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D-Link Business-Class Networking Keeps Bonnaroo Music Festival Connected

Remote Farm is Outfitted With Rugged, Energy-Saving Wireless Access Points and Switches to Meet Demand for Internet Connectivity (July 30, 2008)

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 07/30/08 -- Each year the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival appears to materialize overnight, drawing an instant population of 80,000 fans and transforming a 700-acre farm into the 6th largest city in Tennessee for four days of festivities. One of the key factors to its success is Internet access, crucial not only for administration and production but for concertgoers who increasingly want to stay connected using smart phones and laptops.

For the second year now, D-Link has supplied Bonnaroo organizers with reliable, rugged, and energy-saving networking equipment to meet the demands of concert administrators, performers, and visitors, facilitating a virtual Wi-Fi city in the middle of a rural hayfield.

The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is a four-day, multi-stage camping festival held on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn. every June. Bonnaroo brings together some of the best musical performers in the world. The festival also features dozens of attractions, activities and performances. The 100-acre entertainment village buzzes around the clock with an arcade, cinema, silent disco, comedy club, theater performers, a beer festival, and a music technology village. Approximately 80,000 art, culture and music fans participate.

"There are a lot of people involved in putting the show on because we are actually building the site and everyone needs Internet access," said Thomas Porter, head of onsite networking at Superfly Productions, the co-owner and co-producer (with AC Entertainment) of the festival. "The artists also require Internet connections as part of their contracts."

Porter and his team installed a mix of indoor and outdoor D-Link® networking equipment to meet the demands of administrative trailers and the harsh farmland environment. They deployed ruggedized DWL-7700AP Wireless Outdoor Access Points/Bridges outside.

"The 7700 is great," said Porter. "They're relatively affordable and they take a beating. When we take them down off the pole you wouldn't believe that they'd only been up there a week. The end connectors are very robust, very sturdy and stable... much more efficient than any other connector type. The fact that the 7700's are totally field-ready and totally hardened to the elements is really nice. It saves us a lot of energy because we don't have to use enclosures. We can just snail the radio off of a telephone pole."

Inside the trailers, Bonnaroo uses D-Link xStack® Managed Access Points (DWL-3200AP) and 24-Port PoE Gigabit Wireless-Ready Switches (DXS-3227P), which include support for Power over Ethernet (PoE). PoE equipment channels power over twisted pair wires in standard Ethernet cabling, rendering electrical wiring obsolete for a variety of applications. The DXS-3227P includes four combo SFP ports, one fixed XFP port and two optional 10-Gig Copper/Fiber Uplinks. Bonnaroo is also using the DES-3010PA Managed 8-Port 10/100 PoE Switch, which includes one Gigabit port and one SFP slot.

Power generators are trucked in to provide power for the festival and infrastructure. "The fact that everything we're using, with the exception of switching, is all PoE-driven is very convenient, because getting power to a specific location is really a big pain," explained Porter.

"It's expensive at this point with fuel prices the way they are. We don't want to run more generators than we have to. Being able to plug in one device and have it power 20 trailers or 24 trailers is very helpful."

Networking set-up for the 2008 festival began when Porter arrived on site May 19th. The network is designed for simplicity, since the budget is small and it only has to last for a month. "It's simple by design and necessity," said Porter. "I'm a big believer in keeping things simple." Porter's team installed 15 bridge links, 70 radios and all the networking gear inside the trailers. The core network was up and running two weeks ahead of the show kick-off on June 13th. The network design includes five different VLANs for different geographies on the site and wireless access for the concertgoers. "The popularity of Apple's iPhone (and similar devices) makes the public wireless portion of the network even more critical this year. We'll see a tremendous number of client associations this year just because of all the devices that are now Wi-Fi capable," said Porter.

The remote environment also presents challenges. "This is essentially a construction site," said Porter. "It's harsh, dusty, wet and incredibly dirty. Terms like 'agri-networking' or 'farm networking' have been used to describe it. This is a hayfield eleven months out of a year."

About D-Link

D-Link is the global leader in connectivity for small, medium and large enterprise business networking. The company is an award-winning designer, developer and manufacturer of networking, broadband, digital electronics, voice, data and video communications solutions for the digital home, Small Office/Home Office (SOHO), Small to Medium Business (SMB), and Workgroup to Enterprise environments. With millions of networking and connectivity products manufactured and shipped, D-Link is a dominant market participant and price/performance leader in the networking and communications market. D-Link Systems, Inc. headquarters are located at 17595 Mt. Herrmann Street, Fountain Valley, Calif., 92708. Phone (800) 326-1688 or (714) 885-6000; FAX (866) 743-4905; Internet

D-Link, xStack and the D-Link logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of D-Link Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. All other third party marks mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright © 2008. D-Link Corporation/D-Link Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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