7 ways Schneider Electric’s EcoCare membership is changing the game for modular data center owners

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With the digitization boom, data centers are being built at an unprecedented rate. According to a recent study by Gartner, data center functions such as networking, backups, computing, and storage are becoming increasingly virtualized, and the need for increased data capacity is rising. Prefabricated modular data centers, which offer scalable and easy-to-deploy solutions, are being rapidly integrated into organizations worldwide. But this rapid integration is leading to new challenges for our customers regarding services that support these data centers throughout their entire lifecycle.

Modular data centers are assemblies of IT, power, rack, and cooling subsystems that come pre-engineered, prefabricated, integrated, and tested in a factory environment. In some cases, they provide unique advantages that fit the current challenges of colocation, enterprise, and edge computing environments. However, the rapid expansion in implementing modular data centers drives the need for proper support to keep operations safe, efficient, resilient, and sustainable.

Modular data centers provide a solution for companies that need to increase their data capacity flexibly and efficiently. Schneider Electric’s EcoCare membership helps those companies meet the challenges of supporting that infrastructure through its lifecycle.

An increased need for next-level modular data center services support

As modular data centers proliferate, I see owners recognizing the need for a more cohesive approach to servicing those installations. Simplification is critical in today’s operation of modular data centers, and that’s why one single system-level services plan throughout the entire lifecycle offers the most efficient and cost-effective approach.

Understanding the potential value of using third party monitoring and maintenance services for this kind of systems is key to reduce downtime, energy consumption, as well as staff and maintenance costs, as you can calculate through our Prefabricated Data Center Service Contract ROI Calculator.

The owners of modular data centers want a simplified management approach to maintain uptime throughout the lifecycle, with one service contract covering the core physical infrastructure components. Deploying such a maintenance approach requires the support of a trusted services provider who understands the unique needs of these systems and can recommend the best strategy for maintaining uptime while mitigating operational costs.

Traditional maintenance approaches with multiple contracts to cover critical components such as UPS, cooling, and low-voltage switchgear quickly become unwieldy. However, viewing a modular data center as an integrated system instead of a collection of assets sets a foundation for next-level services support. It enables the creation of one all-inclusive service plan that addresses troubleshooting and preventive maintenance, as well as recommendations and insights from experts to improve operations efficiency. This modern approach simplifies asset management and lowers the risk of human error and related planned and unplanned data center downtime.

Improved maintenance services offerings simplify management while bolstering uptime

As a leading modular data center manufacturer, Schneider Electric has been among the first to introduce comprehensive one-stop-shop maintenance and support coverage. Today, the current challenges data center or site managers face, regardless if their business is colocation or part of an edge computing environment, are focused on the absolute need to ensure uptime with the right and optimized maintenance strategy while staying on budget. With modular data center deployment growing fast, new services naturally emerge to meet the demand. But just as modular data centers provide additional benefits through their efficiency, modern service plans for modular data centers can unlock more value, beyond bolstering uptime, in multiple ways.

Proactively managing your data center infrastructure maintenance is critical to reducing overall business risk. By enlisting a partner with extensive data center experience, you gain the necessary resources and expertise to remotely monitor, support and maintain your modular data center assets at the system level.

CBM white paper

The right partner can also help address sustainability concerns more practically – a goal that is becoming a number one priority for data center owners. As shareholders and regulators track data center CO2 emissions, achieving decarbonization goals becomes a top priority. A partner like Schneider Electric, which has decades of expertise in energy management, a strong commitment towards sustainability, and numerous sustainability awards, can help modular data center owners reduce CO2 emissions by optimizing the lifespan of their modular data center core assets.

More resilient, efficient, safe, and sustainable modular data centers operations with an innovative services membership

Of course, I am proud of the work my team at Schneider Electric does to meet the evolving needs of businesses as our world becomes increasingly digital. Our new EcoCare membership presents seven key advantages for modular data center owners.

A Maintenance Index dashboard displays essential factors which help prioritize on-site activities. Remote digital service capabilities enable optimized maintenance activities and reduce the overall planned downtime.
  1. Exclusive access to services experts, guaranteed response times, and member rates
    • EcoCare membership coverage starts on day one of modular data center installation. Members are assigned a customer success management team, a trusted ally who works on their behalf to:
      • Coordinate remote and on-site service experts, and
      • Unlock the full potential of their connectable modular data center assets
    • Members also receive top-priority service, with guaranteed response times for on-site emergency support if an issue should arise. Additionally, EcoCare members will benefit from member rates for related services, such as spare parts acquisition, instructor-led training, and consulting.
  2. Management simplicity
    • EcoCare shields data center owners from support complexities and ensures a single point of contact who can address their infrastructure and maintenance needs at the system level in a wholly integrated way. In addition, members have 24/7 access to:
      • A personalized digital experience through the mySchneider portal for simplified asset management, including the complete service history, warranty status, online chats, and entitlements for their contract.
      • Digital models that analyze asset and component wear and provide lifecycle management best practices make it simple to plan for lifecycle costs proactively.
  3. 24/7 remote monitoring
    • Schneider Electric’s experts from Connected Services Hub, which resembles a network operations center (NOC), provide continuous remote monitoring of the connected system for each modular data center and can witness equipment performance data and system alarms in real-time. This enables rapid diagnosis and the anticipation of potential issues – and allows for a fast response when they occur.
  4. Increased uptime & proactive maintenance
    • Since the modular data center can be connected to the vendor’s cloud, EcoCare members will benefit from the shift towards a condition-based maintenance approach. Monitoring the health status of the assets enables the optimization of on-site activities to determine which maintenance task needs to be carried out and when.
    • Compared to predetermined maintenance, condition-based maintenance allows greater repair flexibility and reduces downtime by adjusting the time intervals between two interventions as necessary. Adopting condition-based maintenance represents an essential step toward predictive maintenance techniques, as mentioned in this recent white paper.
    • An integrated maintenance index allows Schneider Electric’s experts to capitalize on the comprehensive tracking for each modular data center, taking note of each component’s stress, wear, and age to determine the optimal date for routine maintenance intervention. This approach avoids premature aging and unanticipated downtime, resulting in an optimized maintenance cycle that reduces overall costs.
    • Field tests have shown striking results with this approach, with EcoCare members reducing their maintenance activities and planned downtime by up to 40%.
  5. Superior training
    • Training options support data center teams by enhancing their skill sets and enabling improved operations of the core equipment in their modular data center. At Schneider Electric, our experts share their knowledge and experience through online or on-site training.
  6. Greater sustainability
    • Effective service plans like EcoCare also help modular data center owners reduce their carbon footprint in two critical ways:
      • Remote monitoring helps drive higher levels of operational efficiency in the data centers by offering system-level insights to bolster day-to-day operations – these changes reduce overall energy consumption and CO2 emissions; and
      • Condition-based maintenance helps extend the life of modular data centers and their physical infrastructure assets by an average of 25% by reducing component replacement and the associated carbon emissions of new product manufacturing and delivery.
  7. Global support
    • Modular data center support experts located across the globe are trained on the products designed for their country. Large global installations are managed by a customer success manager who coordinates all local support-related activities.

To learn more about EcoCare for Modular Centers, visit the web page. We also invite you to go deeper into how cloud and service providers, as well as organizations adopting edge computing solutions, can benefit from a condition-based maintenance approach by downloading our new white paper, “Benefits of shifting from traditional to condition-based maintenance in electrical distribution equipment”.

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