For several years, businesses around the world have been implementing big data analytics to speed up their processes and improve productivity. Few have taken it as far as the Lotus F1 team.
Simplifying Big Data
The Lotus F1 team recently made the move to EMC’s V-Blocks server architecture, allowing them to use data in more simple and innovative ways. Anthony Smith, Lotus F1’s converged infrastructure specialist, explains: “We’ve had the V-blocks around 18 months now. We were using a set of different hardware from various vendors before. This has been one of the big changes for us.” Switching to one provider for everything helped to simplify the process. “We have one provider and one system that we know works together. We keep it as simple as possible so we have one company to contact if something goes wrong.”
Using EMC tools has enabled the team to collect vast amounts of data and make significant changes and adjustments to their factory and processes.
“All the time the car runs we’re gathering data from it. It’s constantly streaming, even when it’s just in the garage. It’s producing around 60GB of data per weekend,” he said.
“Then we’re using that to analyse and refine the performance, and find improvements. We’re working to improve our competitiveness through the data.”
Testing and climate challenges
Given new limitations on the amount of real-world tests the team can do, the use of data analytics has become even more important in today’s racing environment.
“We’re not allowed to test during the year. We do three tests at the beginning of the year – that’s three weeks of testing – and then during the year we have four days in total throughout the year that we can test the car that isn’t a race weekend,” he said.
“This is why the simulation and the data analysis is so important because we can’t just decide to test it on the circuit. There are so many possibilities for the car and we’ve got to turn up at the circuit and pretty much know exactly how it’s going to be and what’s going to happen.”
The converged future
Moving forward, Smith wants to continue the team’s move towards a hyper converged infrastructure.
“We’re looking at whatever we can get our hands on. We’ve seen the whole virtualisation hybrid cloud infrastructure develop over the last few years and that’s helped us massively,” he said.
“We’re looking towards boosting our resilience. Looking at X-Racks VSpex Blue, hyper converged, the next step on.”
“If we can get more performance for less size, weight and power on the track that’s another advantage for us.”
To find out more you can read the full article on V3.co.uk