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Friedrichstadt-Palast

Friedrichstadt-Palast

Highlights

  • World’s largest theater palace in Berlin specializes in complex performances
  • Over 700,000 guests visit annually, with a nightly average of 2,000
  • Deployed Meraki devices to support unified network for guests and employees

With a main stage covering over 2,200 square meters, the Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin, Germany is the world’s largest theatre palace and draws nearly 700,000 visitors each year. The Palast reopened in 1984 and employs state-of-the-art technology to the stage for a variety of modern, highly complex performances that are known around the world. To keep up with the increasing demands of the shows and expectations of the guests, Andreas Kahlenbachm, Leiter IT at Friedrichstadt-Palast, chose Cisco Meraki, enabling him to set flexible network configurations to suit evolving staff and visitor needs.


Original Networking Challenges

  • Numerous small networks throughout the venue provided limited connectivity to some offices and staff, and no guest access
  • A variety of individually managed network devices prohibited visibility and control over the venue’s many wireless networks
The best part of the Meraki solution is the central control via dashboard. It’s a very clear and understandable interface with features like sign-on via Facebook built in.Andreas Kahlenbach, IT Director

Why Cisco Meraki

  • Centralized control over access points distributed throughout the venue simplifies configuration changes
  • Numerous SSIDs broadcasting simultaneously on APs allows the IT team to partition the network for staff and guest use
  • Granular network visibility provides deep insight into network trends and the types of traffic passing over the network, making bandwidth management and optimization easy
  • Custom authentication by user type provides streamlined network access and an improved user experience


The Deployment

  • Extended existing switch fabric and deployed a mix of 802.11n and 802.11ac APs throughout several floors in the theater according to usage density
  • Deployed the devices in a star topology over five floors to support an average of 2,000 guests and employees at any time
  • Three SSIDs configured, allowing employees to sign on via RADIUS authentication and some guests to sign on via a pre-shared key
  • Main guest SSID uses Facebook WiFi login, providing a smoother sign on process, promoting brand awareness, and allowing the venue to understand guest usage trends


Results

  • The theater now has widespread, reliable WiFi for both guests and employees that can be monitored and configured for different venue uses from a centralized dashboard
  • The IT team is able to use the tools built into the Meraki solution, as well as the automatic RF optimization capabilities, to optimize the overall network performance
  • Using the VLAN tagging feature, guest traffic is automatically tagged and routed away from corporate traffic accordingly
  • Built-in security radio provides 24x7 scanning for potential threats and automatic alerts in the event of a problem
  • Bandwidth hog applications have been appropriately denied using Layer 7 firewall rules across all production SSIDs
  • Guests are pleased with the new WiFi access, while employees now find they can roam throughout the building and stay connected anywhere