Text Petra Adamik and Hans-Robert Koch ––– Photography
Power failures in data centres have dire consequences for business, industry and people’s everyday lives. In August 2020, for instance, a power blackout caused data centres throughout Europe to stop working. Internet services immediately went down, with Virgin Media, Equinix, Microsoft and Cloudflare just a few of the big-name companies whose infrastructure was hit by the outage. Complex technologies such as edge and cloud computing, and new applications for smart factories and smart cities are also increasing the risks.
What issues should data centre operators consider when it comes to making their IT future-proof and how does the new RiMatrix Next Generation IT infrastructure platform from Rittal help?
1. COORDINATED SYSTEMS
To ensure the high availability of a data centre, server systems must be stable and reliable in terms of operation. Perfectly coordinated infrastructure solutions – from rack and power to climate and monitoring – are the basic prerequisite for this. More specifically, solutions are needed for the mechanical protection of servers, reliable, high-quality power supplies, load-controlled, efficient cooling systems for an optimum energy balance and, last but not least, intelligent monitoring systems that have an overview of and control all key status parameters.
Modular system technology can grow in line with the requirements and therefore plays a key role in ensuring reliable power supplies and back-up. For this very purpose, Rittal developed the RiMatrix Next Generation (NG) modular system platform, which also covers all aspects of the power supply in data centres. “RiMatrix NG offers our customers an ingenious modular system in large-scale series production quality to create custom data centre solutions with a high level of scalability,” says Jörg Kreiling, Director Energy & Power at Rittal. The system also supports the redundancy concept that data centre operators increasingly need to implement in their infrastructure’s power supply.
The low-voltage main distribution board (LVDB) is the data centre’s power supply hub. Besides coordinating the grid and generator power supplies – switching from generator to grid and vice versa – and the service bypass, it also supplies power to the compact downstream sub-distributors, which are called Power Distribution Racks (PDRs) and are just 300 mm wide. Switching processes are buffered via the UPS (uninterruptible power supply), which ensures the permanent availability of all components. The LVDB is therefore an important link in the data centre’s energy chain.
Rittal recommends a combination of Ri4Power and RiLine60 for the modular low-voltage main distribution board. The power distribution system is based on the VX25 rack platform with its modular front design. The configuration can be varied. Standard solutions from various ACB/MCCB manufacturers can be installed thanks to ACB isolators. Combining the enclosure system with the 60 mm busbar system RiLine60 turns it into a modular low-voltage distributor.