Targeting the growing number of enterprises deploying edge computing for faster, closer-to-the-source data processing and storage, Schneider Electric recently launched a new portfolio of micro data center solutions. The all-in-one micro data centers include power, cooling, and management software in a self-contained and quick-to-set-up package.
Schneider Electric's new micro data center portfolio includes the SmartBunker SX for traditional IT rooms, the office-optimized SmartBunker CX, the "ruggedized" SmartBunker FX, and the rugged, multi-rack SmartShelter that can be deployed in any environment.
Launched first in North America, the SmartBunker micro data center solutions are expected to roll out globally later this year, according to Schneider Electric. The Rhode Island-based company said the offerings provide customers with a standardized and factory-tested way to deploy data centers securely, quickly, and efficiently.
IoT Fueling Growth at the Edge
With the rapid emergence of mobile computing and the Internet of Things, enterprises are finding it more efficient and quicker to move pieces of their computing infrastructures to the edge of their networks, closer to where data is generated or resides. Also known as fog computing, edge computing by 2018 is expected to handle 40 percent of all data created by the Internet of Things, according to Cisco.
"We are already seeing the emergence of edge applications in retail and industrial applications, and we believe the need for edge computing will only grow as the Internet of Things expands into commercial applications," said Dave Johnson, senior vice president of Data Center Solutions for Schneider Electric.
Johnson said the new portfolio of micro data center solutions addresses "the latency, bandwidth and processing speed challenges customers are facing with the growth of connected devices and data applications." Cisco estimates that the Internet of Things will have grown to some 50 billion devices connected to one another via the Internet by 2020.
Focus on Site-Specific Services
"Creating micro data centers is something companies have done for years, but often in an ad hoc manner," noted David Cappuccio, a Gartner Inc. analyst. "By partnering with vendors, and creating a consistent and standardized architecture, enterprises can regain control of these critical assets, and increase the ability to rapidly introduce site-specific services, while reducing risks and operational costs, and improving service levels."
Schneider Electric on Monday also announced changes to the Global Channel Partner Program for its APC business. The redesigned program, developed with the help of direct feedback from partners, is aimed at supporting partners as they move to more diverse business models that include managed services, the company said.
APC by Schneider Electric has more than 100,000 channel partners around the globe. The new program includes a focus on profit-building through help with lead generation and marketing development, specialized certification paths, streamlined support and new online content and resources.
The company is also rolling out a new Global Channels Organization to oversee programs and support the needs of channel partners in specific regions around the world. The organization will be led by Rob McKernan, senior vice president for Global IT Channels.