IBM Powers Red Bull Racing’s Record-Setting Formula One Season


Formula One is all about leading-edge technology and speed. Red Bull Racing just had another championship-winning performance by designing and running the best racing cars on the track. At every step, IBM Platform Computingacquired by IBM in 2012 — powered Red Bull Racing’s high performance application infrastructure for both design applications such as computational fluid dynamics as well as near real-time race analytics, helping them clinch the win.

Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel on Sunday won the Formula One championship in Brazil, solidifying his status as one of the all-time great drivers. He is now one of three drivers to have won the World Championship three years in a row — after Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher – and the youngest driver ever to do so. Red Bull Racing itself also won the 2012 Formula One World team (Constructor) championship last week. Red Bull Racing’s dominance is clear with triple double (Team and Driver) championships in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

I spent time this month with Matt Cadieux, CIO of Red Bull Technology, at the first Formula One race held at the new Circuit of the Americas track in Austin, Texas. Matt explained how simulation drives improvements in race car design and the overwhelming demands it makes on processing power and IT infrastructure.

F1 governing bodies also limit the amount of simulation and wind-tunnel time teams can use, requiring Red Bull to be highly efficient and maximize its IT footprint. This constraint mirrors budgetary restrictions at commercial organizations. Red Bull Technology uses IBM Platform LSF for dynamic application and resource management, with the objective of maximizing utilization and throughput for simulation applications. Platform LSF manages a heterogeneous environment of high performance clusters along with the IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS) for file management.

In addition to the optimization of the car’s design, Red Bull makes hundreds of modifications and near real-time decisions during a race. For this, IBM Platform Symphony incorporates in-race sensor information from the car and track to return recommendations for the team on tires, designs and strategy.

Please join us in congratulating the Red Bull Technology team behind Red Bull Racing for their incredible accomplishment. Watch the video about the road to the team championship for more about the car.

To learn more about IBM Platform Computing, visit our website, blog, follow us on Twitter, or read the Red Bull Racing case study. You can contact Jay Muelhoefer here or follow him on Twitter.

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