"We chose dataJAR because they clearly understood what we needed and what we were trying to achieve."
Director, Big Picture
Big Picture are a marketing agency with a notable history of innovation and dedication to their clients. Established in 1996, Big Picture have an impressive client list of virtually all the market leaders in consumer electronics.
Carnival UK are one of Big Picture's most prestigious clients and one of the largest luxury cruise ship operators in the world. One of their brands is Cunard, which is made up of the legendary ships Queen Elizabeth (QE), Queen Victoria (QV) and Queen Mary 2 (QM2).
Cunard had a requirement to provide on-board training to passengers while out at sea. Courses were developed by Big Picture while a technical brief went out to tender.
Implementing any computer systems at sea has its challenges, such as fluctuations with power, lack of physical network cabling, and thick metal bulkheads which constitute a huge challenge for wireless communication. This is coupled with the physical movement of the ship (50ft waves) and lack of a high-speed internet connection (3Mb satellite internet for around 1,500 users).
How were we to demonstrate Apple technology in this environment and provide a solid end-user experience?
We decided to create a fully sandboxed environment within a closed wireless system. An Apple server would provide core network services such as DNS, Mail, Authentication, File Sharing and Deployment. We built a custom configuration which enabled course tutors to deliver engaging training on macOS and supporting applications such as iMovie.
As this was an extremely isolated environment, it was important to be able to restore devices very quickly if a hardware failure was encountered, as well as being able to update macOS and its applications as and when required. We achieved this using open source technology, which enabled restore/setup processes to be carried out in approximately 14 minutes.
Due to the uniqueness of this project, it also gained some media attention.