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Black Oak Casino

Black Oak Casino Resort Hits the Jackpot with Game Changing Reliability and Speed from DDN

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Video Surveillance North America

With a casino, bowling center, live entertainment, several dining venues, kids’ arcade and more, Black Oak Casino Resort, owned and operated by the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians, offers guests a resort destination for the whole family.

The Mu-Wuk people have a long, rich history that dates back thousands of years and have developed a community that encompasses not only the 148-room hotel and conference center, but an RV park, grocery store, health care center, and gas station as well.

With public safety a top priority for Black Oak Casino Resort, ensuring the safety of guests and team members not only provides a positive experience for everyone who visits this family-friendly destination, it also enables employees to deliver the highest levels of service.

As tribal amenities continue to expand, the security team, as leaders in surveillance, continue to look ahead and plan for growth and development in the most economical and advanced ways. All areas of the resort are monitored 24/7 via closed-circuit cameras, providing the security staff with visibility into real-time activity as well as ensuring access to video for review of any incidents of concern.

Cameras and other advanced technology continue to be added to the reservation on an ongoing basis – with the ultimate goal using the latest technology available to provide the tribal community and visitors with an exceptional experience.

Business Benefits

  • Eliminated downtime and data loss with improved stability and reliability
  • Increased storage capacity scales to meet business needs
  • Faster, parallel video retrieval improved real-time viewing
  • Smaller footprint and reduced operational costs – from 9 systems to 1 system
  • An 84% operational cost savings since implementing DDN
  • Improved efficiencies and resource allocation

“We wanted more stability, capacity and speed with the flexibility to seamlessly grow. It’s a lot to ask, but we have a lot riding on our storage because our data is what allows us to do our job.”

Edewaa Foster – Gaming Commissioner | Vice Chairman

The Challenge

The Black Oak Casino has a first-class Safety and Security team consisting of a well-rounded group of agents with diverse backgrounds delivering outstanding services despite the challenges they were facing almost daily from an unstable data storage system.

The ability to retrieve videos – or provide law enforcement and other entities with footage upon request – isn’t simply important to maintaining a safe and secure environment, it has financial implications as well. Failure to maintain video in adherence with federal, state, or tribal requirements can result in fines, the revocation of the facility’s liquor license, or even a forced shut down of the resort.

Fortunately, the Black Oak Casino Safety and Security team has a strong track record. The growing instability of the storage for its surveillance system was creating concerns about the potential for data loss.

The system needed to be rebooted weekly to prevent downtime and the loss of existing content and new data capture. The reboots and downtime diverted resources and time away from other security activities, and with more than 650 video cameras and more being added every month, the ability to scale storage to accommodate growth was also driving the need to evaluate an alternate solution.

“It’s a lot to ask, but we have a lot riding on our storage because our data is what allows us to do our job,” explains Edewaa Foster, Gaming Commisioner. “We can’t afford for the system to go down or for bottlenecks to slow us down. When we’re in an emergency situation we need a system that lets us act fast.”

The Solution

Working with the casino gaming security experts at Surveillance Systems Integration, the Safety and Security team at Black Oak moved to a DDN storage solution that can easily grow to meet the growing video storage needs of the resort while also delivering the stability this business-critical function demands.

Optimized for data availability, the DDN solution was able to replace the department’s nine systems with a single DDN system.

“Because our system was only available in certain blocks, adding capacity to accommodate growth meant we were buying based upon what we could get, not what our business needs,” says Foster.

“DDN gives us the ability to add the right capacity at the right time, which is more operationally and financially advantageous.”

Edewaa Foster – Gaming Commissioner | Vice Chairman

Business Results and Benefits

The improved reliability and speed have dramatically impacted the Safety and Security team’s ability to ensure the safety of guests and team members.

The system has driven efficiencies in several areas – from reducing the hardware footprint, to freeing up resources once dedicated to troubleshooting an unstable, slow system that couldn’t meet the performance demands of the job. Black Oak has calculated an 84% operational cost savings since the implementation of the DDN system.

Today’s single DDN system supplies more capacity and the performance to sync dozens of video streams going fast forward and fast reverse at speeds of 64X, 128X, 256X and beyond. Now the team can synchronize cameras and playback the video on the same screen, at the same time, faster than before.

“Before DDN there were times we needed a video and it just wasn’t there. Now we not only trust it will be there when we need it, we can get to it quickly, and that’s game changing for us,” says Dave Menezes, Information Systems Coordinator.

“I used to receive calls at all hours of the night and over weekends because the system was down and couldn’t deliver the performance we needed – that doesn’t happen anymore.”

In addition to the operational benefits of the new DDN system, the financial advantages were both immediate and continuous.

The smaller footprint reduces power consumption for lower on-going costs, and the ability to add storage capacity to an existing system is more cost effective and less resource intensive than adding another system to address new requirements.

Looking Ahead

Today, Black Oak Casino Resort Security and Safety team is confident that they have the right storage in place to support their mission and the right storage partner to meet the resort’s growing needs into the future.

Foster concludes. “We haven’t experienced any issues, but one of the reasons we chose DDN is that we know they’re going to be there if we need them. It’s been an overwhelming positive experience with everyone involved, and especially with the system – we just set it and forget it. With DDN, the before and after is like night and day.”