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Building edge infrastructures faster

2020-07-15. Speed is of the essence. Due to the industrial transformation, manufacturing companies are having to build new IT and OT infrastructures for edge applications faster than ever before. The prerequisites are rack systems based on a comprehensive modular range of variants that can implement individual solutions simply, safely and in a future-proof way. The answer to these demands is the new Rittal VX IT rack system, which is being presented at the 2020 Hannover Messe Digital Days.

New technologies such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) or 5G all demand reliable IT and OT infrastructure systems – directly where production is taking place – for edge applications. For companies to remain competitive, the IT and OT infrastructure must be quickly set up or expanded to help provide the computing power required. Rittal offers help in this with its new VX IT rack system. This innovation is a pacesetter for the rapidly emerging new and future-proof IT and OT infrastructures.

A state-of-the-art enclosure platform is setting the pace

A new generation of IT racks – in the shape of Rittal’s VX IT – has been developed. It is the world's fastest IT rack. Conceived as a universal and modular variant kit, the solution can be used as a network and server enclosure in a variety of edge applications. An additional factor and benefit for customers is that all VX IT variants designed with the configurator have already been tested and certified with all their components in accordance with international standards such as UL 2416, IEC 60950 and IEC 62368. This means there is no need to additionally certify the finished, configured system. This ensures maximum freedom and peace of mind when assembling new IT infrastructures. With this solution, IT managers can save valuable time in planning and procurement, while at the same time being assured that all the compo-nents work in perfect harmony.

An online configurator guides the user step-by-step through the selection of components and it directly performs a plausibility check: https://www.rittal.com/vx-it/en/it-rack.

Digital ordering process

With VX IT, companies can implement new infrastructures at unprecedented speed, from a single network rack in the production building to a complete edge data centre in distributed production facilities. For this purpose, Rittal maximises the full digitalization potential to the benefit of its customers. The entire process from selection, configuration and ordering through to delivery is digitally supported and transparent. During configuration, the 3D model is assembled piece by piece, including the accessories. The finished 3D model is available for reuse by the user. The individually designed version of the IT rack is produced in a very high quality in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. Optimised logistics mean it is delivered quickly and on time.

Maximum compatibility and future-proof

VX IT offers compatibility with existing Rittal RiMatrix systems and other IT infrastructures assembled with Rittal components. This makes it possible to replace individual components in existing data centres and selectively expand data centres. For example, compa-nies can expand existing RiMatrix installations with the new VX IT and use VX IT-specific components for cooling, UPS or monitoring. This provides investment security for present Rittal data centres.

Rapid tool-free assembly

Anyone working in a data centre will want a cleverly designed and easy-to-use solution. In developing VX IT, Rittal has consistently followed this realisation. This IT rack is assembled almost entirely without tools with a time-saving snap-in system. Labelled height units and pitch patterns in the depth make it easy to comply with the 482.6 mm (19") distance between levels. All panels such as side panels and roof plates are quickly and easily attached with snap fasteners and positioning aids. The new vertically divided side panels, available as an optional accessory, give improved access for faster installation and servicing. The vertically divided side panels are equipped with simple hinges and can be opened like a door while also being easy to remove. Horizontally divided side panels are also available to specify and these again simplify access to, for example, servers.

Load capacity up to 1,800 kg

Another key feature of VX IT is its great stability: Thanks to an improved frame design, the rack’s 19-inch vertical sections are more robust than in previous racks. The load capacity has been verified by in-house testing at Rittal as well as external certification by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). There are two variants available: the “VX IT standard” rack supports a static load of 1,500 kg accord-ing to Rittal tests or 1,200 kg according to UL certifica-tion. The “VX IT dynamic” version supports a load of 1,800 kg according to Rittal’s own testing process, or 1,500 kg according to UL certification.

Everything a rack needs

A wide range of accessories is available for VX IT so that it can be specifically customised. This includes options for the doors and side panels, base and roof, as well as other innovations such as the new LED strip for status display. Other accessories include extensions and cable management tools as well as solutions for monitoring, power supply and asset management in the IT rack. For interior installation, components such as PDUs, UPS systems, IT cooling systems and monitoring solutions are available, as well as modules for early fire detection and extinguishing.