Schneider Electric to launch micro data centres in Europe
Schneider Electric has announced that it will launch a new series of micro data centres in Europe by June 2021. Called the Ecostruxure R-Series, the new facilities are claimed to be IP and NEMA rated and “offer a resilient and quick-to-deploy solution to help manage edge computing infrastructure within challenging industrial and manufacturing environments”, the company said.
Micro data centres have become increasingly essential due to a large number of industrial operators deploy 4.0 technologies as a way to enhance safety, productivity, and automation. Micro data centres are required to address several aspects of the industry from the convergence of IT and OT to the enabling of IIOT applications. This, according to Schneider, makes IT on the factory floor “more reliable and simple to deploy”.
As part of the new series, six new models will be introduced in 16U, 24U, and 42U sizes, allowing for flexibility and scalability. "As Industry 4.0 and advanced automation technologies continue to drive transformation within industrial environments, IT must be deployed closer to the point of use, enabling increased productivity and efficiency," said Rob McKernan, Senior Vice President of the Secure Power Division of Schneider Electric Europe.
"The availability of our new IP and NEMA rated EcoStruxure Micro Data Center R-series solutions will help industrial manufacturers and distributors across the region truly reap the benefits of improved performance and reliability on the factory floor”, he added.
EcoStruxure Micro Data Centre Solutions receive industrial systems to improve marketing capabilities
As configurable, pre-packaged, enclosed rack systems, the EcoStruxure Micro Data Centre solutions include power, cooling, security and management. According to Schneider Electric, they can also “save up to 40% in field engineering costs, get systems to market 20% faster, and reduce maintenance costs by 7%. In addition, they can reduce capital expenses by 48% compared to a “traditional build”, the company claims. The new R-series centres are also:
- Built to withstand harsh indoor environments and applications with minimum ingress protection ratings of IP54 and NEMA 12. Industrial edge environments can be challenging with high levels of dust, moisture, and wide temperature variations.
- Managed remotely with Schneider Electric's portfolio of software and digital services when there's limited-to-no on-site IT staff. EcoStruxure IT, an open, vendor-agnostic platform, provides the power and flexibility for users to manage critical infrastructure on their own, with a partner, or to allow Schneider Electric's service engineers to manage the assets for them.
- Equipped with security features, such as access control, intrusion detection and a security camera that allow it to go in unsecured locations.
- Able to standardise your design across multiple environments with a single, all-in-one-solution, which is easier to deploy and maintain than disparate systems.
What is Industrial Edge Computing?
To allow industrial operators to capture the full benefits of increased automation, they cannot solely rely on cloud technology to bring the resilience and speed that artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other Industry 4.0 technologies ask for, and so they need to adopt industrial edge computing. This involves local edge data centres that are either IT infrastructure enclosures, spaces or facilities geographically distributed enabling endpoints on the network. When in industrial environments such as manufacturing plants or distribution centres, this application is known as “industrial edge computing”.
GTR and SEGRO agree first UK data centre facility
SEGRO, a property investment and development company, has announced it has come to an agreement with the European data centre platform, Global Technical Realty (GTR) to construct its first UK-based data centre. SEGRO claims that the facility, which will span a total area of 400,711 sq ft, will be located in Slough and is to become “the largest data centre campus in the UK’s premier data centre and communications hub”.
What will SEGRO’s data centre facility be used for?
Supported by the global investment firm KKR, Global Technical Realty says it will be using the facility’s space on a 25-year term to operate bespoke data centres for high-growth global technology companies. The new facility aims to support the growing demand for third-party data centre provision amid ever-increasing growth in data usage and cloud services adoption.
Franek Sodzawiczny, CEO & Founder of GTR, said: “We are excited to be back in the UK alongside our partner KKR and look forward to working closely with SEGRO to deliver this state-of-the-art data centre campus. The data centre space is a fast-moving one. GTR was established to support its customers in providing a data centre solution wherever in the world there is a demand for it. We are delighted that the UK will become home to our flagship concept”.
James Craddock, Managing Director, Thames Valley at SEGRO, said: “We’re pleased to welcome GTR as the latest data centre operator to our thriving estate and our team of experts look forward to developing a stunning new facility for them and their customers. “Homeworking, data streaming, e-commerce and businesses’ reliance on cloud services have all grown during the pandemic, meaning demand for data centres is unabated.
“Slough Trading Estate is home to Europe’s largest data centre cluster and data centres are increasingly regarded as part of our key national infrastructure given the critical role they play in our daily lives”, he added.
The facility is expected to be delivered in two phases with operations beginning by Q4 of next year. The first phase plans to provide 132,575 sq ft of space phase two will create 268,136 sq ft of space. “Vacant possession of the site delivered to the customer by early 2022”, SEGRO said.
The project is also expected to create around 200 jobs during its construction, and a further 80 permanent roles once completed.