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Press Release

University of Lincoln partners with Schneider Electric and RMD for edge data centre modernisation

Press Release by Schneider Electric Wed 21 Feb 2024

Image of University of Lincoln

The University of Lincoln has embarked on an edge data centre modernisation project in collaboration with Schneider Electric and RMD UK.

This initiative is aimed at enhancing the resilience and efficiency of IT services across its campus, crucial for supporting the SaaS applications vital for operational efficiency and student learning experiences.

Today, the University operates a centralised data centre, where users of the campus, including the admin team, students, and educators, as well as its research and commercial partners, are dependent upon SaaS applications for the majority of tasks. This makes uptime and reliable access to cloud services a critical requirement for all users of the network throughout its 25 buildings.

Enhancing Campus IT Infrastructure

The project focuses on deploying Schneider Electric’s APC Smart-UPS SRT systems across the University’s distributed edge facilities. These systems ensure uninterrupted power supply and connectivity, given the lack of standby power generation capabilities in the University’s city centre campus buildings.

With 110 APC Smart-UPS SRT units currently in place, the University aims to bolster the reliability of its IT network, a critical aspect given its heavy reliance on cloud services for administrative, educational, and research activities.

Darran Coy, Senior Infrastructure Analyst at the University of Lincoln, highlighted the challenge of maintaining reliable IT services across the expanding campus.

“We open a new building nearly every year and each one needs its own comms room populated with IT racks including servers and networking equipment, together with all the necessary supporting infrastructure including cooling, structured cabling, power distribution, and power protection.

“It is the epitome of edge computing,” said Coy.

The partnership with RMD UK, a Schneider Electric Elite Data Centre Partner, played a crucial role in this endeavor, offering specialised services in IT power and cooling solutions.

RMD UK recommended fitting bypass panels as an aid to UPS maintenance and replacement activities, enabling servicing to be carried out without compromising the IT load.

Bypass panels are now being retrofitted to existing UPS deployments and have been made standard in the electrical design for all infrastructure supporting the University’s new edge server rooms.

The collaboration also extends to the implementation of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure IT Expert and Data Centre Expert software. This digital oversight enables the ICT Services team to optimise cooling, improve operational efficiency, and respond swiftly to potential disruptions.

The University of Lincoln Aims for Net Zero

The modernisation strategy not only enhances the reliability and serviceability of the University’s IT infrastructure, but also aligns with its environmental objectives.

“The modernisation strategy chosen by the University of Lincoln demonstrates why improving the reliability of the IT network goes hand-in-hand with reducing its environmental impact,” said Mark Yeeles, Vice President of the Secure Power Division at Schneider Electric UK and Ireland.

By adjusting temperature setpoints and implementing energy-saving measures, the University of Lincoln moves closer to achieving net-zero carbon operations for its infrastructure and IT services.

This approach supports the University of Lincoln’s commitment to providing a resilient learning environment and advancing its net-zero targets.

“Through the use of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure software, its APC power protection solutions and its digital services programme, we are able to help the University ensure maximum efficiency and reliability across its critical systems and take another step towards its environmental goals,” said Scot Docherty, Business Development Consultant at RMD Power & Cooling.

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