Schneider Electric has hammered on the need for companies to invest in data center
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 center market
will reach $174 billion by 2023. As disruptive IoT technologies create a spike in
demand for data centers, while the essence of data continues to grow, more
sustainable, efficient, adaptive, and resilient data center 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 center – 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 centers, which are IT infrastructure enclosures/spaces/facilities
distributed geographically to enable endpoints on the network, are increasingly
“As digitization and technological advances bring us hurtling towards a new, more
integrated future, not all data center owners will be equally equipped to handle the
new levels of operational agility required. However, if risks and shortcomings within
existing data center 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 center located
in an entirely different location. This is because the transfer of data between the
operating system and data center 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 center 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 low-profile
design, making it 60 percent less intrusive while allowing heavier, long-depth edge
servers to be wall mounted with UPS.
Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Micro Data Center 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
EcoStruxureTM 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
Once in the data lake, asset behavior, 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 behavior 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 behavior and output reports are generated for
stakeholders, greatly increasing the resilience of the data center.