How Schneider Electric is rewiring how we think about modular datacenters

Bundling everything together should seem obvious for modular DCs, but it's more nuanced than that


Schneider Electric has revamped its modular datacenters, and announced an update for the EcoStruxure IT management software to cover the hybrid infrastructure scenarios that now characterise the modern world of IT.

Modular datacenters are not a new line for Schneider, but the latest range combines all power, cooling and IT equipment into a single pre-configured unit that can be delivered to customers in 12 weeks, the company claims.

The Easy Modular Data Center All-in-One is available in four standardized form factors ranging from five to 14 racks that can be pre-configured within an ISO 20ft or ISO 40ft unit – otherwise known as a shipping container – with power densities between 27kW and 94kW.

All four versions are based on Schneider's Easy Rack, Easy PDU, and Easy UPS systems, with InRow DX cooling and monitoring and management via the EcoStruxure suite. They are said to be ideal for customers looking to implement an edge deployment.

The Modular Data Center units are based on a commercial off-the-shelf design and prefabricated and tested prior to shipping, making them “site-ready” and reducing the time needed for the planning, construction and implementation phases. At least that's the sale pitch.

“By pre-engineering and testing the new easy prefab solution at the factory-level, we're able to help customers increase reliability and mitigate risk - ensuring they benefit from shorter lead times and a lower total cost of ownership,” claimed Elliott Turek, global office manager at Schneider Electric.

Schneider also announced an update of its EcoStruxure IT management software to go beyond its datacenter roots and meet the kind of hybrid infrastructure scenarios that organizations now face.

EcoStruxure IT is Schneider's Datacenter Infrastructure Management (DCIM) platform, combining IT and facilities management functions.

The world has moved on since EcoStruxure was introduced, Schneider noted, with infrastructure becoming increasingly complex. Edge deployments are considered as mission-critical as datacenters, for example, while sustainability and energy consumption are growing customer concerns.

According to Schneider's SVP of EcoStruxure Solutions, Kevin Brown, there has been a great deal of change since DCIM first emerged as a software category.

"The hybrid IT environment is challenging even the most sophisticated CIO organization with maintaining the resiliency, security, and sustainability of their IT systems. We call this trend DCIM 3.0," he said.

To address this, Schneider is evolving EcoStruxure IT to provide more capability, flexibility, and deployment options for both enterprises and datacenter operators, he claimed.

The EcoStruxure IT portfolio covers monitoring and management for power and cooling systems, plus physical security and environmental monitoring; visualization, asset tracking, and change management functions for planning and modelling; tailored solutions for automated reporting, dashboards, migrations; and custom integrations with EcoStruxure IT and third-party systems or software.

As part of the move, the company said it has created a "custom solutions" engineering team that will help perform any integration needed to ensure a customer can deploy EcoStruxure IT successfully.

Organizations can evaluate EcoStruxure free for 30 days by creating an account on Schneider's EcoStruxure IT site. ®

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