URBANA, OH-Rittal announced a strategic relationship with Microsoft's Enterprise Engineering Center (EEC), which is located on the company's main campus in Redmond, WA. Part of the Server and Tools Division, the EEC is the premier customer-facing lab on campus and provides their customers the opportunity to test deployments and upgrades of Microsoft enterprise software products as well as the configuration and scalability of untested solutions. By essentially performing operational "rehearsals" in EEC engagements, Microsoft customers get a glimpse of how the tested solutions will perform in their own production environments-removing uncertainty and ultimately saving time and money as they move forward.

The EEC is a state-of-the-art data center and lab environment that allows Microsoft's largest customers to collaborate with product groups to validate pre-release software in a replica of their production environment. The EEC infrastructure contains over 700 servers, more than 2 Petabytes of storage and a central switching fabric of over 20 Terabytes. A significant expansion project is underway to enhance the facility's validation capabilities and increase energy efficiency that includes a number of Rittal's industry-leading TS8 server rack enclosures and LCP+ (Liquid Cooling Package) high density cooling units. According to Microsoft EEC's John Cressey, "Rittal's LCP Plus cooling solution provides the EEC two key features which fit well into our business strategy. First, the fact that the cooling is integrated into an enclosed environment gives us the ability to monitor our cooling in a much more targeted way in order to test and develop more energy efficient solutions for the future. Secondly, this architecture provides a much more portable and flexible solution than the traditional centrally cooled datacenter, giving us the ability to relocate to another building if the business need arises."