McLaren Off to the Races with SD-WAN

March 26, 2018

By Maurice Nagle, Web Editor

New technology is exciting, but even more intriguing is witnessing unique use cases. A typical SD-WAN conversation involves an enterprise or SMB office setting, but what if I told you this burgeoning technology is turning heads in Formula 1 racing? Off to the races we go.

McLaren Formula 1 TEAM announced it selected NTT (News - Alert) Communications’ SD-WAN technology to leverage in the 20148 season, putting the solution to work to connect the McLaren Technology Centre with racing circuits spanning 21 countries.

“Technology is such an important part of racing,” said Zak Brown, Executive Director of McLaren Technology Group. “SD-WAN is one of a number of marginal gains we are seeing from our technology partnership with NTT Communications (News - Alert). Because SD-WAN offers us more control over data flows during crucial moments, it gives us an edge. I also think it proves the willingness of our Technology Partners to deliver, to bring their expertise to the party, with the ultimate goal of driving the team faster.”

During the Japan Grand Prix in 2017, McLaren ran a test deployment. SD-WAN delivered the ability to send 100GB of data during the race between Japan and McLaren’s U.K. headquarters, with key data like video and telemetry, prioritized at important parts of the race.

McLaren gains visibility into network availability, and adjust data transmission according. In doing, the Formula 1 TEAM is able to take full advantage of actionable insight, and make the appropriate in-race strategy adjustments. The average bear probably does not realize the amount of traffic a car can generate (let alone a Formula 1 car), and each kilobyte is vital to victory. 

Fernando Alonso, a two-time F1 world champion noted during February’s Mobile World Congress (News - Alert), “Each car provides more data every single second than you can imagine. Every single movement we do in the car, every steering wheel input, every throttle input, every brake pressure input is transmitted immediately in real time to the engineers in the garage.”

We are entering a new age of connectivity, a “smarter” era. SD-WAN will prove to be one of the primary enablers of this time’s potential.

What’s in your WAN?

Edited by Mandi Nowitz

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