New Customer Needs are Driving Demand for Emerging Technologies to Influence Data Center Design

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As the data center landscape continues to evolve, many data center organizations and colocation service providers are focusing on new ways to improve their speed and agility. Innovations to any data center design are helping clients achieve their implementation speed and performance goals. In response to this need for innovation, Schneider Electric has launched several new businesses that are built to address data center trends such as prefab modularity, Open Compute architectures, edge computing and new service models. I recently spoke with Jim Simonelli, Senior Vice President of Emerging Businesses at Schneider Electric on this topic.

data center

“Our customers are focused on improving speed of deployment, innovation and quality,” he said.  “Many of their situations and issues, across the globe, deal with time-to-market. They expect the same type of delivery in North America as they do in India. They want the same type of response anywhere across the globe in terms of speed of designing and building a data center and establishing a service,” he said.

Simonelli is responsible for managing four new organizations that are recognized as near-independent operating units within Schneider Electric. These “intrapreneurial” businesses have the same, clear mission: scale and grow by offering rapid delivery data center solutions so that clients, in turn, can drive their own growth.

“The need is for digitized, remote service and lights out management of their sites,” said Jim. “For example, you can’t have people responding reactively to a ‘replace battery’ event. Operators need to know, in real-time, how assets are performing. No one has the staff to physically visit 100 sites just to check on batteries. They need a predictive management and service model that requires intense visibility into assets. The days of not having devices connected are no longer optional. This holds true for the new data center offers and services we are developing to manage these systems,” he said.

Four Trends That Are Altering Data Center Design

The new businesses at Schneider are in place to address the following four trends within the domains of cloud service and edge computing:

  • On demand capacity – According to Jim, prefab modular systems are showing up at internet giants, in colocation facilities and even in edge areas. These systems enable rapid and cost-effective deployments of power, cooling, and IT capacity.
  • Open Compute architectures – Within the cloud and service providers segment Open Compute solutions offer the delivery of the most efficient (low energy consumption, smaller space requirements) server, storage, and data center designs for scalable computing. Distributed batteries and distributed power supplies support this environment through easy scaling.
  • Edge compute – These new data center environments are driven by latency obstacles, security and the need to keep data within certain jurisdictions. To address this need, micro data centers are showing up in multiple forms across retail, banking, healthcare and education environments.  In the past, only a server and a UPS would have been sufficient. Now the need is for more security, more critical compute, and more availability in these remote environments.
  • Digital service models – The Internet of Things (IoT) is driving the demand for services that are more digital and predictive in nature. Relying on people’s hands and eyes is no longer practical for supporting the new data center models. Instead, systems need to be analyzed in aggregate to try and discern trends. New digital tools now allow analytics on top of services so that better, faster decisions can be made.

Emerging Technologies Are Addressing the Speed Challenge

“As our customers embrace the aggressive challenges of on-time delivery, sudden changes in customer needs, and a non-linear path to a solution, we are developing and shipping solutions in all four of these areas that enable a higher degree of performance and agility,” said Jim.

To learn more about how Schneider Electric is helping hyperscale internet and colocation data centers to adapt to changing business requirements, visit any of these four resources on: prefab modular systems, operations and digital services, Open Compute, and edge computing.

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  • Mark Howell

    5 years ago

    Physical separation data centre infrastructure is an example of a design change that enables us to respond quickly to growth without the need to totally redesign the data centre. Swapping out a power module (aka energy centre) can be achieved in a weekend. The design at the edge needs to be a flexible, plug and play system to ensure deployment at market speed.

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