Vita Group

New Data Centre Delivers for National Retail Network

Vita Group is one of Australia’s major lifestyle electronics and telecommunications retailers. The company has three main brands - Fone Zone, Next Byte and One Zero - along with a growing number of Telstra Shop locations.

John Cole, Group IT Manager at Vita Group, had a challenge on his hands when the company was relocating to new premises to bring together two major operations in Brisbane - its central Support Centre and Sales Centre.


The fully contained cooling system also means we don’t waste money cooling the entire volume of air in the data centre, we are concentrating the cooling where there is head load.
John Cole, Group IT Manager of Vita Group

“Moving to a green field site made the data centre installation more straightforward in many ways but the new site gave us some unusual challenges. Due to a low floor to ceiling height we weren’t able to install raised floors, the building didn’t have chilled water for cooling and we had a limited amount of floor space available to us for the data centre.”

Other important design considerations included improving energy efficiency, the ability to easily scale up the power and cooling infrastructure and protecting racks and equipment from dust and fire suppression.

To satisfy all these requirements, Vita Group installed a containment cooling solution from Rittal made up of 8 racks, a 40kW UPS, 3 LCP Smart cooling units, automatic doors and fire detection and suppression.

As Vita Group’s business grows the modularity and scalability of the UPS solution from Rittal allows John to add UPS modules without taking the IT load off-line and to easily increase the data centre’s capacity.

“We’ve been able to quickly scale up from our initial 20kW n+1 redundancy to our current 40kW n+1 capacity. Plus all the components can be removed and swapped without interruption to our IT systems.”

Efficiency is an important factor in Vita Group’s data centre, to ensure the operating costs of the infrastructure are kept to a minimum. For this reason John chose the LCP Smart units with their 20kW of cooling capacity and maximum power draw of 600 watts. The high water inlet temperature of the units also brings cost savings at the chilled water plant.

“We estimate a 40% saving over other typical in-row cooling solutions. The high water inlet temperature on the Rittal LCP system means that on cool days when the temperature is 15 degrees or less the cost of cooling the water is minimal. The fully contained cooling system also means we don’t waste money cooling the entire volume of air in the data centre, we are concentrating the cooling where there is heat load.”

“The other big advantage is the working conditions within the room. Normally in a data centre it’s too cold to work comfortably and too loud to have a conversation. We no longer have those problems.”

“On top of that we can centrally monitor and manage the power and cooling systems and we receive pro-active notification of any issues where any of our set thresholds for temperature or power are breached.”

“On top of that we can centrally monitor and manage the power and cooling systems and we receive pro-active notification of any issues where any of our set thresholds for temperature or power are breached.”

John says the implementation of the data centre was a “fantastic experience”. Rittal and its partner Powerfirm worked closely with Vita Group to ensure the design was exactly right and the delivery and installation ran like clockwork.

“I was really impressed by the level of support we received from Rittal and Powerfirm during the design and installation and also the ongoing support we’ve received since.”

Twelve months after the installation, John is extremely happy with his choice of provider. The company’s availability requirements have been met and the power efficiency of the cooling systems has resulted in considerable savings for Vita Group.

“I had really high expectations for this data centre and the Rittal solution has definitely delivered.”