his is the first such accreditation granted to a gaming manufacturer. Under GSA’s program, manufacturers can ensure consistent GSA protocol implementation, and operators can easily search for products that have been tested and certified to meet GSA protocol standards.
The us$ 10 million, 603.8 sqm IGT Interoperability Center is open free of charge to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), strategic partners and system integrators. The Interoperability Center features five private testing rooms, eight work stations, a 30-rack server room on uninterrupted power supplies (UPS) and storage arrays with sufficient space to house customer data. Badge-only access and 24-hour surveillance ensure security. The Interoperability Center is separate from IGT’s Reno facility and operates on its own network, allowing for confidential testing.
The Interoperability Center’s mission is to conduct real-life testing on full-scale systems, exposing the technology to large-scale interoperability load, performance and stress tests. "Most OEM and partner labs use small-scale systems," said Mohammad Entezari, Director of Software Product Assurance. "Those types of sample systems aren’t capable of imitating real-life casino environments. Because of that, the casino floor often becomes the real testing ground. Testing at the Interoperability Center can avoid that scenario and all the headaches it can cause.
"The testing capacity of the Interoperability Center is unparalleled," Entezari added. "For example, a multi-site casino operator with thousands of machines running a variety of IGT and non-IGT products wants to be sure every component is going to work together smoothly. Our engineers re-create the customer’s operational environment, run the simulation and identify potential problems."
The Center has many partners: Agilysys, Cisco Systems, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Marathon Technologies, Microsoft, Network Appliance and VMware are just a few. These partnerships ensure the Interoperability Center is using the most advanced technology. Two gaming manufacturers, Atronic and WMS, are already utilizing the facility for interoperability testing. The Interoperability Center has successfully "IGT tested" products from Touch Dynamics, Dell, Lenovo and Motorola.