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Schneider: The rise of the micro data centre

Wed 25 Nov 2015

Schneider Micro Data Centre

schneider-interviewWe caught up with Schneider Electric‘s Tanuja Randery, UK and Ireland President, and Kevin Brown, Vice President, Global Data Center Strategy and Technology

Within the data centre industry, we constantly need to assess where the landscape is going, and what we see happening in terms of the evolution of technology and its usage. All of this affects the way things are interconnected.

“At Schneider, we’re not just interested in collecting and processing data, we are very much about what do you do to act on the information,” explains Tanuja Randery, UK and Ireland President.

Tanuja continues. “Within utilities, for example, a lot of data is being generated at a granular level and as you look at all of the information that’s sitting out there it suddenly becomes clear that data centres have been too far removed from the action. We need to switch it around so that we can process information on the edge and covert it into action.”

Schneider has launched a new global brand strategy, called Life Is On, which comes at a critical point of transition for the industry, and is fueled by the company’s Operational Intelligence approach to IoT. The approach will transform how people and organisations consume energy, better automate industrial processes, and increase the quality of business decisions, while improving their lives.

Tanuja continues: “The management of data and looking at the patterns of usage is the key to us being able to consume less energy. We all have a responsibility and by putting management systems in place at the data centre, buildings, and asset level, we can create a way of visualising the information. This will give our leaders a chance to do something with that data because they can see it and act on it.

“Going back to basics, the data centres we see around us are not operating at the most effective levels in terms of usage of capacity and energy, and managing their system. There’s a lot that we need to do today before we rush off and do new things for the future.”

The Life Is On brand strategy leverages Schneider Electric’s expertise in the operational technology that controls our society’s most important processes and connects it to the information technology that we rely on to simplify our lives and make better decisions. This approach relies on optimised automation and control, advanced remote management, predictive maintenance, enabling managed services, advanced analytics and generation of actionable information to drive informed decision-making in our homes, manufacturing facilities, data centres, buildings and cities.

Kevin Brown, Vice President, Global Data Center Strategy and Technology, explained: “The real advantage for a company like us is because its on an IT network it can also be accessed so we can do something with it that we couldn’t do in the past.

“Take typical preventative maintenance as an example. In the future, because the data will be readily available to us, we’ll be able to remotely analyse the device, find out what’s wrong with it and what parts it needs, all before we’ve even got there.”

Micro data centres

Schneider Electric’s introduction of a micro data centre solution portfolio for the UK and Ireland enables data processing to be brought nearer to the point of M2M data production in IoT and other highly automated applications.

Kevin clarifies: “Although we are in the early stages, micro data centres are exciting because they are the point of a trend where data centres are going to be designed to be application-specific and, as a result, they will be much more responsible with regard to the use of energy.”

Schneider Electric’s micro data centre physical infrastructure solutions include the enclosure, uninterruptible power supply (UPS), power distribution, management software (DCIM), environmental monitoring, cooling and security – all tested, assembled, packaged and then shipped together in a factory environment. The micro data centre solutions portfolio includes SmartBunker SX, traditional for IT rooms, CX, optimised for office environments, FX, robust for any environment and SmartShelter, a multi-rack, ruggedised for any environment.

“This emerging trend towards micro data centres is our way of trying to lead the industry,” said Kevin. “In this instance it becomes application specific. We are matching the physical infrastructure to the behaviour so that everything becomes much more effective and saves energy as a result.”

Read more about Schneider’s Micro Data Centre launch here

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