NetApp accelerates Renault F1 team success

Following the British Grand Prix and in the lead up to the German Grand Prix in Hockenheimring on 23 July, Renault F1 Team has deployed a Network Appliance enterprise storage solution consisting of 7xFAS270c to collect and store data generated by cars during race events and provide trackside engineers with vital information about vehicle performance.  Additionally, as part of its disaster recovery strategy, Renault F1 Team is mirroring all administrative data and photography between two NetApp FAS960 storage systems in its Oxfordshire Technical Centre and also has the capability to mirror data between Oxfordshire and French technical centres.


Renault has been competing at the highest level in motor sport for 27 years, with 2002 marking the competitive return of a one hundred percent Renault team that proved its strength with the achievement of a fourth-place finish in the Constructors World Championship in 2003. The Renault F1 Team is currently holding second position in the 2004 F1 Constructors World Championship and its track record of success in F1 reinforces its ambition of World Championship victory by 2006.


The relationship between the Renault F1 Team and NetApp stretches back four years and the team also uses NetApp FAS960 storage systems to hold and manage CAD/CAM design data for its 50 designers, who work full-time on the development of F1 cars. This trio of storage systems are powering Renault F1 Team with a ready-made disaster recovery solution, enabling greater flexibility and management simplicity across its IT infrastructure.


Graeme Hackland, I.T. manager for the Renault F1 Team, commented on the trackside implementation:  "We need to monitor over 200 different sensors on a car during a race from air temperature and fluid levels to how the brakes are responding. The volume of that information is growing all the time, so we needed a solution that could store a huge amount of data and allow up to 30 people to access it at the same time. The NetApp clustered trackside storage solution we deployed is scalable to 6TB and gives Renault F1 Team optimum power and speed."


As the storage solution follows the team around the world to each of its 18 race meetings, portability was key in the decision to choose Network Appliance. "The system has to travel in crates and on the back of trucks, so it had to be something that we could move around easily as well as compact and robust. The NetApp solution was the only one that provided the reliability that was vital to Renault F1 Team. Formula 1 is a 24-hour business, we can't afford to have any downtime and we need to ensure our trackside information was extremely fast and totally reliable," continued Hackland.


Stuart Gilks, systems engineering director Northern EMEA, Network Appliance said: "Renault F1 Team stands out because the entire team shares a common goal: to make the car go faster.  This makes it a tremendously exciting environment and establishes intensive team synergy. We know how important it is for the team to have access to race data whether they are on the track or back in the factory. Network Appliance is proud to be helping the Renault F1 Team achieve its goals."


Hackland concludes: "The simplicity and effectiveness of the NetApp disaster recovery solution has enabled Renault F1 Team to implement a solution that fulfils our data availability and protection requirements."

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