McLaren Racing relies on edge computing at the edge of the racetrack

“Twenty-two times a year we build a data center that is completely on edge,” said Ed Green, head of commercial technology at McLaren Racing, a British motor racing team based in Surrey, England.

For McLaren, the edge Wherever in the world does the company’s Formula 1 racing team compete. The IT setup at each racing site connects the entire team, including the mechanics, engineers, crew members and drivers of the two McLaren Formula 1 race cars.

“Once those two cars make their way around the track – and Lando [Norris] and Daniel [Ricciardo] Do it at 200mph – 300 sensors produce the equivalent of one and a half terabytes of information that we have to analyze to try to find the edge. said Green, who spoke this week at VMware Explore conspiracy.

Milliseconds can make the difference between finishing first or last. “Everything we do is about marginal gains and trying to find ways to move forward faster, and that means our employees have to work around the world,” Green said.

When the pandemic hit, McLaren had the advantage of getting used to supporting the technological requirements of employees remotely. “We’ve been doing this for over 30 years. We’ve been training on the edge in garages, trucks, hotel rooms, airplane lounges, you name it,” Green said.

On the other hand, IT can focus on “taking the good lessons we’ve learned from having a team of 80 engineers traveling the world and scaling that into bedrooms, front rooms, anywhere.” [employees] Green said.

But on the other hand, it was not so simple. “Providing IT services to the people on the edge was a case of offering a laptop and standing back and not touching it. But we needed to do something different,” Green said.

One step McLaren has taken is to deploy VMware Workspace ONE across the entire organization.

Workspace ONE is VMware’s platform for delivering and managing applications across multiple devices. It integrates access control, application management, and multi-platform endpoint management. For McLaren, it’s a way to manage access to applications that may be located in their own data centers, in the public cloud, or at the edge of a path.

At a VMware Explore event, Green demonstrated an example of an expert tire technician, who could access real-time information from the field. “It will analyze all the data coming from the car to predict which tire we should go next,” Green said. “This is extremely important in this modern age of Formula 1 racing.”

Workspace ONE was also key to deploying a new fleet of Android devices that McLaren provided to employees in the field.

“We put Android phones in people’s pockets, and they all run on Workspace ONE, allowing us to provide secure access right to the edge. So engineers can look at the track data on their phones in a secure way,” Green said.

Off the track, McLaren is using Workspace ONE to manage the technology available in guest hospitality areas. In the past, those areas were physically adjacent to the track but digitally isolated from movement.

“You can go and look at the top of the cars, but you can’t get the data on your phone or device,” Green said. “We wanted a way to safely publish a set of apps so that our guests, whenever they joined us in the race, could see [data] on their tablets and phones and use them to interact with us a little bit more.”

“It’s no good to say we are one of the most technically advanced sports on the planet when all you can do in our hospitality area is just look in the garage.”

Now with newly released apps, “You can look at the same weather charts that strategists look at. You can watch the race. You can look inside the garage and even see some telemetry coming from the cars,” Green said. Most importantly for IT, “If these devices leave the circuit, we know we can shut them down and keep them safe.”

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