NTT Communications launched a new software-defined-everything (SDx) technology in collaboration with the McLaren Formula 1 (F1) Team on a temporary basis during the F1 Japanese Grand Prix 2018.
The intention of the McLaren F1 team’s decision to partner with the technology provider was to speed up trackside communications for faster, more flexible in-race strategising, including cloud-based telemetry data analysis.
In F1 - every second counts - and by deploying the ‘Suzuka Special’ network as its called - the McLaren team planned on gaining an advantage during the race.
The network has been deployed at Suzuka Circuit, Japan and the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, UK as well as in the team’s cloud infrastructure network in Europe.
"McLaren has been using NTT Com’s software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) service with zero downtime for the entire 2018 season, beginning at the Australian Grand Prix,” said Tatsuya Yamashita, head of technology development division, NTT Communications.
"We are now delighted to introduce our new network functions virtualisation (NFV) infrastructure for the Japanese Grand Prix.
"The superior ICT solutions NTT is providing as a trusted technology partner are not only giving McLaren a competitive edge in F1 racing but also are providing us with invaluable insight into potential solutions for our general enterprise customers’ digital transformations."
Comprising an SD-WAN, WAN accelerator, unified threat management (UTM) and web proxy, the new NFV is connected with service-chaining technology for fast, flexible network settings.
Furthermore, the service provider plans on deploying universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) at both Suzuka Circuit and the McLaren Technology Centre aided by a white-box CPE base, facilitating flexible installation of required software.
NFV infrastructure, namely UTM, web proxy and uCPE, including SD-WAN and WAN accelerator software installed in the white-box CPE, will be used to establish an Internet gateway and SD-WAN at the F1 race track for an extra-fast network for solving network latency.
To maintain network speed and quality the Suzuka Special network will be optimised to connect directly to Microsoft’s Azure and Office 365 instead of using a public cloud that can slow down the network and result in lower performance quality overall.
By connecting the NFV infrastructure and Microsoft’s cloud network, bypassing the Internet the network quality is maintained.
Furthermore, the NFV infrastructure and uCPE will benefit from a high-speed connection to a multi-cloud environment, including NTT Com’s Enterprise Cloud.
Such a platform is a hybrid cloud environment supporting traditional and cloud-native ICT for highly secure and stable operations with designed-in flexibility and agility.
McLaren had been using cloud infrastructure at the McLaren Technology Centre and across Europe, but network latency was a challenge for connections from racetracks outside the region.
For the 2018 season, McLaren is adopting NTT's broadband networks utilising SDx technology at all 21 F1 events.
During the F1 Japanese Grand Prix 2018, NTT tested cloud utilisation via diverse circuits worldwide with NFV infrastructure and uCPE.