The Ducati Motor Holding company is using a Lenovo High Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure to innovate faster and make the design process almost as fast as their motorcycles, illustrating that speed and compute power are crucial for competitiveness in any sector. Ducati’s urbane sporting director, Paulo Ciabatti, says: “It’s a partnership not only about displaying a sponsor’s logo. Being a partner of such a hi-tech company helps better development possibilities. Sometimes we need to find quick solutions to problems that occur during the weekend, and we need the infrastructure to handle that.”

Pieter Geere, Lenovo Product Manager at Lenovo distributor Axiz, who is a motorcycle rider and self-confessed racing fanatic, notes the pace of work and the amount of processing needed is continually growing. “HPC is now being deployed everywhere – from car and airplane design, oil field exploration, financial risk assessment, genome mapping to weather forecasting and essential research. As the global leader in HPC, Lenovo is working closely with key industry partners to develop, integrate and deploy these technologies to solve today’s and tomorrow’s challenges across sectors.”

One exciting example of HPC in action is the benefits Ducati is achieving from a Lenovo HPC cluster. To provide a fast, reliable and safe riding experience on and off the racetrack, Ducati Motor Holding subjects its motorbike designs to rigorous stress tests as well as fluid dynamics and aerodynamics simulations, a process that was being held back by its HPC infrastructure, which was not capable of providing data visualisation.

Using a Lenovo ThinkSystem cluster, Ducati can run modelling calculations 20% faster and has reduced the time it takes to collect results by 25%. Because Ducati no longer needs to maintain separate systems for HPC and data visualisation workloads, it has also reduced total cost of ownership.

Geere says the Lenovo hardware deployed for Ducati included Lenovo ThinkSystem SD530 with Intel Xeon Scalable processor, Lenovo ThinkSystem SR550 with Intel Xeon Scalable processor, Lenovo ThinkSystem SR630 with Intel Xeon Scalable processor, Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650 with Intel Xeon Scalable processor and Lenovo ThinkSystem NE1032 RackSwitch.

He explains: “Data is the lifeblood of modern motorsport and MotoGP is no exception. Each bike carries around 65 sensors, measuring all kinds of parameters from suspension travel to brake temperatures to the intricacies of engine behaviour, and the bikes’ huge power (top teams being rumoured to be developing as much as 300bhp in testing) is deftly muzzled by complex electronic maps for traction control, anti-wheelie and so on. Each bike accrues around 25Gb to 30Gb of granular data over a race weekend.”

“Lenovo technologies have turbocharged our ability to design, test and develop faster, safer, more efficient motorbikes,” said Konstantin Kostenarov, Chief Technology Officer at Ducati.

“While many vendors offered strong standalone visualisation technology, we felt that only Lenovo could deliver it as part of a robust, all-in-one HPC platform,” he said. “What’s more, we were confident that Lenovo could deliver the high performance levels and security features that we needed.”

Stefano Rendina, IT Manager at Ducati, added: “Not only were we impressed with the fact that Lenovo’s server-node solution enables us to distribute part of our workloads across a CPU, but also because it is inherently flexible. This is key, because we plan to evolve our HPC capabilities with hybrid cloud computing, which will allow us to benefit from elastic, cost-effective scalability in the years ahead.”

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