Honda Racing F1 Team Speeds Storage With DataCore Virtualization Software

Posted by dcparris on May 8, 2006 11:34 AM EDT
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Flexibility, Ease-of-Use and Top Performance Drives DataCore to the Winner's Circle for This World-Class F1 Team

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. and LONDON, May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- DataCore Software today announced that the Honda Racing F1 Team, through its partnership with NCE in the UK, has deployed DataCore's SANmelody(TM) solution to achieve a robust, high-performance IT infrastructure for data storage to support the F1 team activities both on and off the track. These include the normal email, documents, database and spreadsheet type systems support for the Honda Racing F1 Team, but more importantly the computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacture (CAD/CAM), development and performance monitoring of the RA106 race cars, plus the everyday use and analysis of still images and video footage for engineering adjustments and driver feedback.

Top reasons for embracing DataCore were overall performance to speed up workloads and backups, the flexibility of the solution and its inherent ability to use existing disks -- thereby protecting the value of the team's existing Fibre Channel & SCSI investment and its ability to make storage "simple to drive" -- saving much time and effort both in terms of adding new disks and managing changing capacity needs.

The Honda Racing F1 Team did not want to be bogged down managing infrastructure, therefore the fact that DataCore's SANmelody software was simple to implement and use meant that they did not have to become storage experts. Other factors that tipped the purchasing decision were, according to the IT team at the Honda Racing F1 Team, the quality of DataCore's people as well as the price-performance of the technology that out-paced the competition.

"Before DataCore we had separate islands of information, many of which were capacity constrained," said David France, IT Director of the Honda Racing F1 Team. "This was a result of the past and was formed from a mixture of Fibre Channel, SCSI and other data storage media, some of which had become old, unreliable and in need of replacement. We needed to modernize our approach and add flexibility going forward so we readily selected DataCore over three other solutions that we considered."

Prior to DataCore the IT infrastructure of the Honda Racing F1 Team was far from ideal. The IT team was routinely running out of disk space on some servers, and they were unable to re-allocate or use the spare capacity from other servers because each system was its own "island" of capacity. It was a scenario characterized by having to manually archive data to an unreliable, portable disk or having to delete data to keep services going. Moreover, backups were taking hours to run (in fact, over 24 hours in the worst cases) and this obviously negatively affected the working day. Worse still, sometimes backups had to be stopped before completion. Adding to this was the fact that older disk systems were delivering poor performance compared with what is now available. The bottom-line was a day-in-the-life riddled with frequent down times and wrought with inconvenience. "We wound up spending too much time dealing with storage issues versus the business of racing," added France.

The Honda Racing F1 Team engaged the UK's award-winning storage specialist NCE to integrate best-of-breed products to modernize their storage infrastructure. NCE identified DataCore Software as having the virtualization solution that would best meet the team's requirements. NCE put together the final solution and provided both evaluation support, SAN integration, the necessary backup and storage systems and the expertise to implement and plan the infrastructure upgrade. Jim Raven, Managing Director of NCE said, "It's a great feeling to turn on the television on a Sunday afternoon and watch a Honda car at the front of the action, knowing that your company, in some way, has helped the team to achieve that goal."

"The Honda F1 Racing Team understands what it takes to win and they are renowned for using the latest advances and state-of-the-art technology to gain the maximum advantage, therefore selecting DataCore and NCE is quite a statement for both companies," said George Teixeira, president and CEO, DataCore Software. "They obviously wanted speed, but it was the flexibility to keep modernizing that was key reason for using DataCore to virtualize their data storage."

The IT team also wanted the ability to purchase additional storage when needed and on-demand, rather than having to buy a large amount up-front as they had done in the past. With the DataCore SANmelody solution, they are now able to allocate excess capacity to all servers that have been migrated to the new platform without the need to purchase huge quantities of disks. In addition, since lower cost disks could be accelerated using DataCore's performance technologies, the old, unreliable disks were finally retired. Now, IT support is no longer spending time managing an inefficient data storage architecture. Backup times have been reduced to a fraction of what they took in the past -- even the worst case now takes less than four hours thanks to faster disks, DataCore's caching, the use of disk-to-disk technologies and a new tape library.

"No longer is the IT group at the Honda Racing F1 Team spending time managing an inefficient data storage architecture," said Nick Broadbent, Managing Director-European Operations, DataCore Software. "The added benefit is that by embracing SANmelody, the data storage capacity constraint worries now do not also affect the different department heads at the organization because IT is not repeatedly asking them to review and select data for deletion or archival."

Nick Fry, Chief Executive Officer of the Honda Racing F1 Team, commented: "We are very pleased to welcome NCE and its partners DataCore Software, Nexsan and SpectraLogic to the Honda Racing F1 Team. Data storage is a critical element of a Formula One team's operations and we look forward to sharing our on-track successes with these NCE team members through the racing season."

About Honda Racing F1 Team

Honda isn't just the world's biggest engine manufacturer; it's also the motor company with the most prolific involvement in all forms of international motor sport. To date, Honda has amassed 71 Grands Prix victories and captured no fewer than 11 FIA Formula One World Championship titles -- six constructors' and five drivers' crowns. Honda returned to Grand Prix racing in 2000, selecting the fledgling British American Racing team as its partner for the company's third generation of F1 racing operations. For more information on the Grand Prix events, team members, and the F1 season, visit: .

About DataCore Software

DataCore Software fundamentally changes the economics of managing storage. DataCore's disk server software easily adds capacity expansion and centralized storage management for Windows, UNIX, Linux, VMware, MacOS, and NetWare systems. DataCore is privately held with corporate headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For more information, visit .

DataCore, the DataCore logo, SANsymphony, SANmelody, SANmaestro, SANmotion and Powered by DataCore are trademarks or registered trademarks of DataCore Software Corporation. Other DataCore product or service names or logos referenced herein are trademarks of DataCore Software Corporation. All other products, services and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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