McLaren Formula 1 (F1) Team and NTT Com announced plans to launch a new software-defined-everything (SDx) technology on a temporary basis to support the F1 Japanese Grand Prix 2018.
The “Suzuka Special” network will speed up trackside communication for faster, more flexible in-race strategizing, including cloud-based telemetry data analysis, a key to successful F1 racing. The network will be 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.
The new network functions virtualization (NFV) infrastructure will comprise a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), WAN accelerator, unified threat management (UTM) and web proxy. The virtualized network functions will be connected with service-chaining technology for fast, flexible network settings. Also, NTT Com will deploy universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) at both Suzuka Circuit and the McLaren Technology Centre by utilizing a white-box CPE base, which will facilitate 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.
McLaren utilizes cloud services such as NTT Com’s Enterprise Cloud and Microsoft’s Microsoft Azure and Office 365 to analyze in-racing data of up to 100GB. McLaren had been using cloud infrastructure at the McLaren Technology Centre and across Europe, but network latency was a challenge for connections from race tracks outside the region. For the 2018 season, McLaren is adopting NTT Com’s broadband networks utilizing SDx technology at all 21 F1 events. During the F1 Japanese Grand Prix 2018, NTT Com will test cloud utilization via diverse circuits worldwide with NFV infrastructure and uCPE.