What can manufacturers learn from the way Aston Martin Red Bull Racing innovates?

Posted on 6 Nov 2019 by Jonny Williamson

When it comes to keeping up with the pace of change, the race Team’s infrastructure has to be able to move at the speed of the sport.

Virtual desktop infrastructure is helping Aston Martin Red Bull Racing meet the needs of today’s work from anywhere, any time workforce, alongside rising demand for increased flexibility, agility and responsiveness.

To say that digital technologies have revolutionised the way we communicate with each other would be an understatement.

Digital technologies are transforming manufacturing processes and supply chain communication.

Basic voice calls, faxes, emails and SMS texts have swiftly evolved into social media platforms, multimedia messages and video conferencing, and development shows no signs of slowing down.

We now have access to a myriad of quick, simple, (largely) free opportunities to instantly interact with each other, whether in different parts of a building or the world. The communication channels we rely on in our personal lives have become mobile, virtual, cross-platform and collaborative.

Similar tools and the advantages they offer are increasingly being adopted by businesses, particularly those operating in manufacturing where R&D, innovation and collaboration are vital for competitive advantage and future growth.

That’s why increasing numbers are turning to virtual desktop infrastructure platforms to support today’s work from anywhere, at any time digital workplaces.


In virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), multiple desktops are hosted in virtual machines on centralised, remote servers in the data centre. Sometimes called ‘client virtualisation’, VDI can improve data mobility, provide greater control, and increase efficiency.

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is fast, simple, and efficient, which makes it a good fit for VDI. HCI consolidates multiple functions into a single server building block, making it easy to deploy and operate.

CROP - Female engineer working on a tablet computer in server room– image courtesy of Depositphotos.

Businesses in every industry are looking to VDI to unleash mobile productivity, simplify operations and reduce total cost of ownership.

Though not a new concept, traditional VDI platforms can struggle to meet the increasing processing demands of modern graphics-intensive, high-performance applications, such as technical 3D CAD/CAE models and real-time simulations.

The next-generation of virtual desktop infrastructure are tightly integrated platforms that combine high-performance software servers and systems with cutting-edge graphics processing technology.

They enable on-the-go or remote workers to be fully productive from any location, using any device.

Crucially, IT can securely and cost-effectively scale virtualisation to every employee, enabling teams to collaborate in a secure, reliable and efficient manner, which in turn accelerates decision-making, innovation and new product development.

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing is reporting faster performance, increased agility and lower TCO.


Every second counts

Nothing matters more in Formula One than speed. In a sport where winning can come down to one hundredth of second, every vehicle component and every decision matters. One team who knows all about what it takes to win is Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.

Since the 2005 Formula One season, the UK-based Team has racked up 61 wins and four double world championships, in part by swiftly adapting to design changes and new regulations with agility.

Like more traditional manufacturers, technology plays a pivotal role in the Team’s success. Aston Martin Red Bull Racing depends on IT to deliver high performance for everything from its business processes to vehicle design and trackside support on race weekends.

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 leaves the garage during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 07, 2019 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Max Verstappen driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 leaves the garage during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 07, 2019 (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Performance boost

From its base in Milton Keynes, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing was operating with a mix of traditional virtualised servers plus virtual desktop infrastructure, resulting in hundreds of virtual machines (VMs) spread across disparate hardware.

The result was a disjointed and heterogenous environment that many manufacturing organisations will be familiar with.

The traditional infrastructure estate lacked the agility that the organisation needed. In addition, each year brings new competitive challenges, technological advances, and changing F1 regulations.

When it comes to keeping up with the pace of change, the Team’s infrastructure has to be able to move at the speed of the sport.

CROP - intellectual property digital economy innovation light bulb - image courtesy of Depositphotos

The IT team considered both traditional architectures and hyperconverged infrastructure in its search for faster IT.

Following a rigorous competitive selection process, HPE SimpliVity now provides the basis for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s VDI estate, which is comprised of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, in addition to providing the Team’s trackside infrastructure for race-day data processing.

The difference has been significant. For example, on race days the Team offloads data in real-time from a car, then post-processes it to ensure the Team’s engineers have the right data to hand to make decisions.

With HPE SimpliVity, there has been a more than 50% reduction in the time needed to post-process critical race data workloads.

“By bringing HPE SimpliVity to support our trackside operations we’ve been able to deliver a more reliable, faster and optimised IT infrastructure,” explains Simon Kesslar-Lyne, Head of Event IT.

“This enables our trackside engineers to focus on car performance, knowing that they can rely on the IT infrastructure to deliver and back-up the data that they need.”

Some of the Team’s biggest wins have come through its virtual desktop infrastructure. As well as being more responsiveness, the VDI environment has the ability to be backed up and recovered in the event of a failure, something sure to appeal to manufacturers whose production processes are susceptible to costly brownouts.

Increased speed and agility

For many businesses, IT has often been viewed as a necessary cost rather than a driver of better business outcomes. That perspective is changing as manufacturers increasingly become digital organisations, with IT seen as a core focus, not just an enabler.

“Manufacturers need to become much more agile and to operate in lockstep between operations and IT. F1 is a great example of this agility as teams have had to become digital-first DevOps businesses as regulation reduced real-world testing,” explains Jason Renders, Account Director, Global Industries, at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).

“Many of the tasks that would have previously been a combination of ‘gut feel’ and engineering knowledge are now simulated; in fact, they can now afford to simulate many more options than they could ever have evaluated and tested physically.”

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team replaced its legacy systems with HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure and recorded remarkable results.

Now, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing is reporting faster-performance, increased agility and lower TCO.

See how HPE SimpliVity can make your team move faster: hpe.com/info/simplivity

*All uncredited images courtesy of Depositphotos