The Aston Martin Red Bull F1 Racing team faces a great deal more IT challenges than your average enterprise. Not many IT teams have to rebuild their data center 21 times each year and spin it up in a matter of hours. Not many data centers are packed up and transported around the world by air and sea along with 45 tonnes of equipment. Not many IT technicians also have to perform a dual role as pit stop mechanic.\n\n\n\nThe trackside garage at an F1 race is a tight working environment and a team of only two IT technicians face pressure from both the factory and trackside staff to get the trackside IT up and running very fast.\n\nYet, despite all these pressures, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing do not have a cloud-led strategy. Instead they have chosen to keep all IT in house.\nWhy?\nThe reason for this is performance. F1 is arguably the ultimate performance sport.\n\nA walk round the team\u2019s factory in Milton Keynes, England, makes it abundantly clear that the whole organization is hell bent on maximizing performance; 700 staff at the factory are all essentially dedicated to the creation of just two cars.\n\nThe level of detail that is demanded in reaching peak performance is truly mind blowing. For example, one machine with a robotic arm that checks the dimensions of the components built at the factory is able to measure accuracy to a scale 10 times thinner than a human hair. This quest for maximum performance, however, is hampered at every turn by the stringent rules from the F1 governing body - the FIA.\n\nSee also:\u00a0Mercedes F1 Team Partners Up With HPE\n\nTeams face restrictions on testing and technology usage in order to prevent the sport becoming an arms race. So, for example, pre-season track testing is limited to only 8 days. Furthermore, wind tunnel testing is only allowed with 60% scale models and wind tunnel-usage is balanced with the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software, essentially a virtual wind tunnel. Teams that overuse one, lose time with the other.\n\nIn order to maximize performance within uniquely difficult logistical and regulatory conditions, the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team has had to deploy a very powerful and agile IT estate. The team\u2019s biggest emphasis for switching to HPE\u2019s hyperconverged infrastructure, SimpliVity, was performance. Before choosing hyperconverged infrastructure, the team\u2019s traditional IT had reached its limits and their legacy trackside infrastructure was creaking. Now, with the extra performance of SimpliVity the team\u2019s infrastructure doesn\u2019t get to its limits. HPE SimpliVity has helped reduce space, has optimized processing power and brought more agility.\n\nOne of the first and most important use cases they switched to hyperconverged infrastructure was post-processing trackside data. During a race weekend each car is typically fitted with over 100 sensors providing key data on things like tyre temperature and downforce multiple times per second. Processing this data and acting on the insights is key to driving performance improvements.\n\nWith their legacy infrastructure, the team was losing valuable track time during free practice waiting for data processing to take place. Since switching to HPE SimpliVity, data processing has dropped from being more than 15 minutes to less than 5 minutes. Overall, the team has seen a 79% performance boost compared to the legacy architecture. This has allowed for real time race strategy analysis and has improved race strategy decision making.\n\nData insights helps the team stay one step ahead, as race strategy decisions are data driven. For example, real time tyre temperature data helps the team judge tyre wear and make pit stop decisions. Real time access to tyre data helped the team to victory at the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix as the Aston Martin Red Bull cars pitted ahead of the rest of the field and Daniel Ricciardo swept to a memorable victory.\n\nHyperconverged infrastructure is also well suited to what Neil Bailey, the team\u2019s Head of IT Infrastructure, Enterprise Architecture and Innovation, calls the \u201chostile\u201d trackside environment. With hyperconverged infrastructure, only two racks are needed at each race of which SimpliVity only takes up about 20% of the space, thus freeing up key space in very restricted trackside garages.\n\nFurthermore, with the Aston Martin Red Bull F1 team limited to 60 staff at each race, only two of Neil\u2019s team can travel. The reduction in equipment and closer integration of HPE SimpliVity means engineers can get the trackside data center up and running quickly and allow trackside staff to start work as soon as they arrive.\n\nSee also:\u00a0AWS Wins Formula 1: Will Help with New Car Design Rules\n\nSince seeing the notable performance gains from using hyperconverged infrastructure for trackside data processing, the team has also transitioned some of the factory\u2019s IT estate over to HPE SimpliVity. This includes: Aerodynamic metrics, ERP system, SQL server, exchange server and the team\u2019s software house, the Team Foundation Server.\n\nAs well as seeing huge performance benefits, HPE SimpliVity has significantly impacted the work patterns of Neil Bailey\u2019s team of just ten. Neil actually says that the biggest operational win from hyperconverged infrastructure is freeing up engineers\u2019 time from focusing on \u2018business as usual\u2019 to innovation. Traditional IT took up too much of the engineers\u2019 time monitoring systems and just keeping things running. Now with HPE SimpliVity, Neil is pleased to say that his team can give the business more and quicker and be more creative with how they use technology.\n\nHyperconverged infrastructure has given Aston Martin Red Bull F1 Racing the speed, scalability and agility they require without any need to turn to the cloud. It allows them to deliver more and more resources to trackside staff in an increasingly responsive manner. However, even with all these performance gains, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing has been able to reduce IT costs. So, the users are happy, the finance director is happy and the IT team are happy because their jobs are easier. Hyperconvergence is clearly the right choice for the unique challenges of Formula 1 racing.