As data centre market nears $174 bn, Schneider Electric advocates preparedness for optimum benefit

Schneider Electric has emphasised the need for companies to invest in a data centre for optimum benefits in the nearest future. This is coming as a result of Covid-19 pandemic which has put more pressure on industrial operators to accelerate their path towards digitization and automation in order to drive increased productivity, security, performance, and reliability throughout their operations.

According to intelligence and advisory firm Arizton, the global data centre market will reach $174 billion by 2023. As disruptive IoT technologies create a spike in demand for data centres, while the essence of data continues to grow, more sustainable, efficient, adaptive, and resilient data centre infrastructures will be needed if owners are to cash in on this growth opportunity.

Many companies across the world have already begun their journey in this regard, investing heavily on data centres – a pattern yet to resonate with their African counterparts. According to Schneider Electric, for industrial operators to capture the benefits of increased automation, they cannot rely on cloud technology alone to bring the resiliency and speed demanded by artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, machine learning, advanced analytics, and other Industry 4.0 technologies. Local edge data centres, which are IT infrastructure enclosures/spaces/facilities distributed geographically to enable endpoints on the network, are increasingly becoming important.

“As digitization and technological advances bring us hurtling towards a new, more integrated future, not all data centre owners will be equally equipped to handle the new levels of operational agility required. However, if risks and shortcomings within existing data centre systems and related management strategies are recognized early enough, stakeholders will improve their chances to engineer a smooth transition to the more dynamic future,” said Christophe Begat; Managing Director for Anglophone West Africa at Schneider Electric. 

Citing  IDC’s predictions,  Schneider Electric said that there will be approximately 41.6 billion connected IoT devices by 2025 – three times more than the number of people on the planet. Out of this number, industrial and automotive equipment represent the largest opportunity of connected things. 

Most commercial and industrial companies are experiencing a new challenge meeting the surge in demand from customers while ensuring business continuity in the current environment. This means speedier adoption of 4.0 technologies like Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications that involves massive quantities of data. This explosion of data requires immense and even speedier computing power. 

And with more advanced technologies like robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), it is no longer possible for companies to rely solely on a centralized data centre located in an entirely different location. This is because the transfer of data between the operating system and data centre will be slower – reducing the effectiveness of advanced technologies that were meant to drive efficiencies in the first place.

To accommodate these rising marketplace demands, data centre owners will be required to step up performance in four important areas, which include sustainability, efficiency, flexibility and resilience.

In October 2019, Schneider Electric introduced as a first-to-market solution, EcoStruxure Micro Data Center C-Series 6U Wall Mount features a low-profile design, making it 60 per cent less intrusive while allowing heavier, long-depth edge servers to be wall mounted with UPS.

Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Micro Data Centre series are self-contained, single-rack enclosures inclusive of remote monitoring and management, services, physical security, UPS, power distribution, and cooling devices for a fast, simple, and customized way to design, deploy and manage edge computing solutions in multiple environments

EcoStruxure IT automatically collects critical infrastructure sensor values on a regular basis and submits that data to a centralized data lake in the cloud. That data is then pooled with other data collected from thousands of other Schneider Electric customer sites.

Once in the data lake, asset behaviour, across many brands of equipment, and across multiple sites is compared. All actions taken in response to alarms are tracked using data pertaining to equipment behaviour before and after an incident. This output provides a clear record of actions and their consequences, positive and negative. Such data pool correlation provides a deeper understanding of root causes of problems and can generate predictive reports that advise operators regarding which actions to take before a particular problem results in unanticipated downtime. AI algorithms identify the critical patterns of equipment behaviour and output reports are generated for stakeholders, greatly increasing the resilience of the data centre.

 

 

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