Of 5G, Dat­a­cen­ter and En­ergy Man­age­ment

Voice&Data - - CONTENTS - - Sud­hir Puthran

Dat­a­cen­ters of to­day are ma­jor en­ergy guz­zlers and with 5G tak­ing leads, the en­ergy plan­ning and ex­e­cu­tion are de­mand­ing a cost-ef­fec­tive ap­proach. In an en­gag­ing con­ver­sa­tion with us, Sud­hir Puthran, VP, Global FS Mar­ket­ing Ex­cel­lence, Ser­vice Busi­ness, Sch­nei­der Elec­tric, re­veals de­tails on the com­pany’s best prac­tices and ser­vices in the tele­com sec­tor

Man­ag­ing dat­a­cen­ter op­er­a­tions is known to be quite an or­deal for tel­cos. How does Sch­nei­der Elec­tric play a sup­port­ing role in this?

Let me first tell you that Sch­nei­der Elec­tric (SE) can do much more than just en­ergy man­age­ment that it is best known for. The com­pany is sup­port­ing sev­eral tele­com com­pa­nies around the world to es­tab­lish and main­tain their dat­a­cen­ters and server rooms, which are mis­sion­crit­i­cal in the func­tion­ing of any or­ga­ni­za­tion. Right from rolling out and im­ple­ment­ing soft­ware-de­fined dat­a­cen­ters, Sch­nei­der can plan; de­sign and build a dat­a­cen­ter. Mon­i­tor­ing, au­tomat­ing and con­trol­ling the en­tire dat­a­cen­ter phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture is one of Sch­nei­der’s big­gest forte in this dig­i­tal gen­er­a­tion. Now, all this is done on-premise and on the cloud with op­ti­mized cost and qual­ity as pri­or­i­ties.

Build­ing on our strengths, Sch­nei­der Elec­tric is ca­pa­ble of help­ing the tele­com client ef­fec­tively plan and de­sign the use of its dat­a­cen­ter real es­tate and also since we are known for our ex­per­tise in en­ergy-ef­fi­cient so­lu­tions, the cen­tre is also de­signed by us to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment that can pro­vide fast and se­cure ac­cess to data and com­pute re­sources.

So, Sch­nei­der, with the nec­es­sary power, cool­ing, se­cu­rity, and man­age­ment tools – de­liv­ers cus­tom­iz­a­ble, scal­able, and highly se­cure so­lu­tions for the en­tire dat­a­cen­ter op­er­a­tions. Sch­nei­der is very adept at de­sign­ing the elec­tri­cal dis­tri­bu­tion and we pos­sess knowl­edge on how the power should be ef­fec­tively dis­trib­uted in the cen­tre. In to­day’s world, de­liv­er­ing cost-ef­fec­tive so­lu­tions and also so­lu­tions that re­quire less main­te­nance is crit­i­cal. Our power dis­tri­bu­tion so­lu­tions bear in mind both those fac­tors.

Sch­nei­der is very adept at de­sign­ing the elec­tri­cal dis­tri­bu­tion and we pos­sess knowl­edge on how the power should be ef­fec­tively dis­trib­uted in the cen­tre.

Sch­nei­der of­fers an EcoStrux­ure Plat­form. What is this prod­uct and how does it help tel­cos?

EcoStrux­ure is Sch­nei­der Elec­tric’s open, in­ter­op­er­a­ble, IoT-en­abled sys­tem ar­chi­tec­ture and plat­form. The plat­form is Sch­nei­der’s dig­i­tal back­bone con­nect­ing oper­a­tional tech­nol­ogy (OT) so­lu­tions with the lat­est in IT tech­nol­ogy to un­lock trapped value in our cus­tomer’s op­er­a­tions and lever­ages the po­ten­tial of the In­ter­net of Things. This plat­form sup­ports the client in as­set man­age­ment and is built to de­liver en­hanced value around safety, re­li­a­bil­ity, ef­fi­ciency, sus­tain­abil­ity, and con­nec­tiv­ity. EcoStrux­ure lever­ages ad­vance­ments in IoT, mo­bil­ity, sensing, cloud, an­a­lyt­ics, and cy­ber­se­cu­rity to de­liver in­no­va­tion at ev­ery level, i.e. from Con­nected Prod­ucts, Edge Con­trol to Apps, An­a­lyt­ics & Ser­vices. All man­aged over the cloud, the plat­form di­ag­noses the prob­lem re­motely with­out any lag in time and alerts the end-user. So far, EcoStrux­ure has recorded more than 480,000 in­stal­la­tions, with the sup­port of around 20,000 sys­tem in­te­gra­tors, con­nect­ing over 1.5 mil­lion as­sets.

How are cool­ing so­lu­tions by Sch­nei­der Elec­tric ben­e­fi­cial?

Sch­nei­der’s cool­ing so­lu­tions are a prime ex­am­ple of how we work with cus­tomers to pro­vide the ad­vanced so­lu­tions nec­es­sary to meet the needs of data-cen­tric work­loads in vir­tu­ally ev­ery in­dus­try. Com­pute in­ten­sive ap­pli­ca­tions like AI and IoT are driv­ing the need for per­for­mance in the dig­i­tal world. Largely driven by the re­cent ex­plo­sion of IoT, the pro­cess­ing power needed for work­loads like AI in dat­a­cen­ters re­quires ad­vanced so­lu­tions to keep con­nected sys­tems op­er­at­ing ef­fi­ciently. The devel­op­ment of a liq­uid cool­ing tech­nol­ogy solution of­fers cus­tomers the per­for­mance needed to de­liver on th­ese grow­ing com­pute de­mands, and we have pi­o­neered and ac­com­plished in ful­fill­ing the de­mands.

Sch­nei­der Elec­tric’s cool­ing tech­nol­ogy has shown CapEx sav­ings of 15 per­cent and en­ergy sav­ings of at least 10 per­cent, which leads to a 20-year To­tal Cost of Own­er­ship (TCO) sav­ings of over 11 per­cent.

Be­ing an en­ergy man­age­ment com­pany, Sch­nei­der plays a very im­por­tant role in man­ag­ing en­ergy work­flow in a tele­com tower. How is Sch­nei­der a dif­fer­en­tia­tor in this space?

The en­ergy re­quire­ment of the tele­com in­dus­try is grow­ing at a rapid pace as op­er­a­tors im­ple­ment newer tech­nolo­gies and at the same time ex­pand their net­work cov­er­age in ru­ral ar­eas. In­dia es­pe­cially has shown a multi-fold in­crease in voice and data us­age. More peo­ple in In­dia are be­com­ing con­nected by mo­bile de­vices. In­creased cel­lu­lar data traf­fic means more tele­com tow­ers are needed — par­tic­u­larly in de­vel­op­ing and emerg­ing re­gions of the world where elec­tri­cal grids are ei­ther un­re­li­able or nonex­is­tent. In­dia’s Depart­ment of Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions has also man­dated that all tower com­pa­nies re­duce their de­pen­dence on grid power and also diesel to cut car­bon emis­sions.

In­dia’s Depart­ment of Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions has also man­dated that all tower com­pa­nies re­duce their de­pen­dence on grid power and also diesel to cut car­bon emis­sions. Since diesel gen­er­a­tors op­er­ate at low ef­fi­ciency and carry a large car­bon foot­print, and are be­ing very ex­pen­sive, tele­com com­pa­nies adopted bat­tery­based so­lu­tions in­clud­ing the in­te­gra­tion of so­lar en­ergy.

Sch­nei­der here plays a very crit­i­cal role in switch­ing the source of en­ergy. Sch­nei­der helps the tower op­er­a­tors with so­lu­tions that en­able au­to­matic switch­ing of the ap­pro­pri­ate source of en­ergy at their tow­ers and base sta­tions in re­mote sites. Sch­nei­der pro­vides hy­brid so­lu­tions that switch be­tween op­er­at­ing a diesel gen­er­a­tor when there is a lower ca­pac­ity and like­wise bat­tery-op­er­ated tow­ers when a higher ca­pac­ity is needed for shorter du­ra­tions.

How will the en­ergy re­quire­ments for 5G dif­fer from 4G and how is Sch­nei­der pre­par­ing it­self for the de­mand? What will be the ma­jor de­ci­sions that will be taken in terms of en­ergy re­quire­ment with spe­cific ref­er­ence to 5G?

5G is more than a suc­ces­sor to 4G. Cur­rently, the in­fra­struc­ture re­quires a lot of change and devel­op­ment to de­liver much faster speeds and lower la­tency. Pre­vi­ously, the in­dus­trial com­plexes and fac­to­ries were si­t­u­ated close to power sub­sta­tions. But then the steps ahead in­volved de­ploy­ing thou­sands of sys­tems for power dis­tri­bu­tion at the edge of power grids. Now with 5G, the power dis­tri­bu­tion will re­quire hun­dreds of thou­sands or even mil­lions of mi­cro dat­a­cen­ters glob­ally.

5G may be the all the buzz, but trans­for­ma­tion at the tower has al­ready be­gun as tower own­ers are in­vest­ing to meet the needs of 4.5G. And there’s much more trans­for­ma­tion to come. Start­ing with clus­ter sites at base sta­tions and, be­fore long, will move to tops of build­ings and built within park­ing lots. Sch­nei­der Elec­tric is at the fore­front of this trans­for­ma­tion work­ing with lead­ing tele­com and tower op­er­a­tors to un­der­stand the fu­ture re­quire­ments and de­fine their fu­ture-ready in­fra­struc­ture.

The gi­ant leap in tech­no­log­i­cal ca­pa­bil­ity from 4G, 5G has the po­ten­tial to com­pletely rein­vent the way things work. 5G is surely a huge dis­rup­tive force as it brings faster speeds, larger net­work ca­pac­i­ties. 5G is a soft­ware-de­fined ar­chi­tec­ture and that means tele­coms are set­ting them­selves up for suc­cess by de­ploy­ing a can­vas from which they can in­no­vate, eas­ily in­tro­duce new ser­vices, and de­ploy ap­pli­ca­tions on the net­work with lo­ca­tion flex­i­bil­ity. This is a very im­por­tant point, as the 5G stan­dard the in­dus­try has been col­lab­o­rat­ing on – the 3GPP R16 Stan­dard – is de­layed and will not be frozen un­til April 2020, and not be re­leased un­til July 2020.

—Sud­hir puthran VP, Global FS Mar­ket­ing Ex­cel­lence, Ser­vice Busi­ness, Sch­nei­der Elec­tric

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