BMW, NetApp, and Oracle Set Sail with BMW Oracle Racing

Sunnyvale, Calif. - March 1, 2006 -- Someone once said, "Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made."

Network Appliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP), BMW, and Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL) hope that, come June 2007, their work with the U.S. America's Cup entry, the BMW ORACLE Racing team, will help prove the point beyond all doubt as the companies collaborate on innovative yachting designs in an effort to bring the America's Cup home to the U.S.

NetApp, an official Technology Partner, is providing the BMW ORACLE Racing design team with a powerful, scalable, and simplified storage architecture to help streamline and easily manage the collection, storage, access, and testing of intelligent competitive yachting designs for constructing two of the world's most aerodynamic and advanced yachts.

Oracle and NetApp join dream team partner German premium car manufacturer BMW in contributing technology to the BMW ORACLE Racing team's research and design program. In the technology-driven America's Cup competition, BMW ORACLE Racing seeks to shave off critical seconds during the race through innovation, gaining the edge needed to win sailing's most prestigious prize. Together, NetApp® data-management expertise, BMW's proven engineering prowess, and Oracle® Database strengths combine to accelerate BMW ORACLE Racing's ability to analyze and create live simulations to achieve double the amount of modeling-with triple the amount of data-that has been available in previous race-construction endeavors. The technologies, history, and innate strengths of this technology dream team make the latest design and modeling innovations available near-instantaneously to design team members in five design centers across three continents.

America's Cup racing is often compared to Formula 1 racing. Much like the automotive industry does, the BMW ORACLE Racing design team is working from mathematical and experimental analysis to create an optimized sailing vessel-theoretically and philosophically the same methodology used to design Formula 1 racing cars.

Data Collected and Analyzed to Create a Winning Sailing Vessel

  • Approximately 200,000 hours of research and development will go into the design of the two yachts.
  • One hundred and twenty sensors are attached to each yacht to collect a variety of different data during practice sessions.
  • Approximately 30,000 hours of labor will be spent constructing each of the two yachts.

BMW ORACLE Racing engineers are conducting structural development and analysis of modeling design data that is stored on NetApp fabric-attached storage solutions and NetCache® solutions running NetApp Data ONTAP® 7G and Snapshot™ technology-all feeding into an Oracle 10g™ database. BMW ORACLE Racing has already achieved lower administrative costs and better management of design changes due to the rapid sharing and access of current design data on a high-performance Linux® grid supporting Oracle 10g. NetApp storage is the only storage solution offering a simplified and cost-effective solution for controlling and managing data in a complex distributed and demanding computer environment.

"The simplicity, reliability, and scalability that the Oracle on NetApp solution provides is critical during this first important stretch," said Ian Burns, BMW ORACLE Racing design team coordinator. "We are able to fine-tune far more variations of our ideas 10 to 15 times faster than before at any time of day no matter where we are. The balance between data production and data storage is critical. We strive for the perfect balance between well-constructed, fast, optimized boats and a world-class sailing crew. This balance is equally critical in the data production/data handling 'back room.' We believe this is the winning combination necessary to bring the America's Cup back to America."

In Valencia and Seattle, BMW engineers led by Dr. Raymond Freymann, director of BMW Group Research and Technology, are integrated in the design team using NetApp storage, in order to bring BMW automotive technological competence into the sport of sailing.

"The close collaboration between our BMW experts and the BMW ORACLE Racing design team is an efficiently working system," said Freymann. "The BMW ORACLE Racing team is benefiting particularly from BMW's intelligent lightweight-design competence through structural analysis and measurement sensory tools, which are used in the sector of automotive development that works with such materials as aluminum, magnesium, steel, and synthetics. The key to success lies in combining the components in a way that results in the minimum weight of the yacht while ensuring the reliable resilience of its overall structure. I'm therefore confident that our team will make the hull of the yacht both lighter and stiffer to help increase the speed of the yacht. Together with our new partners, the door to success in 2007 is wide open."

"The America's Cup will be won by innovation as much as by its crew mastering the currents and winds on the water in 2007," said Patrick Rogers, vice president of Products and Partners at Network Appliance. "NetApp is providing the highly competitive and advanced design team with heightened performance and availability to critical data. NetApp takes immense pride in playing an integral role in developing these boats for what is sure to be an intense competition in the world's premier sailing event."

About BMW ORACLE Racing
BMW ORACLE Racing is the Challenger of Record for the 32nd America's Cup, representing Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco, and the only American entry in the contest for sailing's most prestigious prize and the oldest trophy in international sport. Team owner is American Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation. Partner of the team is German premium car manufacturer BMW. Sponsors include Allianz, leading global financial services provider; Girard-Perregaux, Swiss manufacturer of high-class mechanical timepieces; and Henri Lloyd, Technology Partner and supplier of team clothing. BMW ORACLE Racing is currently the top-ranked Challenger for the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup, the Challenger Selection Series for the 32nd America's Cup. Eleven teams from nine nations are challenging for the Cup, with the winning Challenger facing the Swiss Defender Team Alinghi in the 32nd America's Cup Match in June 2007 in Valencia.

About Network Appliance
Network Appliance is a world leader in unified storage solutions for today's data-intensive enterprise. Since its inception in 1992, Network Appliance has delivered technology, product, and partner firsts. Information about Network Appliance™ solutions and services is available at

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