New data centre means Ferrari F1 team can action data at full throttle

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Data Centre

Schneider Electric says a data centre upgrade is enabling Ferrari’s F1 team to action data insights at full throttle.

“The data centre hosts solutions and systems used by our engineers during races”, said Antonio Tornatore, head of process at Scuderia Ferrari. “This means that systems have to be totally reliable because during a race focus has to be entirely on the car and the race itself and not on the tools.”

“We collect and analyse telemetry (remote monitoring of dozens of sensors in the car during an actual race), weather, and strategic data during races. We continuously process this data in real time in order to refine and constantly improve our performance. At the same time our IT team collects and processes system operation data for continuous performance tuning,” said Tornatore.

“We needed to consolidate operations and introduce new technologies to our research and development data centre. Our engineering department wanted better performance and we needed to manage remotely. Our facility needed to be customisable, the rooms needed to be able to change their configuration easily. Because of all of the rules changes of the business, a modular type of data centre was required,” said Tornatore.

“Working with Schneider Electric allowed us to create a very flexible data centre infrastructure,” said Francesca Duri, chief technology officer of ICT. “Ferrari’s data centres were created primarily to host Formula One computation systems. They have to be flexible, modular, efficient and reliable.”

“System server and data centre reliability is very important to our Formula One success,” he continued. “For example, the most important systems in our data centre are the ones that calculate the car’s external aerodynamics. The results of the aerodynamic simulations must be ready in time for us to create the parts for the next Grand Prix,” said Duri.

Race strategy

Ferrari commissioned its first Schneider Electric / APC data centre in 2004. That data centre was equipped with a cooling capacity of 20kW per rack. The InfraStruxure modular / scalable system serves as the physical infrastructure supporting computational fluid dynamics platform and the simulations essential to the aerodynamic modelling of Ferrari’s championship Formula One cars.

The on-demand architecture of InfraStruxure provides power, cooling, management and services in a rack-optimised design, which is scalable in accommodating server capacity. Schneider claims such scalability eliminates much of the planning guesswork, reduces installation downtime risk, and allows for the optimisation of today’s high-density computing installations. The integrated cooling system consists of In-Row precision air conditioners, and high-efficiency Hot Aisle Containment Systems (HACS).

Ferrari’s second data centre was built in 2015. A 300 square meter site was created to support Ferrari’s Formula One car design team. Like the earlier data centre, it is also equipped with high-efficiency cooling solutions, automatic static transfer switch (ATS) and hot aisle containment.

“The Schneider Electric solutions developed over the years have helped to meet our high precision flexibility and reliability needs,” said CIO Boero. “Those solutions allow us to achieve a high level of manageability. Once we adopted the latest Schneider Electric data centre management platform, we were able to work in a more strategic and predictive way. In addition, if we need to intervene ‘on the fly’, to modify certain components, the Schneider Electric solution lets us do that with an extremely high degree of security and flexibility,” he added.

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