I joined APC by Schneider Electric about 2 years ago, when Schneider acquired the company I was working for, Kell Systems. Kell is a UK-based company that makes the Netshelter CX enclosures, also known as a “server room in a box.”
My job was selling the CX in the U.S., although to be honest it involved very little sales– because the Netshelter CX practically sold itself. The phone would ring and it would be someone who wanted one or more of the CX enclosures. Often it was an existing client who was happy with the enclosures they currently had and wanted more, sometimes lots more.
The Netshelter CX fills a need that is only growing in importance. It is intended to house IT and networking gear that must live in a relatively small space, such as an office environment where there is no dedicated space for such equipment. They are popular because they do that simple job extremely well.
For one thing, they muffle about 90% of the sound from the equipment they house, so they’re extremely quiet. They also look good, like a piece of furniture that belongs in the office. The units are fan-cooled, so you don’t need any special air conditioning or venting, and completely lockable so your equipment is secure. They’re easy to install and are portable, in case your plans change and you need to move a unit. There is a Netshelter CX to suit everyone as they come in four sizes, ranging from 12U to 38U.
On joining Schneider Electric, my colleagues talked about the big companies they had as clients and questioned whether they’d be interested in an enclosure that’s intended for smaller sites. “Who are your clients?” I asked, and they rattled off lots of big-name companies. “I sell to that one, and that one and that one,” I replied. And if you look at the list of companies that buy Netshelter CX enclosures at our web site, you’ll see I wasn’t kidding. They include ABN Amro, AT&T, GE Healthcare, General Motors, Google, NASA and the U.S. Army, just to name a few.
So what are these folks doing with the Netshelter CX? Let me give you a few examples.
If you go into just about any supermarket in the U.S. these days, chances are you’ll find one bank or another has a branch there. One of these banks is now installing Netshelter CX enclosures in its new or refurbished supermarket branches. It’s a perfect fit given these branches are typically in pretty tight quarters. All their IT gear can fit in the box and they can put a printer or whatever they like on top, making for an efficient use of space.
A major retailer of outdoor clothing and equipment has decided to use the Netshelter CX to house the IT devices in all of its stores. It just bought 20 units and will buy 90 more next year. Again, it’s an application that makes perfect sense because retail stores often don’t have dedicated space for IT equipment. And most employees don’t really know or care what that server humming away in the corner is all about, so who knows what may happen to it. Keeping it safe and sound in an enclosure is simply good business.
A major television network that broadcasts sporting events is now using the Netshelter CX to house all the gear required to run its studio. We’ve all seen those shows with very smart guys gathered around a desk, talking about the week’s games. You can’t see it, but the CX is behind the monitor that the guys sit in front of.
I could go on and on but hopefully you get the point, which is that you no longer have to let your IT equipment sit in a storage closet at your remote locations and simply hope for the best. With Netshelter CX, you can ensure the equipment is safe and secure. Add a managed UPS such as SmartUPS and you can even manage it all remotely.
For years I’ve witnessed how happy Netshelter CX customers are with the product. I’m glad to have the opportunity to spread the word to the APC by Schneider Electric community.