Ben Ainslie Racing Hopes IoT Can Help Win Britain’s First America’s Cup

The partnership with Dell EMC has seen Land Rover BAR provided with a complete front and back end system to suck up, store and analyse all the data the team collects.

“The trick is how do we take all of that data to make primary decisions, one about the boat, two to configure the boat on that morning, three to make the real-time decisions in the midst of a race second-by-second to optimise it,” said Whitmarsh.

“That’s really where I think the assistance from a company like Dell EMC, who are very used to lots of businesses generating masses of data.”

Putting said expertise to work Dell EMC provided a portable I/O system designed to travel around with the team during testing and racing so data can be harvested and processed locally. The unit makes use of Dell EMC’s VxRail hyper-converged appliance technology designed to handle data heavy workloads without needing a huge rack of servers or a data centre.

Dell EMC also provides all the networking to collect the data and ensure its is send back to Land Rover BAR’s HQ for deeper analysis.

At the back end, Dell EMC provides a cloud layer backed up by with a large aggregated supercomputing environment in the form of a generalised compute cluster and its Isilon storage systems. This serves to store historical data and apply machine learning models to spot patterns in data than may be hidden from the sailing team’s analysts and engineers.

Boats to business benefits

While Land Rover BAR gains access to a system that can give it an edge over opponents, Dell EMC also benefits.

John Roese, Global CTO at Dell EMC, explained to Silicon that the partnership allows the technology giant to see its systems tested in unusual and extreme situations.

“It’s a wonderful stress test for our systems; it helps us really think about what might be the next activity of a large industrial company or a large medical company,” he said.

“Working with these extreme environments is it is unlikely we will find many enterprises that are pushing the envelope as far as [Land Rover BAR] are doing.”

Roese also said that working with IoT based systems in an extreme environment also helps Dell EMC showcase what they can do in the arena and generate excitement around adopting IoT technology.

“Enterprises tend to be conservative and they are wondering whether or not they should jump in and whether or not [IoT] can become actionable. And sometimes having high-profile relationships with people who can see things in a less stodgy environment and one that’s actually exciting and inspires people about think about what is possible actually helps people get off the fence,” he said.

And that pertinent as Roese noted that IoT adoption is picking up pace and those that trail their feet in the water may find they end up as a washed-up business.

“We are seeing every industry move into IoT use cases; they are instrumenting their infrastructure, their peoples, their machines, their building the cloud infrastructure with our technology to gather the data, organise it, analyse it, and make it actionable,” he said.

With IoT partnerships touted as the means to drive innovations, we will likely see more partnerships akin to that of Land Rover BAR and Dell EMC find their ways into other sports.

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Roland Moore-Colyer

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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