Manufacturing AUTOMATION

VIDEO: Hannover Messe 2013: Rittal’s RiMatrix S bold data centre vision

May 3, 2013
By Alison Dunn

Wolfram Eberhardt, corporate communications at Rittal, explains the economics and energy efficiencies of the RiMatrix S modular data centre system introduced at CeBit 2013 and Hannover Messe 2013.

Wolfram Eberhardt of Rittal:

RiMatrix S is Rittal’s concept for a standardized data centre construction. With immediate effect, data centres can be quickly configured, delivered, and put into operation.

Every unit in the process chain, from consulting to service, benefits from the prefabricated elements. In addition, Rittal ensures that the system has a high energy efficiency. RiMatrix S is the perfect solution for modern, standardised data centre infrastructures with uniform interfaces and continuous automation. “We want to fundamentally change the rules of the market with this worldwide novel approach to standardized data centres,” said Friedhelm Loh, Rittal’s owner and CEO.


Data centres are traditionally one-off solutions. Often they are jointly designed and implemented with the customer to meet specific needs. Nevertheless, in the modern Web 2.0 society, there are large and growing numbers of “standardized units,” as well as services that differ from one company to the next. Standard services on standard hardware are supplied with electricity and air conditioning via a standard infrastructure. For a long time now, many data centres have been largely similar in many aspects.

Rittal-RiMatrix-S TechnikHowever, in terms of design, implementation, and operation, elaborate, custom-made concepts still dominate. This is not only time-consuming, but also expensive, as hardly any standardized processes and components can be defined once and then be called again up repeatedly. Rittal is addressing precisely these needs with its RiMatrix S, a world first. RiMatrix S complements the existing RiMatrix product line as a modular system with predefined modules of server and network enclosures, and for climate control and power supply. The smallest RiMatrix S variant, the Single 6, consists of six racks to accommodate servers and an additional frame for network technology. The larger version, the Single 9, has eight server racks plus one rack for network technology. Both can be combined to form larger units. What sounds merely like a minor change in data centre construction is in fact a revolution: “With the RiMatrix S, Rittal is making a paradigm shift in the IT world, because never before has a complete data centre been available under a single Model No.,” explained Bernd Hanstein, Vice President Product Management IT at Rittal.

RiMatrix S has a delivery time of only six weeks. The extremely short delivery and commissioning times are a direct consequence of the data centre modules’ high level of standardization. While consultants usually draw up the sizes and expansion stages of individual racks in detail with the customer, RiMatrix S is assigned in blocks. Operating costs are calculated in advance because Rittal delivers a defined promise of performance for the PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) value. If the server modules are used in conjunction with a cooling unit from Rittal, the system specialist guarantees an excellent PUE of up to 1.15. For each kilowatt of power that the servers take up, only 15% of additional energy is used, for instance for climate control and uninterruptible power supply.

The high level of efficiency also stems from the fact that Rittal has combined the results of research and development projects in RiMatrix S. Thus findings from the AC4DC project, concerning the overall control of all climate control components in a data centre, ensure that the modules function at the optimum operating point in terms of climate and server load.

Despite this, the RiMatrix S module solution is flexible. Customers can connect their own resources via the clearly defined transfer points for energy, climate control, and network. Yet the benefits of quick installation and commissioning do remain. If RiMatrix S is installed at the customer’s facilities, all the components are in the correct order and can be mounted immediately. This way, customers have a functioning infrastructure and can make use of their applications and services within a very short time. The return on investment (ROI) is faster and time to market is minimized.

Rittal RiMatrix S StrategieRittal offers a specially developed RiMatrix S Configurator on its website, where interested parties can calculate in advance whether speed, ease of installation, and standardized processes outweigh any possible disadvantages from the reduced customization. This is not to say that RiMatrix S offers a fixed concept permitting no changes. Experience has shown that changes in the data centre take place at fixed intervals; a 19″ enclosure alone is installed in the rarest cases. Individual activities are performed on one combined maintenance or conversion date. Because the Single 6 or Single 9 modules are erected much more quickly and easily than comparable systems made from free-standing enclosures, the time spent on rebuilding and extension work is kept to a minimum.

Uniform components not only simplify the mechanical construction, but also provide benefits in system administration. Administrators can use the same monitoring and control tools with each RiMatrix S module, even if the modules are mounted at different locations. This reduces training time, makes service and IT-management easier, and ties up fewer of the administrator’s resources, which then become free for other tasks.

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