How the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix server crash could have easily been prevented

Published On: 19th December 2019//1.8 min read//Tags: , , , , , , , , , //

Earlier this month, an unplanned server outage at the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix led to the DRS (Drag Reduction System) being disabled for 17 laps. The technology is meant to kick in at the start of lap three, and is designed to make overtaking easier. When drivers are close enough to a car in front, they can open a flap on their rear wing via a button on the steering wheel. Opening the flap reduces the amount of drag the car generates, giving it a temporary speed boost. The outage meant the system was not activated until mid-way through lap 19.

When asked after the race about being without DRS for so long, Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo said: “That made it even more boring. You need DRS on some tracks for sure. This is one of them!”

While this was a minor outage that maybe just reduced the excitement of the Grand Prix, when a sport relies on split second decisions and wins are decided by a fraction of a second, the risk of unplanned downtime cannot be tolerated.

This is something that will only become more imperative as technology and racing become more advanced. The ability to write and process data effectively and efficiently, in a very short space of time, with no complications becomes the critical factor that makes up the 1% difference between winning and losing in Formula One.

The worst part of the Abu Dhabi outage? It’s so easily avoided. StorMagic SvSAN takes any two x86 servers and enables a highly available virtual environment, which ensures 100% uptime of mission critical applications.

SvSAN is specifically designed for the edge, and is the perfect solution to provide high availability at a race circuit – in the back of a garage or team truck. The simplest, most cost effective, and flexible way to eliminate the threat of unplanned downtime for on-track services like DRS.

If you want to find out more about ensuring lightweight high availability in edge environments such as race circuits, without the added complexity, cost or overprovisioned hardware of datacenter solutions, then check out the SvSAN data sheet and our broad range of case studies.

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