Rittal Blog

Future IT Enclosure Planning: 4 Tips to Handle Emerging Technologies

February 3 2021 by Hans Baumann


Select IT Data Center Enclosures for Your Needs Today and Tomorrow

“Future proof.”

Is that even possible in an ever-changing IT world? When you consider everything from cryptocurrency mining rigs to blockchain applications to Open Compute Project (OCP) deployments to everything being virtual (working from home, streaming services, even food deliveries), today’s new IT designs are pushing the limits of the traditional data center space.

What the future holds is, of course, unknown.

New appliances and applications demand unique solutions for component management in all kinds of environments. From bringing computing power and data storage ultra close to where it is needed (The Edge) to scaling as needed to meet demand (hyperscale), how can you best plan for your future IT cabinet needs?

Here are 4 tips to help you plan for emerging technologies. And if you follow all 4, you may even get really close to “future proof.”

1. Think performance and long-term value

IT enclosures must be designed for easy reconfiguration. When considering adaptability, the right enclosure allows for the selection of standardized components and are quickly configured for the most common, or best, applications. Flexible enclosures and accessories allow data center teams to scale at the rack level and rapidly change things as the data center expands or as specs change.

Adaptability provides the end user with a single footprint that can accommodate a variety of IT appliances or configuration requirements: space for extra deep servers, internal volume for high density cable installations. The goal? Invest once, adapt as needed.

2. Concentrate on cooling

Today’s high-density servers generate heat that can damage equipment, and solving that issue won’t happen in the near future. Reliable and correct air stream management (not too warm, not too cool) of footprints is a critical aspect of how an enclosure functions now and in the future.

In addition to intelligent air flow management, innovative air conditioning solutions increase the efficiency of your installation and ensure sustainable operation. What is vital is matching the heat that equipment puts out with climate control technologies that not only ensure equipment performance but also reduce energy costs.

Technology continually advances and density demands continue to grow, making it necessary for IT cabinets to handle cooling strategies that are evolving as well.

3. Consider future features and functionality

Every IT infrastructure requires flexibility, many sooner rather than later. Start with configurable IT enclosures that meet day one needs and future challenges. Even something as simple as smart cable management or PDU mounting options can make future installations easy.

And in spaces providing the highest levels of physical security, something as ordinary as having multi-point locking front and rear doors may seem like an expected security feature, but when you know changes are inevitable, it can be one less headache to handle.

Now, combine all these features into an enclosure that can be installed in a wide variety of locations. While many may be placed in more traditional, environmentally stable spaces, you may find these footprints need to go out in the wild. It is possible that the environment around an IT enclosure could change, perhaps becoming dustier, wetter, drier, even hotter or colder. If that’s a possibility, select an enclosure that ensures sensitive IT equipment continues to operate in these conditions by providing enhanced protection against the elements, no matter how harsh they could become.

Simply put, knowing your IT enclosures can handle current IT requirements as well as tomorrow’s demands provides you with peace of mind.

4. Choose wisely

Future IT cabinet planning should not be done in isolation. In fact, getting important internal stakeholders involved is a must. Conversations should include possible future density needs and key questions and answers.

Selecting the correct enclosure platform partner is next. To truly be prepared for the next generation of IT components (and their unique needs), discussions with partners should focus on how to handle the long-term needs of new technology.

TS IT Pro Network/Server Rack Enclosure

Flexibility. Scalability. Adaptability. All to help data centers meet IT needs today and be prepared for the trends of tomorrow. The new TS IT Pro enclosure from Rittal may be the “future proof” solution that covers all 4 tips. Here are more highlights:

  • Proven Rittal frame construction provides dynamic load bearing capacity to meet the critical demands of a “ship loadable” system
  • Having the cabinet configured for immediate deployment allows you to stand up the configuration in the fastest cost-effective manner possible
  • Scalability supports high installation and thermal densities, as well as physical security
  • U.S.-made, easy to configure and order, and hassle-free installation

The TS IT Pro combines Rittal’s 50 years of experience and customer input within a flexible and scalable rack system ready to handle the IT designs of the future.

Data center IT cabinets protect major computing and networking equipment investments. Before concluding any search for enclosures for your facility, consider a manufacturer that delivers features, functionality, and engineering that delivers true long-term value.

As this blog is written (January 2021), we are still deep in a global pandemic. The unknown is not COVID-19; it is the unrelenting demands put on the global IT infrastructure. And while “the internet” may have bent, it never broke. It is always difficult to plan for an unprecedented future, but we can certainly learn a lot about “future proofing” from this one.


Categories: Data Center Solutions

Hans Baumann

Written by Hans Baumann

Rittal Data Center Solutions Product Manager