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McLaren-Honda rebuilds network platform on NTT foundations

McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team embarks on three-year technology partnership with NTT Communications

On the eve of the 2016 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Formula 1 racing team McLaren-Honda has announced it is to revamp its network infrastructure to support a new IT strategy with a focus on cloud and mobility.

The team has signed networking and communications provider NTT Communications to deliver network, cloud and data connectivity to help improve its performance over a three-year period.

McLaren, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year but is currently languishing in the 2016 Formula 1 championship, wants to beef up its networking capability across its globally distributed support and analysis locations, including its base at Woking in Surrey.

“Given McLaren’s long association with innovation, it is only fitting that we should join forces with such an established and well-respected leader in enterprise communications technology who well understands our own drive for relentless technical development,” said chairman and CEO Ron Dennis.

“NTT Communications has a resilient and high-capacity network that will allow the team to access its systems without delays.”

On the networking side, NTT will take charge of wide area networking (WAN) functions and a new network functions virtualisation (NFV) service for the team across multiple countries. It will combine the management of both WAN and local area network (LAN) services to provide consistently managed, seamless services, with the intention of improving quality, resilience and availability of McLaren’s IT function.

Fast and reliable connectivity is now considered critical over Formula 1 race weekends, with every team’s cars generating vast amounts of technical data that needs to be transmitted from as far away as Melbourne back to Surrey within seconds, while at the track strategic decisions must be taken within seconds.

Other teams in the Formula 1 paddock also recognise this, with Williams Martini Racing spinning up a new service from BT in 2015, Mercedes AMG Petronas relying on Tata Communications, and Infiniti Red Bull taking a similar service from AT&T.

NTT will also provide an enhanced cloud service suite to provide McLaren with a platform for the team to consume dedicated and shared compute resources through a pay-as-you-go model. NTT said this service, coupled with its consulting practice and cloud management platform, would offer the team a “strong opportunity to deliver on its technology transformation strategy”.

NTT preside and CEO Tetsuya Shoji commented: “The NTT Communications technology repertoire is wide and deep, and McLaren’s excellence in Formula 1 is world-renowned. With innovation a part of the DNA of both companies, this partnership will help McLaren-Honda transform how it manages the data generated during Formula 1 races and transcend hitherto established boundaries in motorsports racing.”

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