The Benefits of Integrating Hardware, Software, and Services within a Modular Data Center

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The proliferation of IoT applications across many industries is spurring the growth of edge computing, which brings compute power close to the action. As organizations shift their data center strategy from a centralized approach to a distributed model design to process IoT-generated data, prefabricated modular data centers are emerging as a “go-to” solution.

These modular data centers should ideally come with a system-level service and maintenance plan – integrating the UPS, cooling, switchboard, and container. To optimize operations, companies should look for modular data centers built to integrate hardware, software, and services that enable organizations to connect more products and devices at the system level. This approach allows for a standard data model with cloud-based applications, tools, and services to increase performance, boost availability, and decrease operational costs. Just as today’s automobiles are factory built with an array of sensors and onboard computers ― modular data centers can be equipped with hardware and software that can be installed, configured, and tested in the modular data center factory to drive greater efficiency, while reducing costs.

software and remote monitoring in modular data centers

Why prefabricated modular data centers?

Prefabricated modular data centers can provide a competitive advantage to organizations:

IoT device level data

A prefabricated modular data center can be designed to capture sensor-based equipment and device data and provide it in a standard, holistic data model instead of a piecemeal approach. The modular, pre-engineered form factor approach enables an efficient, cost-effective way to connect and collect data. And it allows manufacturers, customers, and service providers to leverage this data model with today’s applications, as well as ride the wave of the evolution to machine learning, outcome-based analytics, and augmented reality (AR) service tools.

System-level data

The data model at a system level can provide valuable insights to reduce cost, increase performance, and help mitigate risk and human error. The alternative is a disjointed approach, which gathers equipment data but doesn’t link data at a system level, resulting in data becoming stranded and not providing the actionable insight that organizations need.

Maintenance services

Maintenance services are critical in today’s data centers to ensure optimum performance, improve safety, and reduce downtime. However, the challenge with traditional data centers is that no two are built the same, hardware selections vary, and data may be shared on a variety of different protocols or systems. This scattered approach presents inherent limitations to developing a holistic, data-driven view of the entire data center. And this lack of uniformity and integration makes it more challenging to deploy a holistic, system-level service offer while leveraging new digital twin technology or 3D modeling technologies.

With modular data centers, companies can more easily leverage new digital technologies like AR, which enable inspection and maintenance activities to take place as guided processes. The benefits are reduced human error, increased employee safety, and improved tracking and accountability. An additional advantage is that a digital repository of assets, operational, maintenance, and other critical documentation can be embedded, putting this information at your fingertips when needed. 

Remote monitoring

One of the major hurdles organizations face when deploying multiple modular data centers at edge locations is the lack of visibility or on-site facility management staff. That’s why a modular data center with remote monitoring capabilities is vital to prevent unplanned downtime. Schneider Electric can also address this challenge by offering a service that provides round-the-clock remote monitoring and comprehensive maintenance service offer for the entire modular data centers.

Discover modular data centers

These modular data centers are ideal for environments where they can be placed close to where data is generated. This data from IoT devices can trigger alarms, can be analyzed to provide actionable insights, and cloud-based machine learning systems can even predict events. This capability can improve performance, optimize energy consumption, and determine when maintenance is required.

Australian-based Leading Edge recently implemented Schneider Electric’s integrated modular data centers. Leading Edge CEO Chris Thorpe said, “At Leading Edge, we have fully embraced the Schneider Electric software and service methodology to improve our business. The modular data center approach has truly been a collaborative effort from the design, deployment, installation, monitoring, and maintenance, fitting perfectly into our long-term goals. Digital connectivity is a part of that and is a key aspect of our standardized design to ensure performance and uptime. By tying together our hardware with a complete suite of services, we can remotely monitor dozens of sites around the globe. If an alarm should arise, Schneider Electric notifies us and dispatches their service technician to our site, allowing us to remain focused on our core business. We found that the Schneider Electric modular data center solution with its maintenance plan was the winning combination we were looking for.”

Modular data centers can create a perfect environment to implement equipment connectivity and leverage IoT. Learn more about how modular data centers and Schneider Electric global service teams can help your company optimize data center operations.

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