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Picture this: A rock band embarking on a world tour, rocking stages in different cities with thousands of adoring fans. But wait, behind the scenes, there’s an unsung hero—the crew. They’re the roadies, the ones responsible for building the infrastructure that supports the band’s electrifying performances in each new location. Now, let’s take that same analogy and apply it to the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team.
We invited Friedemann Kurz, Head of IT at Porsche Motorsport, to a special webinar where we discussed how technology drives these races and IT’s key role.
Join us as we dive into the IT requirements faced by this cutting-edge racing team and how SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) rises to the occasion, ensuring a flawless journey from one city to another.
The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team’s IT team faces a number of networking challenges. Surprisingly (or not) these challenges are not that different from the challenges faced by IT teams across all organizations. From battery energy to braking points, and time lost for Attack Mode, the IT support team at the Porsche test and development center in Weissach and trackside will work in parallel to process approximately 300 GB of data on one Cato Networks dashboard to make time critical decisions. Some of these challenges include:
The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team’s IT provides services in a high-pressure environment — and expectations are high. On-track, the IT team is limited in size, so each person needs to be able to operate all IT-related aspects, from network to storage to layers one to five to end-to-end monitoring. This makes choosing the right products and technologies key to their success.
With so many actions happening simultaneously during the race, IT needs to be able to focus on the issues that matter most. This requires in-depth monitoring that is easy-to-use and the ability to fix issues instantly.
Security needs to be built-in to the solution to ensure it doesn’t require additional effort from the team. Security is a key success factor, meaning all IT team members focus on security, rather than having a dedicated security person.
The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team operates worldwide, but they only spend a few days at each global site. Every time they arrive at a new city, IT needs to quickly deploy networking and security from scratch (with no existing infrastructure) and pack it up after the race. This whole process only takes a few days, so it has to be efficient and quick. In addition, the rest of the team arrives on site at the same time as the IT team, demanding connectivity immediately.Simplicity at Speed: How Cato’s SASE Drives the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team’s Racing | Watch the Webinar
Why is the IT team a key component in the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team’s success? Here are a few of the networking and security capabilities they rely on:
Races are a data-driven and data-intensive event, with large amounts of data being transmitted back and forth across the global network. For example, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team downloads the car and racetrack data after the races. Then, the engineers in the operations room at the team’s headquarters analyze the data for improving the team’s setup and strategy.
During the races, the team relies on global real-time communication. It is the most critical way of communication between the driver, the support engineers and the operations room. This means that real-time packages that are transmitted across the WAN need to be optimized to ensure quality of services.
The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team’s success relies on large-scale mathematical models that use the data to find better racing setups and strategies. Their focus is on the energy use formula, since, ideally, drivers complete the races with zero battery left. Zero battery means it was the most efficient race. The ability to calculate these formulas is based on data that is transferred back and forth between the track and the headquarters.
The sports industry has been targeted by cyber attackers in the past with ransomware and other types of attacks. To protect their ability to make decisions during races, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team needs a security solution that protects them and their ability to access their data from ransomware attacks. Since data is the cornerstone of their strategy and key for their decision-making, safeguarding access to the data is top priority.
To answer these needs, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team partnered with Cato Networks. Cato Networks was chosen as the team’s official SASE partner. Cato Networks helps transmit large volumes of data in real-time from 20 global sites.
Before working with Cato Networks, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team used VPNs. This introduced security, configuration and maintenance challenges. Now, maintenance and effort have significantly decreased. One IT member on-site can oversee, manage and monitor the entire network during the races independently and flexibly.
In addition, Cato delivered:
- Fast implementation – from 0 to 100% in two weeks.
- Simplified and efficient operations.
- Quick response times.
- Personal and open-minded support.
To hear more from Friedemann Kurz, Head of IT at Porsche Motorsport, watch the webinar here.