F1 and the Formula – How EMC is like an F1 Team

F1 Race CarI had the great thrill of attending the inaugural Formula One race at the new Circuit of the America’s track in Austin a few weekends ago and it was amazing. The first thing that struck me was the sheer power of the cars on the track. As they came speeding by turn 9 and made the “S” to open up on the straight before the hairpin you could not only hear the power but feel the power in those cars. Shifting up through 5 gears in 100 feet produced enough sound to pierce an unprotected eardrum. That was all on my first day during the practices. At that point I was a rather uninitiated F1 fan that had been excited by nothing but the performance. On the second day, during qualifications, I had the fortune to meet up with an expert in the F1 circuit. We ended up spending two hours going over the “Formula” the teams are held to, the drivers and the politics among the teams, but most importantly was the technology used to give each team that little bit of edge over the competition. Take DRS or the Drag Reduction System for example. A team discovered that if they reduced the drag on the straight aways where they needed less downforce, they could add about 10-20 km/h to their top speed. This discovery eventually was a closely held secret until the governing body of F1 realized what was happening. The result was that the next years formula leveled the playing field by indicating that no team was allowed to use a mechanical flap to reduce drag. This created the DRS zone which the track now managed and allowed a trailing car (as long as they were within a second of the lead car) to have this flap opened for them automatically in predefined sections of the track. Again, innovation struck and a different team found that venting used to keep the driver cool could be redirected into the exhaust simply by allowing the drive to cover an inlet with his hand. No mechanical flap, but the benefit was the same. Another closely held secret and another formula and this advantage was also leveled equally across all drivers.

Now how does all of that relate to an EMC backup and recovery system? A few ways. First, from a sheer power perspective, there is no other team on the track that is more able to deliver than EMC. With the Data Domain 990 that can ingest over 30tb/hr, or the Enterprise wide deployment of NetWorker to manage your disk, deduplication, application, and even legacy tape environments EMC has proven that they have the power needed to excel. The performance of the EMC team in the backup space is unparalleled. In VMware environments we are 30x faster to recovery than the nearest competitors and despite the advanced technology in use, something simple as holding your hand over an inlet port is the same as deploying an all encompassing hardware and software solution like Avamar. Another similarity is protection. I thought I was tough and could handle the whine of the cars engines as they revved to full RPMs, but quickly realized I would be deaf before the weekend was over if I didn’t do the right thing. Many of my clients are in a similar situation with unprotected or inadequately protected data in their environment. Just like me, they know better, but keep on racing without proper data protection or inadequate retention policies. I found by Sunday that it wasn’t just about having “some” earplugs, but having the “right” earplugs. Formula one wouldn’t be what it is without the formula, and those teams that get an advantage year over year by thinking outside the box win again and again. EMC pushes over 10% of revenue back into research and development so that we can continue to find these unique advantages. Things like DDBoost integration with RMAN for Oracle, or the tight integration between Data Domain and Avamar. We also strive to bring the advanced we see in one product to the rest of the portfolio.

So as you are transforming your IT infrastructure and beginning to deploy your team strategy for developing a true ITaaS model, it’s important to work with the folks that can drive for your team. That’s EMC!

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