By Russell Senesac, December 7, 2015
The Importance of Data
Data is everywhere: it is created by nearly everything – tollbooths, online transactions, instant messaging, telephone calls – and it has become earth’s most abundant digital resource. In fact, every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. As a result, data has transformed into businesses’ greatest asset and competitive differentiator. Organizations able to quickly and effectively harness, manage and analyze data that has the opportunity to enhance customer interactions, offer more strategic solutions, evolve their services, meet increasing consumer demands, and reap huge financial and reputational rewards. As data grows more precious, data center processing power has been placed under a growing amount of scrutiny. As real-time data transmission becomes the norm rather than the exception, delays in processing can be significantly detrimental to a business’ ability to innovate.
A Communication Dependent Generation
Our lives – both personal and professional – are increasingly dependent on 24/7 anytime, anywhere access to information. We shop from our phones, stream movies instantly to our TVs, and telecommute hundreds of miles from brick-and-mortar offices. We rely so heavily on our connection to the Internet and its evolving ecosystem of “Things” that data center outages – a concern once relegated to IT staff – are increasingly making national headline news. In just one instance of downtime, productivity can be almost completely lost, consumer trust weakened and finances greatly impacted. Data center uptime is no longer an IT responsibility, but a business imperative.
Data Center as a Service
In an era where data management is becoming more complex than ever before, data centers are not only becoming an asset that pushes business forward, they are becoming the business itself. Colocation centers – businesses that provide data center equipment, space, and bandwidth for rent to customers – have become increasingly popular. In fact, according to DataCenterMap.com, there are currently more than 1,500 colocation facilities across 49 states.
Data centers can also enhance a business’ existing revenue stream. In the telecommunications industry, as an example, providers can diversify customer offerings by considering the implementation of an edge computing infrastructure, whereby empty floor space is converted into a smaller, onsite data center. This approach enables telcos to diversify sources of income, and to provide better services by bringing data processing closer to the point of collection, thus reducing latency and lowering transmission costs.
It is for these very reasons that data centers are becoming the most imperative factor in business processes, putting the IT department into the spotlight as key enablers of enterprise success. There is a tremendous opportunity for enterprises to drive business forward through a data center strategy that is intelligent and agile, leading business to a competitive advantage in the market. Now that the data center has emerged from behind the curtain, it is imperative that its value be fully utilized.
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Russell Senesac works in Data Center Business Development for Schneider Electric.
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DatacenterDynamics: Schneider Electric is building battery packs for data centers
By Max Smolaks, December 15, 2015
Schneider Electric has announced an energy storage system based on Lithium-ion batteries that could solve the issues associated with direct consumption of electricity from renewable sources.
The EcoBlade will enable data centers to store excess energy during the periods of peak production and use it during the periods of peak consumption, or in the event of a power failure.
The same technology is being offered to industrial, commercial and even domestic property owners.
“We are living a very exciting time where new technologies enable us to completely rethink the way we deal with energy in a far more sustainable and efficient manner,” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire, chairman and CEO at Schneider Electric.
The EcoBlade is relying on the same principles as Tesla Motors’ PowerWall, announced earlier this year.
EcoBlade - residential solution
Source: Schneider Electric
EcoBlade will enable anyone to store large amounts of energy in a compact, easily scalable package. Each 30-inch blade weighs around 25 kg and contains a smart, networked battery module. It can be used on its own, or connected into a larger system.
The product is integrated into the wider Schneider Electric ecosystem, relying in particular on Struxureware - a popular suite of data center management and building operation tools.
EcoBlade would be especially helpful in environments that make direct use of renewable energy, since the amount of electricity produced by solar panels, wind turbines and hydroelectric dams is far from consistent, and can vary depending on the time of day or weather conditions.
Introducing large batteries into the power chain would ensure that the facility always has energy to spare. It would also enable data centers to sell spare energy back to the grid. And finally, it could reduce the industry’s reliance on generators and other back-up solutions.
EcoBlade is expected to become available sometime in 2016. The price target has been set at less than US$500 per kWh.
Smart Grid Today: Schneider to offer EcoBlade smart energy storage
December 18, 2015
Schneider Electric introduced the EcoBlade, a smart and scalable energy storage system for all customers' needs, it told the press recently. The system is powered by lithium-ion batteries and consists of blades the size of a 30-inch flat screen TV weighing under 25 KG.
Each blade contains a smart connected battery module and is ready to use in standalone mode. In a home equipped with solar energy converters from solar panels, for example, one could use the energy in an EcoBlade for personal consumption or resale on a microgrid, Schneider said.
The blades can be used in racks connected to grids, data centers, buildings or secondary electric power stations with much larger storage needs, it added. At the highest level, the blades can be integrated into containers to provide multi-MWH and complementary energy management services for the entire grid.
The fully scalable EcoBlade system is quick to implement and easy to maintain, Schneider said. Each blade is integrated into the wide ecosystem of Schneider solutions for power, relying in particular on the Struxureware software suite of cloud-based integrated service modules, it added.
Struxureware collects and manages weather and operational data, optimizing energy performance across the entire chain – from the generation source such as solar panels or wind turbines – to deliver cost effective energy storage and consumption, the firm said.
EcoBlade will be available in 2016 at below US$500/KWH, it added.
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