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Tuning IT for Formula One Victories

July 28, 2009


Symantec products saved millions and greatly increased efficiency for the ING Renault F1 Team, Formula One 2005 and 2006 Drivers and Constructors Champions.
The high-speed sport of Formula One (F1) racing may seem as far removed from computer networks as possible, but behind many of the legendary Formula One racing teams are computer systems as finely tuned as the engines that roar on the circuit. The ING Renault FI Team won both Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships in 2005 and 2006 with the help of its high-performance global data network. One part of the Renault Team’s behind-the-scenes race strategy is to improve team efficiency and responsiveness by creating the best IT infrastructure possible. As a part of the team, Symantec products help drive ING Renault’s data security, availability, and systems management.

Where the data meets the road

The Renault F1 Team uses computer systems for everything from mundane part tracking and payroll to complex race telemetry analysis and wind tunnel test calculations. The team has two key bases of operation: a chassis technical center in Enstone, UK and its engine technical center in Viry-Châtillon, France. In all, over 450 automotive professionals are employed by the Renault team. The team’s network infrastructure keeps them connected and competitive—from manufacturing and testing to real-time data capture during races.
Symantec had been a part of the ING Renault Team from its founding with Veritas NetBackup providing backup and recovery to its first data servers. Since then, the team has built a $3 million USD state-of-the-art heterogeneous data center with more than 500 desktop and laptop computers. Following is a comprehensive list of Symantec products deployed in the Renault F1 Team computing center for archiving, business continuity, data protection, security, and systems management:
  • Symantec Control Compliance Suite
  • Symantec Deepsight Alert Services
  • Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0
  • Symantec Enterprise Vault
  • Symantec Brightmail Gateway
  • Veritas Cluster Server
  • Veritas Configuration Manager
  • Veritas NetBackup 6.5
  • Veritas NetBackup Desktop Laptop Option

Symantec as part of the Renault F1 Team

The Renault F1 Team Head of IS, Graeme Hackland, credits the Symantec suite of products in saving the company $2.5 million USD in tangible, measured cost-savings. For example, he calculates that NetBackup alone saves the company $180,000 USD per year in reduced management and data library maintenance. Veritas Cluster Server enabled the company to downsize from 16 UNIX servers to just six while reducing its Windows OS server farm from 120 to 80. This consolidation netted the company $1.5 million in reduced server maintenance, downtime, equipment costs, and license fees. “Symantec is undoubtedly one of our most trusted technology partners,” Hackland says, “fortifying the team with high availability, supreme performance and reliable security.”

Email from start to finish

Another key component of the company’s competitive edge is communication among all its mobile and remote users. Over 400,000 emails pass through the Renault F1 email system each week, and Symantec Enterprise Vault helps keep messaging running at peak performance levels from creation to destruction. Archiving and management policies can easily be set for individual user requirements. And Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 and Brightmail Gateway keep its vital email data secure as its travels the world on the Formula One circuit to each of its 600 network users.

Assessing and managing risk

Businesses face a number of risks, especially when communicating and connecting over global networks. The ING Renault Team called in Symantec services to perform an in-depth, high-level assessment of its IT infrastructure risks. The Symantec Foundation Risk Assessment taxonomy divided the team’s IT risks into four categories: compliance, security, availability, and performance. With this framework, the assessment team spent days capturing and analyzing the company’s data and infrastructure, coming to key conclusions. The Renault F1 Team received high marks for infrastructure and company culture, while the Risk Assessment pointed to improvements that needed to be made in terms of compliance and security. As many Renault F1 Team’s employees work remotely, these findings came as no surprise, yet offered the company a solid foundation for making improvements.
“Symantec’s leading edge technologies are at the forefront of our business, ensuring all areas from design to racing have quick and reliable access to data, at any time,” says Hackland. Winning in Formula One begins with design, manufacturing, and a solid team of professionals working diligently behind the scenes and off the track. Computing resources for these professionals increasingly play a pivotal role in delivering a keener competitive edge to the sport.
To read the full ING Renault F1 Team Success Story, click here.

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