Here in San Francisco, the America’s Cup racing is coming to a close and it has turned out to be a much better regatta than originally thought. Team Oracle USA has fought back and is giving Team New Zealand a run for their money. Somehow Team USA has figured out how to make their boat go from 4th gear to 6th. I give the crew kudos for their adjustments, but maybe the Data Center deserves some of the credit? Hear me out on this.
We’ve all heard the adage “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” Well, these boats may be a perfect example. Oracle claims they track 300 sensors on the boat – everything from measuring angles to stress on the hulls and rigging. And these sensors measure 10x each second. That’s over 5 million measurements in a typical 30-minute race. They also have multiple cameras running, adding another 200 gigs of video data per day! Not only is this an incredible amount of information to measure and store, but the team needs to process and analyze the data. Only then can tweaks be made to the boat or the way she is sailed to improve results. And of course all that data, and the processing power to analyze it, resides in a much less exciting location – a bunker known as the Data Center.
Somewhere behind the scenes, a Data Center is bridging the gap. The Data Center provides the analysis required of very complicated variables so predictions can be made on what will happen in the next few seconds, minutes, or even hours in terms of weather analysis or other critical factors in the race. Information processed back at the Data Center can then be managed in near real-time and downloaded to servers on the ship’s tender, and given to the crew. By combining real-time metrics with predictive analytical tools and visualization, Data Centers can give you the ability to maintain control and visibility, and maybe even find an advantage, even on the high seas of the America’s Cup.