The magazine of Friedhelm Loh Group

The magazine of Friedhelm Loh Group

VX IT
Innovation – Rittal

The world's fastest IT rack

IT rack system. Welcome to the future. With its new VX IT rack system, Rittal is presenting a modular system that has been thought through in every detail. It can therefore be used to build new IT infrastructures at a speed never seen before – from individual server racks to entire data centres. At the same time, the VX IT offers maximum freedom during configuration, a process that is quick and easy thanks to an online configurator, with all components fully certified. That is unique.

Text Kai-Uwe Wahl, Hans-Robert Koch ––– Photography

In the past, everything was different. IT specialists and electrical engineers worked day-in, day-out to create the best possible design for an IT rack. Will the parts from manufacturer A really fit in the rack if I want to use parts from supplier B, too? Do I have all the special assembly tools and do staff have the right training? Question after question had to be answered and, in the end, there was still always a risk that the desired configuration wouldn’t actually fulfil the relevant purpose perfectly.

These days, the challenges facing experts are even bigger. Data centres are now highly complex and require precise planning when being established. New IT systems also need to be rolled out as quickly as possible, which means there is no time for lengthy discussion or costly test phases. For example, if an extra IT rack needs to be set up in a data centre, the issue of heat dissipation needs to be resolved in the tightest of spaces and energy efficiency needs to be determined with precision. If the rack in question is to function as a floor distributor, then cable management poses a particularly pressing problem. Accessories will be needed to ensure cables can be managed in an orderly fashion and users also need to be certain that the various network components will still fit in the rack despite the large amount of cables. Once again, technicians must be able to get the IT rack up and running as quickly as possible.

These and other requirements from an IT world that is becoming ever more complex demand a smart solution that is systematically geared toward customer needs. Rittal is well known for its consistent customer focus, and this focus has delivered the brand new VX IT rack system, which uses a modular principle to provide even more freedom for building data centres fast. The secret to the new solution is the Rittal Configuration System. This online configurator guides users step by step through the process of configuring a custom IT rack and incorporates plausibility checks. Moreover, all the VX IT variants created with the configurator are automatically tested and certified for product safety to standards such as UL 2416, IEC 60950 and IEC 62368, thereby providing maximum freedom for building new IT infrastructures.

UNIVERSAL MODULAR SYSTEM OF VARIANTS

This innovation is good news for small companies, public sector organisations, universities and global conglomerates alike. After all, the VX IT is much more than just a new IT rack – it is a universal modular system that has been created to be future-proof.

“The cumulative experience of Rittal engineers around the world has gone into the development of the new IT rack. As a result, the VX IT symbolises speed, flexibility and modularity. However, it also stands for the security that comes from knowing you are ideally equipped for every future IT scenario,” explains Uwe Scharf, Managing Director of the IT and Industry business units at Rittal, who is also the Head of Marketing.

The modularity and flexibility of the VX IT system is truly unique, and all standard application scenarios can be dealt with using just a single universal platform. For example, the solution can be used for network, server rack and single rack installations. However, the VX IT has also been designed for building data centres with bayed suite cooling, for IT containers and for huge hyperscale data centres. At the same time, the VX IT is an important component in RiMatrix Next Generation, the new open system platform for modular data centres, which companies can use to rebuild their IT landscape extremely quickly.

RIMATRIX NG - The platform for the future

The VX IT is an important component in RiMatrix Next Generation (NG) – the open system platform for all IT infrastructures. Thanks to standardised, modular system technology that covers rack, power, cooling, security and monitoring, RiMatrix NG can be used to build custom solutions for all IT scenarios quickly, flexibly and with certainty. Everything from small single rack installations and edge, enterprise and colocation data centres to hyperscale data centres can be configured.

  • Advantage 01

    Simple configuration

    Regardless of the pace at which IT modernisation takes place, the VX IT will simply help IT managers get where they need to be faster. The entire process from selection, configuration and ordering to delivery – all of which is handled through the online configurator – is geared toward speed. The configurator supports a whole range of configurable rack variants that extend far beyond the standard portfolio. Users are assisted by an automatic assessment that incorporates a plausibility check to ensure all the components really are perfectly coordinated. A fast selection function also shows users a list of recommended accessories. Whichever solution the user configures, the VX IT variant and all its components are tested and certified for product safety.

     
  • Advantage 02

    Fast assembly

    Anyone working in a data centre will want a cleverly designed and easy-to-use solution. Rittal followed this principle closely while developing the VX IT. As a result, technicians can quickly and easily install all the panels on their IT rack, such as side panels and roofs, thanks to snap-in fasteners and positioning aids. The new vertically divided side panels – available as optional accessories – give technicians better access in order to speed up installation work. These panels are also fitted with hinges so they can be opened like doors. Horizontally divided side panels are available, too, and give technicians faster access to the parts installed in the rack.

     
  • Advantage 03

    Customised expansion

    A wide range of accessories is available for the VX IT so that it can be custom configured. These include options for the doors, side panels, base and roof, and innovations such as the new LED strip for status display and the convenient automatic door opening (ADO) mechanism that will be available in the future to facilitate emergency cooling without the rack doors having to be opened. Additional accessories include pull-outs and cable management aids, as well as solutions for monitoring and power supply. Components such as PDUs, UPS modules, IT cooling systems and monitoring solutions are also available for interior installation, as are modules for early fire detection and extinguishing.

     
  • Advantage 04

    High level of stability

    An important feature of the VX IT is its high level of stability. Thanks to an improved frame, the IT rack exhibits higher stability in its vertical section than its predecessor model. The load capacity has been verified both by internal tests at Rittal and by external certification by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Two variants are available. The “VX IT Standard” rack variant permits a static load of 1,500 kg in accordance with the Rittal test method and 1,200 kg in accordance with UL certification. The “VX IT Dynamic” variant permits a load of 1,800 kg in accordance with the Rittal test method and 1,500 kg in accordance with UL certification.

     

FAST, FLEXIBLE, COMPATIBLE

The times when projects to build a new data centre could drag on over months or years are long since gone. The top priority for companies these days when it comes to data centres is that they can be put in place fast and that they are available in a range of performance classes. That requires an IT platform that can be extended and adapted to meet any challenge and speed requirement in the global IT sector. A platform such as this needs impressive innovative prowess, a carefully conceived architecture, maximum security standards and energy-efficient technology.

After all, being faster than the competition is not a luxury in our globalised economy – it is an absolute must. All the same, every organisation should be able to set its own pace for digitalization. Some pursue a “rip-and-replace” approach, replacing all the components in their data centre during modernisation. Other companies prefer to protect existing investments and adopt a gradual approach.

The promise of investment security that comes with Rittal solutions is clearly demonstrated in the full compatibility of the VX IT system with established RiMatrix systems and other IT infrastructures that have been built with Rittal components. Thanks to backwards compatibility, individual modules and IT racks can be replaced or extended at any time. This means organisations have the option to gradually modernise their systems by replacing or baying their IT environment, without any risks.

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