Maintain Master Control with Proper Heat Management – Editorial by Dave Van Hoy, ASG President

Heat kills broadcast and IT equipment. When the heat builds, it can damage the various components you need to run your station, deliver presentations in your classrooms and auditoriums, or provide access to content for your post-production needs. Most master controls don’t have an ambient temperature that supports IT or broadcast equipment, of course, so you’ll need more than the integrated fans in your equipment for proper heat management. 

Much of today’s IT equipment is designed to operate in warmer temperatures – between 78 and 80 degrees – which means less cooling is required. For most broadcast equipment, however, the optimal room temperature is 68 degrees, because of temperature-sensitive components that are different than what you’d find in a typical server or switch. 

Need to move master control to a new area of an existing building? Avoid spaces with exterior windows, which essentially act like solar heaters. Also, if you have a choice, a bigger space is always better. With a smaller space, there’s not a lot of margin for error. If the AC fails, the smaller room will get hotter faster, which means the risk of damaging your equipment gets much higher much faster. If you are stuck with a compact space, consider a self-contained rack enclosure system with integrated cooling, which can act as a primary or secondary cooling alternative. 

Remember, you need to both cool the room and remove heat from the equipment in the room. One time-tested equipment layout technique is the “hot aisle/cold aisle” layout, which uses air flow management based on your equipment’s interior cooling fans. Basically, you face multiple racks away from each other, and direct the exhausted hot air from the back of all the components to the room’s AC return vent. Studies have shown the hot aisle/cold aisle layout can increase AC efficiency by up to 20 percent, which can result in significant power savings. 

Still have questions about proper heat management for your facility? Let the experts at ASG install and design a system that will keep your equipment cool without requiring your engineering staff to wear a parka in master control. 

NetApp Overhauls AV Ecosystem Across Headquarters With ASG


$14 Million Project Includes Data Visionary Center with Iconic 360-Degree Cylindrical Video Display

EMERYVILLE, CALIF., Sept. 18, 2018 – When NetApp, one of the world’s leading companies for data management and enterprise storage solutions, agreed to sell several of its buildings and reduce the size of its Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters, it invested $14 million to upgrade the entire AV/media ecosystem across the campus. Advanced Systems Group (ASG), a leading media technology integration, engineering, and managed services firm, was named the single-source provider for the multi-year project, and updated all conference rooms, training rooms, and video production facilities, as well as the security operations center and executive briefing center.

“We had to rebuild and consolidate all the active media and live event spaces into a smaller footprint,” explained Mike Tyler, NetApp senior manager. “Any one of these projects would have been a significant build. We essentially built seven different projects simultaneously and fully integrated them into one campus-wide ecosystem. ASG’s input was invaluable because of the experience they brought to the project.”

To better gauge expectations for the project, the entire construction project team – including Tyler, ASG, designers, and architects – conducted interviews with NetApp executives. “They all wanted something that was cutting edge,” Tyler recalled, “and would change the perception of NetApp to that of a technologically relevant company prepared to do business in the 21st century.”

Data Visionary Center
The executive briefing center, now renamed the Data Visionary Center, became the primary focus of the entire project. The centerpiece of the DVC is its Cloud Theater, which resembles the cross section of a large video teepee and is built of 18 slightly overlapping, horizontally curved individual trapezoidal panels, each 12 feet tall and six feet wide and positioned to create a cylindrical, 360-degree display. Half-panels are positioned over the two doors that provide entry to the interior theater, which features 240-degree panoramic presentations produced with an immersive dual-projector system from The Elumenati and 5.1 surround speaker system from Meyer Sound.

“People step through the doorway and freeze in their tracks – staring at this display,” Tyler said. “It’s really iconic. Our chief marketing officer asked for something bold, something that could be seen from the parking lot, and that’s exactly what we provided.”

The Cloud Theater is the centerpiece of NetApp’s Data Visionary Center and part of 
a $14 million AV/media ecosystem upgrade across its campus in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Advanced Systems Group was the single-source provider for the multi-year project.  

Other features of the DVC include a Planar Mosaic video wall, built with 32 individual panels set at varying depths, and an interactive Flip-Disc, dot matrix digital art wall by Breakfast, LLC, which uses a hidden camera to produce a high-contrast image of people walking past the display through a multitude of individual metal black-and-white pixels.

Inside the DVC, ASG also built five conference rooms with Planar touchscreens, which feature Bluescape collaborative virtual workspace software, as well as non-touch displays in four of the rooms for videoconferencing and desktop sharing. “Our executives felt that we needed to change the way we presented information to our customers,” Tyler said. “We had to get away from the traditional ‘death by PowerPoint.’ It’s the fundamental reason why, partnering with our clients on the DVC team, we chose Bluescape.”

In addition to the five conference rooms, NetApp’s DVC also includes an open, more relaxed collaborative space called the Mini Theater. The main AV feature of the space is a large Planar Clarity Matrix G3 interactive LCD video wall that utilizes twelve 55-inch LCDs. The touch-driven video wall also features the Bluescape collaborative virtual workspace software.

A Crestron touch panel in each room allows intuitive control of lighting, shades, and AV equipment, while a Crestron panel outside each room displays daily schedules and meeting agendas. While available resources differ between various rooms throughout the campus, the Crestron touch panel interface consistently presents each room’s options for ease of use. The outside panels are managed through BriefingSource, a cloud-based event management and scheduling resource.

Advanced Systems Group updated five conference rooms in NetApp’s Data Visionary

Control Rooms and Connectivity
NetApp has five control rooms across its campus, and four of them were updated by ASG with identical equipment. The fifth control room, which supports the gymnasium space that seats 1,200 people and is used for quarterly company-wide meetings, will be updated later this year with the same components. “NetApp is very, very big on video communications,” Tyler explained. “It’s really about the efficiency of the space and enabling the staff to easily move between control rooms throughout the day without having to relearn each room.”

All the control rooms had to be able to share AV resources between them, since NetApp often hosts very large events that utilize multiple event spaces. Fiber optic lines tie the four buildings together, and Tyler’s team created a separate virtual LAN and DANTE audio network throughout the campus for AV use. As a result, Tyler said it was critical to connect all the control rooms.

For NetApp, the keys to connectivity are two NVision 248×248 routing switchers. Housed in different buildings, the routers receive signals from cameras in any event space and time all sources to one master clock, so any source can be used in any control room for any project. Because all video and audio sources throughout the campus are connected through the routers, ASG developed customized programming that enables the AV team to control specific areas of the routers through Crestron interface panels installed in each room.

Tyler praised ASG’s inside sales team, which helped the project engineers remain flexible throughout the process. “We were updating our designs as new technology became available,” Tyler said. “ASG’s continual research throughout the course of the project allowed them to save us money and keep up with advances in technology.”

About ASG:
Based in Northern California with offices in the New York Metro Area, Los Angeles, Pacific Northwest, Houston, and the Rocky Mountain Region, Advanced Systems Group LLC of Emeryville, Calif., has provided engineering, systems, integration, support, and training to the multimedia creative and corporate video markets since 1997. With unmatched experience in high-speed shared storage, media asset management, archiving, editing, color and VFX systems, ASG has become one of the largest installers of post-production and shared storage systems in North America. Highly focused on customer success, the ASG team has installed and supported more than 500 storage networks, along with production and post-production systems. As part of its complete solution approach, ASG also offers a range of managed services, providing expert staffing for media production and IT services on a temporary or ongoing basis. For more information, visit or call 510-654-8300.