13.12.2017 - Network planning – the basis for an effective IT infrastructure
The IT experts at B. Braun, a leading manufacturer of medical technology and pharmaceutical products, were faced with a challenge – their new, state-of-the-art production facility site demanded the rapid expansion of the infrastructure. This had to be done without any major construction work or upgrading rooms. In addition, the company needed that project to be implemented quickly and safely. It had to be decided in advance where the systems for the new production line should be installed: In the end, management decided to expand the information technology facilities at the Glandorf site.
Werner Mielenbrink, Head of Media Supply at B. Braun.
The IT experts at B. Braun therefore began doing some serious thinking about how to expand their IT environment and, at the same time, make it fail-safe. At the IT component level, greater virtualisation would help to consolidate applications and systems, so making it possible to use IT resources more flexibly. It was necessary to find a suitable site for the server, to secure it against unauthorised access and to achieve a high level of availability for the solution.
The IT infrastructure alone needs about half a dozen server enclosures. The space now employed as an IT room had previously been not equipped with the necessary infrastructure for a data centre or with any security technology. Originally, simple server enclosures were to be used to construct the infrastructure, though this did not fully achieve the required level of physical protection for the IT system.
Finally, Rittal was able to provide the solution with its Micro Data Center, a data safe for IT systems. This creates a specially secured environment at rack level for the operation of business-critical IT systems. For automated production in line with Industry 4.0 (the Internet of Things) the concept provides the necessary reliability and modularity.
The Micro Data Center is available with different levels of security. IT components such as servers, storage or networks in a protective room and at resistance classes as high as four. Depending on individual requirements, the solution can be expanded into a compact data centre. B. Braun finally opted for two installations based on the Micro Data Center for the Glandorf site. Three-fold and four-fold suites each contain a complete and redundant IT environment consisting of three or four IT racks, including cooling, power distribution, monitoring and fire protection. The server racks are cooled by means of the integrated LCU DX (Liquid Cooling Unit) split cooling system from Rittal.
B. Braun uses the Rittal CMC III monitoring solution to monitor the whole system. Important parameters related to IT operations can be centrally monitored with this application. At B. Braun, the system monitors, among other things, the door handles of the IT enclosures, the UPS, as well as the temperature and humidity within the Micro Data Center. The DET AC fire detection and extinguishing system, which is also integrated, detects even the smallest smoke particles in the air and emits a warning so that technicians can react in good time, before the fire actually breaks out. In the event of a fire, the DET AC floods the IT rack with Novec 1230 extinguisher gas, which does not damage the IT components.