The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) is responsible for organizing the internationally recognized motor races modeled after the 24 Heures Moto (for motorbikes), the Grand Prix de France Moto (for motorbikes), the 24 Hours of Le Mans (for cars) and the 24 Heures Camions (for trucks) - which attract more than 500,000 spectators every year.
ACO provides services (telephony, Internet and TV) to the teams on the circuit via an Ethernet network. This network also manages other functions such as GTC or video surveillance. This Hirschmann™ network was integrated by the DEVAUX company that met the challenge of providing high quality service from the very first races at which it was used.
ACO intends to implement a multiservice network that integrates telephony over IP, video and video surveillance. The aim is to provide à la carte services to the teams during the races and to the various service providers (catering…). In order to protect the confidentiality of the information exchanged, the network has been divided into 150 VLANs. This means that each team can rent the telephone lines and internet connections it needs to remain in permanent contact with its technical service. As for television, 12 encrypted MPEG2 channels are multicast. As ACO is now the owner of its own infrastructure (previously it was dependant on the telephone company), ACO can now bill for its services, expecting to recover its investment in 3 years.
One of the most important requirements of this network is that it must offer the highest level of availability and extremely large bandwidth. It should be noted that some switches may be exposed to high temperatures: at least 60°C for those that are installed in the communication panels at the foot of the platforms. The network must be easily reconfigurable by the ACO teams. The network management may involve as many as 30 people at race times: 5 technicians and 25 electricians. „Our teams are not network specialists, but they manage extremely well and the Industrial HiVision software really makes it easy to monitor the network“, declares Sylvain Plu.
The GTC is also critical, because it relates to the lighting commands and the high voltage points. The protocol used is LON encapsulated in IP.
The network consists of 4 redundant loops to guarantee availability. These loops are connected to a MACH4000 network backbone, which offer 10 Gigabit data speeds. The entire network is linked to the ACO‘s administrative network. 40 Ethernet switches were used (MS30 and RS30). The optical fibers are either multimode, or
singlemode for distances greater than 500 m. Everything is in Gigabit to ensure that sufficient bandwidth is available. A project to upgrade to 10 Gigabit is currently being evaluated. The MACH4000 backbone switches and the layer 3 routers also manage the routing of data between the administrative network and the race track, using interVlan routing.