Faster data protection gives businesses a competitive advantage

Formula 1 racing, the fastest and most technologically advanced competition in the world, is completely data-driven.

As the F1 cars assume their grid positions at the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend, millions of fans around the world will be glued to their TVs, anticipating the start.

And behind the roar of the Marina Bay Street Circuit, a group of race engineers will also be glued to their screens. But all they’ll see is crucial information conveyed via graphs, charts and numbers, generated by massive amounts of data transmitted from their teams’ racing cars.

On the track

Formula 1 racing, the fastest and most technologically advanced competition in the world, is completely data-driven. And this makes Acronis partnership with the Scuderia Toro Rosso Racing Team unique. Toro Rosso has data that needs protection, and Acronis has the technology that is capable of meeting the strictest requirements of the most data-intensive sport on earth.

Scuderia Toro Rosso’s engineer assessing telemetry data at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheimring on July 29, 2016. © Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool.

Scuderia Toro Rosso’s latest car, the STR11, contains over 100 sensors with multiple data points measuring everything from the wind force to engine performance, tire pressure, fuel consumption, speed, braking, acceleration, and much more. This telemetry data (from Geek tele = remote, and metron = measure) is sent to an Advanced Telemetry Linked Acquisition System (ATLAS) server located in the pits at the racetrack and forwarded to the team’s factory in Faenza, Italy, to help improve performance.

How much data goes through the racing control servers over the weekend? For Scuderia Toro Rosso, the amount exceeds 700GB. Every kilobyte of data is processed and analyzed in real time, and decisions are made and fed back to the driver to help him with the race.

Off the track

Back in the factory, data use is significantly more intensive.  Terabytes of new data are generated every day. Data collected at the track is applied to Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) studies, to wind tunnel tests, and in the design office to improve the car’s performance for the next race. Here, data safety and data availability play a critical role in the team’s development.

While it’s often assumed that data will always be available, data loss incidents do occur, usually when least expected. Franz Tost, Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Principal, explained the far-reaching effects that a single data loss incident may have on the team’s performance:

“Our factory produces many terabytes of data every day. Prior to our partnership with Acronis, we had an incident that caused us to lose an hour’s worth of data. Because of technology limitations at that time, it took nearly one and a half weeks to get everything back in the correct order in the way that we needed it. In Formula 1, if you lose one week of development in the factory, it will cost you a minimum of two to three-tenths of a second on the track. And losing two to three-tenths of a second on the track may cost you 10 to 15 places. Formula 1 is very competitive — you have to be at the top of the game when it comes to IT.”

The effect of data recovery speed on business

With larger amounts of data produced and used by businesses every day, the speed of data backup and recovery, once considered a secondary factor, now plays a very important role in guaranteeing business continuity.

For a Formula 1 team, the speed with which lost data can be restored in the factory can mean the difference between winning and losing on the track. For a business, the ability to restore lost data in a timely manner can mean the difference between staying in the game and going under due to missed opportunities.

This is where things start to look up for Acronis partners and customers. Acronis offers the fastest data backup and recovery technology in the world. If the data loss incident experienced by Scuderia Toro Rosso were to happen today, that data would be restored within seconds, and team members would be able to go on with their jobs in a matter of minutes.

Can you afford not to have a backup?

For Toro Rosso, losing one hour of data resulted in the entire factory being put on hold for a whole week. How much data is your business prepared to lose? How much will it cost your business to recover?

With virus infections and ransomware attacks affecting nearly every other business (according to a recent Malwarebytes report), and ransomware on its way to becoming a $1 billion a year illicit business (according to CNN), the likelihood that your business will be a victim is very high. Can you afford not to have a backup?

“You can see how important it is to be on the safe side when it comes to data protection,” concluded Tost. “It directly affects the organization’s performance. Without protection, without data, you’re lost.”

Guennadi Moukine

Motorsport Technology Editor.