Systematic creativity

The original coloured bricks had 4 x 2 raised points on top and two cylinders underneath. They were joined later by longer, shorter and narrower bricks. Yet all the system’s bricks still fitted together. Children all over the world have been able to give free rein to their creativity and build their own worlds in countless variations. And they have been able to develop ideas and create even larger worlds with other children who have the same bricks, thanks to all the bricks being compatible in a standardised system.

The Open Compute Project (OCP) was initiated in the IT world a few years ago. OCP is a standardised IT platform for data centres that is based on open standards under an open source licence and undergoes continuous development by everyone involved. The project aims to minimise data centre running costs and increase the scalability of IT systems by using standard modules. Maintenance, service and spare parts management are also being simplified as a result of the high level of standardisation and access via the front of the racks.

In data centres with OCP architecture, the active components (servers, storage, switches) in the racks no longer need power packs of their own. Instead, they are powered by DC busbars integrated into the racks. This eliminates transformer losses in power distribution. The IT components can also be operated at higher temperatures, thus enabling more efficient cooling.

A direct current supply therefore ensures greater energy efficiency, lower running costs and a reduced environmental impact. Due to constantly growing IT needs, data centres also account for a rising proportion of global CO2 emissions. The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) forecasts that CO2 emissions from ICT as a proportion of total global CO2 emissions will increase from 1.3 per cent in 2002 to 2.3 per cent in 2020.

As a leading manufacturer of IT infrastructure solutions, Rittal supports the Open Compute Project and promotes innovations for both existing and new customer needs. The Rittal OCP racks unveiled at CeBIT 2017 are cost-effective solutions based on the OCP 19"-inch rack  and can be deployed quickly. As a member of the Open19 Foundation, Rittal is also developing an Open19 rack. In this architecture, servers are also powered using direct current. However, connections are ensured using a special cable harness at the rear.