and much more are all connected on one single converged network - making our resort one of the most technologically advanced in Las Vegas.
Our resort boasts a full Ethernet gaming floor. Many casinos in Las Vegas still currently use serial data connections to the tens of thousands of slot machines. Only with Ethernet gaming floors can casinos effectively utilize the content delivery mechanisms embedded in each slot machine.
Planning for a network, like ours, began even before the first architectural drawings were created. Our IT Department's main goal was to create an infrastructure that would allow all the devices in our resort to be connected. Building codes in Nevada require all network cables be in a conduit (tube for protecting electric wiring), which means every phone, computer or device that connects to a network needs to be inside one. In a large resort such as ours, that's a whole lot of cable casing. A property of our size normally would have five to seven wiring closets, but because M has a highly collapsed network infrastructure our resort has triple that number.
Our IT Department's next goal was to create an “agnostic endpoint," which meant that a wall jack, (like the kind you plug a phone or internet cable into) could be anything. Historically in homes, and hotels alike, telephones require a dedicated wire that runs from the phone back to a central location, such as a telephone switch. Conversely VOIP (voice over IP) phones are plugged into ports on a network switch and can be treated almost the same as any computer or other network device. Our Team was able to expand that concept further by taking out all dedicated wiring for security cameras, slot machines, TVs, time clocks and hotel mini-bars and was given the freedom to put anything, anywhere there is a connector.