A Fortune 500, multinational pharmaceutical company needed to upgrade its existing data centers located on the east coast, however space constraints were a challenge. The company’s data center director was looking for a solution that could accommodate high-density blade servers without raised flooring and computer room air conditioners. In addition, they needed each upgraded rack enclosure to accommodate 15-18 kilowatts per enclosure.
With these parameters in mind, the pharmaceutical company partnered with On-Line Computer Products Inc and Rittal for its data center design and upgrade. The first of three data centers to be upgraded was the company’s disaster recovery site, which is 2,000 square feet.
“Rittal has an in-row cooling solution, called LCP, or liquid cooling package,” said Jim Cole, Executive Vice President at On-Line. “In addition to the need to cool at the rack level, Rittal’s LCP units offered critical security functionality that our client requires. It’s a very sophisticated piece of equipment, although not complex, still very sophisticated.”
The data center upgrade included the LCP solution for rack-level cooling, as well as rack enclosures, cable management solutions and auto door opening kits. In 2009, ON-LINE installed three rows of enclosures with Rittal’s LCP solutions at the first data center site.
With the successful upgrade of the smaller disaster recovery data center site, the pharmaceutical company engaged with ON-LINE for the next phase of their upgrade.
“The next project was a production site. It was a very big build by comparison,” said Cole. “The company’s plans called for building data centers in 2,000-square-foot pods.”
The production site mirrored the previous project, but on a much larger scale. On-Line built up the 4,000-square-foot data center with five rows of cabinets with a Rittal LCP unit for each row. ON-LINE went on to complete three additional builds with the same pod-design and Rittal equipment over the course of four years. In total, the company deployed over 75 LCP units at various sites along the Eastern seaboard.
“In addition to the work that we did, the company has standardized this data center solution using Rittal on a global scale,” explained Cole. “It’s a very efficient design and provides them with a significant ROI in energy savings alone.”
Although upgrading data centers in this footprint requires a significant upfront investment, the company realized a return on their investment within 3 years with significant energy savings achieved at the row level versus a whole-room AC design.
“The main value proposition from implementing Rittal’s in-row cooling solution is that they were able to run high-density servers in a very small footprint. They have four blade servers running per cabinet, if it were built like a traditional data center, they would have been lucky to be able to fit two servers per cabinet,” explained Cole. “And now, ten years after the very first upgrade, our customer continues to see monthly returns on their investment.”
ON-LINE continues to provide Rittal data center solutions to the pharmaceutical giant, completing additional data center builds in 2016 and being engaged to complete another in 2019.
The sophisticated and innovated products that Rittal offers were just part of why Rittal was the ideal solution for ON-LINE’s customer. Rittal’s flexibility and accessibility were also key drivers to standardizing the Rittal solution for the data center pods.
“When they looked at what Rittal’s competitors could offer, they appreciated the accessibility of Rittal’s experts and they still reach out to the application engineers whenever they have technical questions,” Cole concluded.