SUCCESS STORY Square Enix, Inc. Top-Selling Game Manufacturer Uses ClearCube for Quality Assurance Testing As developer and distributor of top-selling video games like Final Fantasy® and Dragon Quest®, Square Enix is a world leader in digital entertainment. The Tokyo- based company hosts one of the most popular sites for online gaming and is Japan 9s second largest manufacturer of role-playing games.
Square Enix, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Square Enix Co. Ltd.
and has ofDces located in Los Angeles, CA and Seattle, WA. The company handles the development, localization, marketing and publishing of Square Enix titles in North America. The Challenge The quality assurance department at Square Enix 9s Los Angeles location uses a multitude of equipment to test outgoing games before distribution.
After downloading and burning raw graphic images from Japan, QA testers play through each game using one of several gaming platforms. Any malfunctions found in the program are documented in an international database. cThe accumulation of equipment in the QA department was causing major spacing issues, d says Anthony Salazar, manager of network services.
cWhen you have twenty people on a table, and each one has a Playstation, Xbox, PC, keyboard and mouse, it can get crowded pretty ... more. less.
quickly. d OVERVIEW 4 The Challenge Reduce space requirements and improve asset manageability in a cramped QA department 4 The Solution Replace box PCs with centralized PC Blades and cable-connected User Ports 4 The Bene/t A more accommodating work environ- ment with higher system availability and fewer desktop support requests The box PCs bore the brunt of the overcrowding. cPeople would spill drinks on their PCs, trip over the wires, step on things 4it was a mess. Hardware would sometimes disappear, too, d says Salazar.<br><br> PC maintenance and availability was also a nightmare. User-related accidents and system downtime required the company 9s technicians to focus endless hours on desktop support. cResolving hardware issues took a big chunk out of our resources, d says Salazar.<br><br> cBasic PC maintenance used to take so much time, it wasn 9t even funny. d The Solution To alleviate spacing and maintenance issues, Square Enix replaced all the box PCs in its quality assurance department with ClearCube PC Blades and small user-facing connection devices. cNow there 9s only the monitor, keyboard and mouse at the testers 9 desks. There 9s nothing else to mess with, d says Salazar.<br><br> ClearCube Technology removes the box PC from the user work area, condenses it into a fully Intel® compatible PC Blade form- factor, and rack-mounts it in a centralized data center. All that remains at the user work cThe overhead of maintaing a box PC environment was expensive. The ClearCube solution has really saved us a lot of money. d 4 Anthony Salazar, Manager of Network Services Square Enix area are the peripherals and a small device called a ClearCube User Port that provides Ethernet, Dber or cable connectivity.<br><br> Applications and data are stored and processed directly on the PC Blades, and User Ports do not contain any mass storage devices like disk or CD drives. IT administrators can also use the web browser-based ClearCube Management Suite (CMS) to remotely manage users and PC Blades from anywhere in the world. The Bene/t In addition to clearing up the testers 9 work areas, the ClearCube solution also improved system availability and manageability.<br><br> If a tester encounters an IT issue, an administrator can now instantly chot swap d the user to a spare PC Blade and then perform repairs as needed. Installations, upgrades and moves/adds/ changes are also easier to execute since 8834 Capital of Texas Highyway North Austin, Texas 78759 Voice 512.652.3500 Fax 512.652.3501 Toll Free 866.652.3500 www.clearcube.com the PC Blades are housed in a centralized location. cMy staff loves the solution to death, d says Salazar.<br><br> cThey just set up or Dx the Blades in the data center, and they 9re done. They don 9t have to go around the ofDce toying with users 9 keyboards, drivers, or anything else. d Salazar says the QA department is now the quietest part of the ofDce as far as desktop support is concerned. cQA testers are normally pretty computer savvy since they game so much, but we haven 9t received a single complaint about the new system.<br><br> Issues are rare. d In addition to eliminating PC-related noise and heat in the QA department, the centralized solution has also hardened the company 9s asset security. cThe hardware is safer now that we can lock it down in the data center, d says Salazar. Impressed by the superior reliability and manageability of the ClearCube solution, Salazar has expressed a desire to expand the deployment in the future.<br><br> cI 9d love to get rid of the box PCs in the game support call center and replace them with Blades. ClearCube 9s worked really well for us. d cIt 9s hard to be proactive when you 9re /xing broken computers all the time. ClearCube has made a huge difference in this respect.<br><br> The centralization and hot swapping of the Blades means that we don 9t have to be so reactionary any more. d 4 Anthony Salazar, Manager of Network Services Square Enix