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Use case: High-availability, energy-efficient e-commerce processes with Rittal

A global e-commerce player is updating its IT infrastructure by deploying Blue e+ cooling units. The result has been demonstrably lower operating costs and enhanced system availability.

Ordered today, delivered tomorrow – for online retailers, rapid, reliable fulfilment is key to customer loyalty. Highly automated and geographically distributed warehouses ensure goods reach their recipients quickly and efficiently. The corresponding local logistics processes are managed via specialised software applications and IP-enabled automation solutions – and these require fail-safe IT infrastructure. Against this background, an e-commerce player with global operations had deployed IT systems for data processing in its warehouses. However, these sensitive systems were exposed to dust and other hazards, such as access by unauthorised persons. A few years ago, the company decided to update its warehouse IT infrastructure with Rittal solutions, including Blue e+ cooling units. By means of closed-circuit cooling and other technologies, the units are designed to enhance operational reliability and to improve energy efficiency.

Efficiency meets reliability

Rittal Blue e+ IT cooling units feature an innovative hybrid operation model, employing parallel cooling circuits, and based on the temperature difference inside and outside the enclosure. Passive cooling takes place when the ambient temperature falls below a defined threshold; to this end, an integrated heat pipe dissipates heat from within the enclosure. Where this is insufficient, active cooling kicks in, using a compressor and speed-controlled components to reduce the internal temperature. This unique inverter technology enables a cooling output that is precisely aligned with actual requirements.

In addition, the Blue e+ units include an IoT module to enable central monitoring and management of IT cooling. Although the IoT module does not control any business-critical functions, the online retailer can use the data captured to anticipate future performance and requirements. The e-commerce player has signed a service contract with Rittal for the maintenance of these systems. Rittal offers on-site support 365 days a year, thanks to its global service network across some 150 countries. Furthermore, its optimised spare-part inventories mean it is possible for 90 per cent of all repair jobs to be carried out on the first visit.

To safeguard availability, the online retailer’s IT systems are of redundant design. Each warehouse has two complete and identical Rittal solutions, ensuring orders can be processed and fulfilled at all times.

Proven savings

As the e-commerce customer concludes: Rittal Blue e+ units operate very efficiently, delivering proven energy savings of up to 70 per cent. The online retailer has collaborated closely with Rittal for many years and, during this time, has been able to test cooling systems from a variety of vendors. In light of the high availability and efficiency of Rittal’s solutions, they plan to remain a loyal customer moving forward.