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Agents of Change: APC by Schneider Electric

Jack Loo | Jan. 25, 2013
Singapore’s IDA unveiled its Infocomm Technology Roadmap outlining nine technology trends that will shape the future. We asked various enterprise IT heavyweights for their perspectives on the Roadmap, and next up, we have data centre specialist APC by Schneider Electric.

Propelled by the aforementioned developments in both cloud computing and sustainability, there is a significant rise in customer demands for innovative solutions that will help them address issues of data centre complexity, cooling and energy management as well as sizing their data centres right.

•           DCIM technology

The maturation of DCIM technology in 2013 is a natural progression as this tool can help enterprises address many of the prevalent challenges of today and tomorrow, such as data centre management and energy efficiency.

DCIM solutions, such as Schneider Electric's StruxureWare for Data Centres, is a management software suite designed to plan, monitor, and operate the data centre from server to rack to row to room to building. This solution combines previously disparate offerings for monitoring, automation, planning, and implementation to provide a multi-faceted, complete view of all data centre functions. This results in a simple, integrated experience for many operational teams who manage both the facility and IT infrastructure environments. Not only does the software suite streamline operational efficiencies, it enables intelligent energy management.

With increased energy demands, the cost of energy will also increase proportionately, making energy consumption a substantial cost in IT operations. This cost pressure, and the realisation that data centres can be much more efficient in their use of energy, have influenced many data centre operators to try and lower their energy consumption. However, many operators are ill equipped to measure energy consumption even though they are becoming accountable for it. As such, we see many of them are turning to new energy management tools such as DCIM to help them monitor energy consumption and automate power and cooling processes in order to improve energy efficiency. Data centre operators can now leverage DCIM solutions to integrate and prioritise energy needs in their IT strategies.

In addition, if the server market continues to grow at an exponential rate, while data centre management continues to stagnate, companies will incur significant amount of resource wastage due to operational inefficiencies, and this is what needs to be changed. Data centre operators need to start buying into automation and service management tools, such as a DCIM suite. The DCIM solution will enable data centre managers and facility managers to have a comprehensive view of all the mission critical physical systems of the data centre and have complete visibility and control over their data centre's daily operations. This will help them improve the operational efficiency of data centres by automating manual processes and streamlining the number of hands involved in managing the data centre, thus driving down operational cost and increasing the organisations' competitiveness. 

According to research firm Gartner, DCIM is poised to grow exponentially from one percent penetration in 2010 to 60 percent in 2014. Similarly, IDC predicts that DCIM revenue will grow from US$179.4 million in 2010 to reach US$557.7million in 2015. Alongside with the fact that server growth and energy demand is projected to reach a new peak within the next few years, businesses, more specifically their IT departments, are constantly on a lookout for solutions that will help them improve their data centre operations and management efficiencies as well as to reduce energy consumption of their data centre. As DCIM's functionalities are able to effectively address these two main challenges at the same time, we see that the DCIM market will continue to grow strong and mature in 2013 and the coming years.


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