Schneider Electric anticipates future data centre needs


By Cat Yong

With extensive experience at anticipating the needs of modern data centres, Malaysia’s newest Business VP for IT Business at Schneider Electric, Serge Noraz, pretty much has his finger on the pulse of this country’s data centre scene.


With the onset of trends like big data and the Internet of Things (IoT), Noraz also started to dub data centres of yesteryear, as traditional data centres.


“These tended to rely heavily on hardware and physical servers. Today, even as we talk about virtualisation, a huge IT trend, a lot of traditional data centres are still up and running.


“With so much data being produced these days, big data is going to be something that is difficult to manage, and it cannot be done in a traditional data centre.  It is not the right data centre to compute and store this kind of data,” Noraz emphasised.


He also opined that big data and IoT would be driving all the IT growth and disruption for the next five to 10 years.


Future data centres
According to Noraz, ten years ago, data centres needed to be reliable. “Now, they need to be efficient, scalable, fast to deploy and reliable.”


But the reality is that there is still a huge traditional DC presence. “These can’t be upgraded, they are sensitive to temperature rise and they are not flexible at all,” Noraz described.


The way data centres are designed and architected, how they are provisioned, scaled and operated, becomes crucial, and Noraz said, “We know how the data centre runs, and the main constraints of customers.


This is due to Schneider being offer end-to-end solutions for the data centre.


Noraz opined, “Because we have this plus equipment and services and consultancy in terms of data centre design. Few key players in the data centre space, are able to provide this scope of work.


“Our goal is to do the right thing, so that we will ensure business continuity with the best efficiency and best energy consumption.”


What will data centres of tomorrow look like? Who’s to say they won’t be self-healing and self-optimising in the way they use energy?


“Everything we do is based on energy efficiency management. This would require data from equipment, and with this data, we perform analytics on it, and recommend steps to our customers, to further optimise,” Noraz said.


Malaysia’s situation
The business VP observed that the Malaysian market predominantly is sticking to traditional data centre architecture.


“Yes, some are thinking of co-locating, or outsourcing, but most of the customers I visited still have their own on-premise IT environment,” said Noraz who also thinks that in the next five years, traditional data centres would have a hard time keeping up with business, and may actually lose market share for the business.


The bottom line however, is that if businesses are not anticipating what they need to do for the future, in five years it will cost them more to implement the solution, than it would for them to implement it now, according to Noraz.




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