Companies that employ machine-to-machine communication to streamline manufacturing require real-time capabilities. IT resources deployed in close geographical proximity ensure that latency is low, and data readily available. The Rittal Edge Data Centre provides an effective answer to this need – 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.
Fast, simple, effective
A remote cloud data centre is unable to support these scenarios. The solution is edge computing, i.e. computing resources at the perimeter of a given network. With this in mind, Rittal has introduced a new edge data centre: an end-to-end product with standardised, preconfigured IT infrastructure.
The Rittal Edge Data Centre 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. Moreover, to safeguard critical components from heat, dust and dirt in industrial environments, the Rittal Edge Data Centre can be implemented in a self-contained high-availability room.
As Clive Partridge, Rittal’s technical manager for IT Infrastructure, observes, “The Edge Data Centre allows organisations to quickly and simply 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.”
To streamline edge data centre planning, Rittal offers a special web-based configurator which means compact and small enclosures can now be quickly and easily configured online. Customers can choose the right accessories, without reference to a catalogue, then position and prepare the enclosure for mechanical processing.
Self-managed or managed services
Customers who would prefer not to operate the edge data centre themselves can opt for Rittal’s data-centre-as-a-service (DCaaS) offering. They are then free to focus on their core tasks while harnessing the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) for their business.
Hand-in-hand 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.