Companies employing machine-to-machine communication to streamline manufacturing require real-time capabilities. And having IT resources deployed in close geographical proximity to the plant ensure that latency is low and data is readily available.
Rittal claims its Edge Data Centre provides an effective answer to these requirements. It is a turn-key, pre-configured solution based on standardised infrastructure. It can be implemented rapidly and cost-efficiently – paving the way for Industry 4.0 applications. The sensors and actuators deployed in smart production systems continuously relay information on the status of processes and infrastructure. This forms the basis for innovative services – such as alerts, predictive maintenance, and machine self-optimisation – delivered by the company’s IT department in real time. To make this possible, and to rapidly respond to events and anomalies, low latency between production and IT infrastructure is critical.
A remote cloud data centre simply isn’t capable of supporting these scenarios. The solution, according to Rittal, is edge computing. This means locating the computing resources at the perimeter of a given network. And with this in mind, Rittal has introduced an edge data centre, which is an end-to-end product with standardised, preconfigured IT infrastructure.
It comprises two Rittal TS IT racks, plus corresponding modules for climate control, power distribution, UPS, fire suppression, monitoring and secure access. These units are available in various output classes, and can be easily combined for rapid deployment. And to safeguard critical components from heat, dust and dirt in industrial environments, the system can be implemented in a self-contained high-availability room.
As Clive Partridge, Rittal’s technical manager for IT Infrastructure, observed: “The Edge Data Center allows organisations to establish IT environments equipped for the challenges of what’s been termed ‘the fourth industrial revolution’. Combined with the as-a-service offering that we jointly provide with iNNOVO Cloud, the Rittal Edge Data Centre is a complete, one-stop solution for enterprises of all sizes.”
They are then free to focus on their core tasks while harnessing the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) for their business. Together with its IT-as-a-service (ITaaS) platform provider iNNOVO Cloud, Rittal also offers private-cloud data centres in shipping containers, plus ITaaS. The containers are fully equipped with all key active components, such as servers, network connectivity and storage for immediate use.
The Rittal Edge Data Centre can be extended two racks at a time. Moreover, the modular approach provides customers with diverse options, allowing it to accommodate a variety of scenarios – for example, installation in an IT security room, or in a container, to be located wherever it is required.