183,000 gross register tons heavy, 337 meters long, 2,500 cabins. These are just a few of the superlatives that AIDAnova has to offer. After 2.5 years of planning, construction and installation, one of the world’s largest cruise ships set sail in December 2018. On this new generation of ships, innovative design meets state-of-the-art technology. In addition, AIDAnova is the world’s first cruise ship to operate entirely on low-emission liquefied natural gas (LNG). KVM technology from G&D ensures that the entertainment services run smoothly.
AIDAnova – a cruise ship of superlatives
On board, AIDAnova offers 2,500 cabins, 17 restaurants and 23 bars as well as cafés and lounges. Several pools, a beach club, a sports deck, a spacious wellness area, a theater, activity areas and countless entertainment facilities give passengers the opportunity for 24/7 entertainment. Of course, all these areas are also equipped with media devices and are therefore integrated into Guntermann & Drunck’s KVM system.
High demands on technical equipment
But a KVM system must have a lot to offer to be used on a cruise ship:
- Latency-free transmission
- Access in real time
- High usability
- Easy operation
- Transparent and intuitive user rights management
In order to keep an overview of the entertainment on a huge ship like AIDAnova, it is also important for the technical team to be able to access the media servers from all positions without having to go to one of the actual technical rooms. All computers are placed in separate technical rooms, some of which are located on different decks. Walking there each time an issue arises would take a lot of time.
G&D systems on the high seas
“When briefly considering how many entertainment devices on board of AIDAnova we need to control via keyboard, mouse and screen, the use of a powerful KVM system makes perfect sense,” says Bernhard Loesken, Senior Superintendent Entertainment / Mediatechnics Newbuildings for AIDA.
In the server rooms, two matrix systems of the ControlCenter-Compact series therefore serve as central units allowing the switching of any computers to several endpoints. CPU modules and the associated CAT and fiber cabling extend and switch the computer signals to the various locations on the ship.
Receiver modules (CON units) receive and process computer signals at the remote workstations. Depending on venue and multimedia device it was possible to create consoles with one or two monitors.
Due to the application size, two KVM matrix systems form a KVM Matrix-Grid™. Using this grid, matrix systems can communicate bidirectionally and are securely connected with each other.
Another challenge was the management of user rights. But with G&D’s intuitive configuration tool, the administration team have been able to create different user groups and assign them individual access rights.
Challenges in planning the project
Of course, space is always an important aspect on a cruise ship. Therefore, the computer equipment had to adapt to this circumstance as well and is now distributed on different decks. But the challenge of equipping a cruise ship with media equipment was not so much to find suitable devices for the use on board, but rather to get everything up and running in a very short time window. But just as smoothly as the installation went, our systems have been running reliably ever since on their journey around the world.
Safe travels to our devices ship ahoy!
If this post has been a bit long for your taste, here’s an overview of the most important facts of the project:
As one of the largest cruise ships in the world, AIDAnova offers guests exclusive comfort and an entire world of entertainment. Following AIDA’s green cruising concept, AIDAnova has an innovative propulsion system and runs on 100 % environmentally friendly liquid natural gas.
The on-board technicians should be able to operate all media servers from any position without having to walk to one of the technical rooms. Therefore, almost all areas of the vessel should be integrated into the KVM system.
- Two ControlCenter-Compact matrix systems
- KVM Matrix-Grid™ function
- Various DVI-CONs (CAT and fiber)
- Various DVI-CPUs (CAT and fiber)
Result and benefits
- Comfortable working environment on a high-end cruise ship serving as a flagship for “Green Cruising” and the new Helios-class
- Decentralized operation of a large, distributed IT installation using a KVM matrix grid
- Flexible, latency-free and user-friendly operation for crew and technicians
- Transparent user rights management thanks to intuitive configuration tool
Would you like to know which applications also benefit from using our KVM systems? Then you might want to take a look at the following blog posts: