Founded in 1972, Dallara Automobil is an Italian race car manufacturer founded by its current president, Gian Paolo Dallara, who, after working at Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini and DeTomaso, wanted to continue pursuing his dream of working in the world of racing cars in his hometown of Varano de Melegari (Parma). Every weekend, around the world, approximately 300 Dallara cars take to the tracks in various Formula races such as Formula 3, IndyCar, Indy Lights, GP2, GP3, Formula Renault 3,5, Renault Sport Trophy, Super Formula, Formulino and Formula E. The company’s main headquarters is in Varano de Melegari, Italy, and it employs more than 380 people worldwide.
Nearly 40 percent of Dallara’s business comes from the United States despite operating primarily out of its headquarters in Italy. So in 2012, Dallara opened a state-of-the-art engineering center near Indianapolis. In addition to meeting the growing demand for specialized consulting with leaders in the American automotive industry, the new facility plays a critical role in the company’s quest to build the IndyCar of the future.
As Dallara expanded its footprint across the Atlantic, the company encountered considerable challenges in maintaining a close link between Italy and Indianapolis. “We wanted to provide our American facility with anytime access to proprietary data,” says Andrea Pontremoli, CEO of Dallara. “It was especially important for engineers in Italy and America to collaborate on computer-aided designs [CAD] so they could essentially look at the same screen, even when their desks were thousands of miles apart.”
To find the best way forward, Dallara turned to Sinthera, an IT consulting firm and Citrix partner that provides system integration services across northern Italy. Within a matter of weeks, Sinthera was able to design and implement a solution incorporating a number of different Citrix technologies to enable a secure, seamless connection between 120 workers in Italy and 30 workers in the United States.
The cornerstone of the Citrix infrastructure used by Dallara is Citrix XenServer, a virtualization platform that delivers near-native application performance on both continents. Citrix XenDesktop lets engineers access key files whether they’re using a laptop, a Dell Wyse thin client or a mobile device, and Citrix XenApp delivers CAD applications to virtual workstations with the same responsiveness as a physical desktop.
Citrix CloudBridge technology helps mitigate latency between Italy and Indianapolis, enabling Dallara to minimize inefficiencies by creating a single repository of proprietary data that can be accessed quickly and easily by workers anywhere in the world. Citrix NetScaler App Delivery Controller provides an additional level of security and control, with advanced load-balancing features for optimal performance. And with Citrix XenMobile, Dallara can heighten the security of confidential data delivered to personal smartphones, tablets and other devices.
With the Citrix infrastructure, Dallara employees can access critical data in near-real time from either side of the Atlantic, streamlining the production process across globally dispersed teams while minimizing travel expenses. “It’s essential for us to have all our systems available to every employee, from administrators to executives to engineers,” says Fabrizio Arbucci, chief information officer of Dallara. “They need to have access to the data, and they need to have sufficient computational power to process it. Citrix makes all that possible for us.”
A great part of the company’s business depends on maintaining the confidentiality of its projects. With dozens of engineers working in multiple locations, Dallara required a private cloud-based infrastructure that could uphold its high security standards. Citrix not only met those expectations but exceeded them. “We’ve improved our ability to protect Dallara’s intellectual property,” says Arbucci. “I think some of us were expecting to make some compromises around security, but this has actually raised our standards.”
With help from an innovative infrastructure built on Citrix technology, Dallara can respond to changing business conditions with greater agility. “In today’s market, our success depends on our ability to shift course when necessary to keep pace with our competition,” says Arbucci. “Citrix gives us the technical foundation necessary to make that kind of agility possible.”
Dallara is still in the early stages of its XenMobile deployment, with plans to expand to more workers in the coming months. “At the time being, we’re supporting about 30 users on XenMobile,” says Arbucci. “With all the success we’ve seen so far with so many different Citrix technologies, I fully expect that we’ll find more ways to incorporate Citrix into our ecosystem both in Italy and abroad.”
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