One of the issues of “Industry 4.0,” also known as the Internet of Things (IoT), will be how to manage all the data that should be flowing from every component, every machine, every device, every product, and every design and production process. Secure management of all of these data will be critical, as most data are only a hack away from being stolen and used for other means.
Soon, you will also hear of the need to ensure that the quality of the gathered data must be high enough for industrial needs.
Data centers can play a key role in the housing and security of data collected from the IoT processes. The design of a data center depends on customer requirements, which include function, performance needs, security, availability, efficiency, scalability and future needs. They also include investment and operating costs.
A data center is made up of several elements, which include services and applications, active components such as servers, switches and storage systems, and the entire IT infrastructure necessary for operating these systems. The supply paths for power and climate control are particularly important.
The individual components in the power supply path are: infeed, emergency backup system, main and sub-distribution, power backup, sub-distribution to bayed enclosures, and distribution in the enclosures through passive or active socket strips. In addition to the functional interfaces that ensure the current flow, the monitoring interfaces used to forward measurements and alarm signals to a central management console also need to be taken into account.
In addition, consider the supply path for climate control. Such a path comprises generation and transportation of cooling energy, distribution of cooling energy in the data center and removal of waste heat. Here, too, a monitoring network needs to be in place that forwards parameters and alarm signals to the monitoring console.
Mechanical components (server and network enclosures, raised floor, aisle containments) and safety equipment (sensor network, early fire detection system, fire extinguishing system, access protection) as far as the data center shell (container, security room, drywall construction) must also be included.
Sometimes, it’s just easier to turn to a custom data center. But planning, installing, operating and servicing a custom data center can be complicated. One option is to select components from a modular system, such as RiMatrix. Choosing among parts already configured to operate together ensures compatibility and that the system functions as a single entity.
The advantages of a custom-built data center include:
- choice of cooling technology and combinations of different solutions if several climate zones need one data center
- modularity and scalability, as existing infrastructures can be expanded (pay-as-you-grow)
- integration of third-party devices, as long as these meet international standards (also in terms of communication interfaces)
Standard data centers
A modular system of compatible data center modules opens up prospects for planning, implementing and operating data centers. Individual server modules are integrated with central supply modules (power supply, cooling) using defined and standard interfaces to create complete solutions.
A modular system not only simplifies the planning phase, it also reduces delivery and commissioning times. The individual modules are designed to complement each other and ensure energy efficiency. For ROI analysis, data sheets take into account both the investment sum and a detailed evaluation of the expected operating costs. Particular focus is attached to energy costs, which can be reduced with an intelligent climate control system.
Micro data centers
A micro data center is a complete data center within a protective safe and provides all the essential features of an IT infrastructure:
- power distribution and cooling
- early fire detection and fire extinguishing system
- monitoring of operating parameters and alarms
The shell design provides appropriate protection from potential physical threats such as intrusion, vandalism, fire, smoke, water and dust.
The key features are:
- two designs for the protective shell with different levels of protection against potential physical threats
- energy-efficient cooling from 5 to 30 kW
- range of climate control options
- a “bayable” design makes it easy to scale up as needed
Particularly for small companies, but also for workshops and remote locations, a micro data center offers complete all-round protection for important IT devices such as servers, switches and storage systems.
Server and network enclosures are the backbone of every data center as they contain all the active components, including servers, switches and storage systems. Enclosure systems ensure stability for these sensitive devices. They also supply the hardware with cooling, power and connection technology precisely where this is needed. They serve as an interface for the selected cooling concept and provide an insight into the current status of the data center through intelligent management functions.
(Source: Whitepaper: IT and IT infrastructure in the context of Industry 4.0)
Filed Under: Cables + cable management, IoT • IIoT • internet of things • Industry 4.0, Networks • connectivity • fieldbuses