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Formula 1 team British-American Racing (B.A.R) has bought 16TB of high performance storage from NAS specialist BlueArc. The $600,000 SiliconServer Si8000 system will store CADCAM files for B.A.R's designers, and goes live at the end of this month.

Motor racing has become a major consumer of IT and of storage in particular. Some of this is CADCAM files, but today's Formula 1 cars are also equipped with hundreds of sensors, with wireless links relaying huge amounts of telemetry back to the pits for analysis.

B.A.R says it chose BlueArc storage after tests showed that it was up to eight times faster at saving files than the existing set-up, and that it was faster to save to the SiliconServer than to local storage. "Formula 1 is a performance-driven industry, and we actively seek every competitive advantage available," says Roberto Volo, B.A.R's head of IT.

The deal is BlueArc's first in Formula 1, and the company's UK general manager Blair Innes says it is all down to a decision to eschew Intel chips and instead develop its own high performance silicon, specifically for NAS.

"The majority of Formula One sales are advertising for the vendor concerned," he adds. "The advantage B.A.R gets from our kit is so great they have actually paid money for it." ®

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