Another trend is the trade in solutions. “Customers aren’t just asking for products, they are increasingly looking for solutions – for edge data centres, for instance,” explains Markus Fischbach, Head of Strategic Alliances at Rittal. Edge data centres are decentralised IT systems that deliver computing power directly to the location where the data is generated. They are situated in the immediate vicinity of the data sources – which helps ensure exceptionally fast initial data processing – and are also linked to cloud data centres for downstream processing. The primary drivers of edge computing are the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0.
It is crucial that edge systems can be implemented quickly and easily. The ideal scenario is for the manufacturer to supply a turnkey, ready-assembled system complete with cooling unit for plug-and-play connection to the power supply and network technology. Edge system operation should also be automated and largely maintenance-free so as to minimise running costs. This requires comprehensive monitoring that covers the power supply, cooling, fire detection and extinguishing. To safeguard the edge data centre from external influences, it can be established in a room-inroom environment or in a micro data center. A security room of this kind offers maximum protection in the event of fires or highly contaminated surroundings.