Security Masterpiece

OARnet helping Cleveland Museum of Art achieve global reach

 

The Cleveland Museum of Art's Collection Wall is a 40-foot interactive wall that displays all works of art from the museum's permanent collection, that includes up to 4,500 pieces of art at any given time. Credit: Photo courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art. 

CLEVELAND, Ohio – At any time of day or night, you can step inside the Cleveland Museum of Art with nothing more than your smartphone.

Using the Cleveland Museum of Art’s ArtLens app, you can view sculptures by Auguste Rodin, experience one of the finest Asian collections in the world, and even enjoy guided tours in which curators explain significant details of artists and their works.

The vastness of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s digital repository art collection is breathtaking and is helping the museum expand its global reach. The digital collection—kept on the cloud-based system Piction—is safe and secure through an innovative data storage solution constructed by BlueBridge Networks in Cleveland and supported by OARnet.

“Anybody in the world can search our collection,” said Tom Hood, director of technology operations at the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA). “The database has been in place almost 10 years now, but within the past three-to-four years, it has really taken on a life of its own.

“The importance of needing a redundancy system has grown exponentially. In-house we had some ways of doing that, but the scale was growing, and it was really difficult.”

The OARnet network provides redundancy by transporting CMA’s primary digital repository art collection from the BlueBridge data center to the museum’s secondary connection at Cologix data center in Columbus. OARnet’s 100-gigabit-per-second backbone provides instantaneous recovery capabilities in the event of an outage; the collection can be transported and replaced without interruption for viewers. OARnet’s involvement reduces costs for CMA while increasing efficiency.

“It’s about adding more capacity and storage, and to make sure the storage we had is properly backed up if something happens here in Cleveland. So, we can make sure we have constant access to our image repository data,” Hood said.

Some of the technology CMA patrons enjoy includes the interactive Collections Wall and Gallery One, which often introduces visitors to the museum’s art and helps them understand many aspects of the collections. Three years ago, CMA opened Gallery One, and that’s when the content started to grow to a large scale, according to Hood.

The OARnet network provides redundancy by transporting CMA’s primary digital repository art collection from the BlueBridge data center to the museum’s secondary connection at Cologix data center in Columbus. Credit: Photo courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art. 

Gallery One helps visitors maneuver the gallery and build their own tours via the Collections Wall.

“It’s used a lot by school groups that come in,” Hood said. “They can rent iPads or use their own devices on a lot of the tours our educational department gives.”

The educational aspect is what brought in OARnet—which serves Ohio's education, health care, public broadcasting, and government communities—because CMA is a non-profit educational institution.

“Without OARnet, it would have been cost prohibitive based on the topology alone,” said Kevin Goodman, managing director and partner at BlueBridge. “Also, we have the diversity in power grids through the OARnet connection; Cleveland and Columbus are on separate national power grids and in many cases experience different weather patterns, and that mitigates risk.”

Goodman said OARnet’s role in helping institutions such as CMA helps the state on a larger level.

“Any time you can improve efficiencies and reduce costs, you’re going to create opportunity, you’re going to create education, you’re going to create learning,” Goodman said. “So the OARnet topology throughout the state of Ohio helps in a web, data-centric world; helps throughout the state of Ohio, businesses and institutions compete in a global marketplace more effectively.”

 

Summary

WHO: The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) is expanding its global reach while enjoying safe and secure storage of its digitized materials through an innovative data storage solution.

WHAT: Customized solutions have improved data security, compression, and access speed for CMA’s historical and mission-critical assets, which sit securely within the cloud, allowing access to world-class art for viewers around the world.

OARnet’s ROLE: The OARnet network provides redundancy by transporting CMA’s digital repository art collection from Blue Bridge Networks in Cleveland to the museum’s secondary connection at Cologix data center in Columbus. OARnet’s 100-Gbps sophisticated backbone provides instantaneous redundancy in the event of an outage so the collection can be recovered and transported without interruption for all viewers.

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Written by Ross Bishoff, (614) 292-9319, rbishoff@oh-tech.org

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