When a deadly earth quake struck Christchurch, in New Zealand last year, it left death and destruction in its wake including taking down data centers. At least one New Zealand IT department turned to German IT infrastructure provider Rittal to deliver what they call a data center in a box.
The data center is completely self-contained in a box about the size of a large refrigerator. After it arrives, Rittal officials claim it can be up and running into 1-2 days. The way it works is Rittal assembles the box and ships it to the disaster area, claiming it can arrive within a day. They say they are able to assemble it so quickly because they have developed a toolless design that uses snap-in parts to facilitate easy construction.
What’s more, the unit includes servers, racks, cooling, security, and a screen and keyboard for interacting with the system. It’s designed to keep all of the contents inside safe behind a thick door, which can protect the unit from fire and water damage.
I learned about Rittal while on the press tour at the CeBIT technology conference this week in Hanover, Germany. It might not be the most exciting exhibitor displaying here, but if you need their services, I’m sure you would be glad to know who they are.
We have seen more disasters recently than anyone could have imagined including the major earth quake and tsunami in Japan, tornadoes in the mid-west that flattened towns, and the freak October ice storm in New England that took out power in some places for over week — to name but a few of the insane weather events over the last year.
Any one of these can tax the ability of IT to keep their data centers up and running, and while many places separate their operations from their data center, nobody is ever really truly protected from one type of disaster or another, which of course can strike anywhere.
Acts of God can have a profound impact on business and it’s imperative that IT pros find ways to stay functioning, even in the face of vast destruction. As we’ve seen, the likelihood of such an event occurring seems to increase every year.
Having a disaster plan in place is step one of course. In many instances you can keep going, in spite the chaos that might be striking private homes, but if you find that your data center has been completely destroyed as happened in Christchurch, it’s a good to know that you can get at least your most essential services up and running while you deal with other crisis intervention plans.
If you have a major weather event and you need get going quickly, this data center in a box could be your ace in the hole, giving you the ability to at least get essential services running for your company.
Rittal officials estimated the cost of the data center in a box to be between 3000 and 12,000 Euro depending on your requirements, cheap money in the face of a complete shutdown.