Networks Europe March/April 2019 - Page 41

INTERVIEW Critical infrastructure By Marc Garner, Vice President, IT Division, Schneider Electric UK & Ireland Marc Garner from Schneider Electric discusses what the future may hold for the data centre industry Schneider Electric is a specialist in digital transformation of energy management and automation; in homes, buildings, data centres and industry. In February 2007, Schneider Electric acquired the APC and MGE UPS Systems brands. Since its incorporation in March 1981, APC has evolved from a product leader in critical power protection to a global product and solutions leader in critical power and cooling, serving the residential, data centre, edge computing, buildings and industrial markets. What have been the most significant changes to the industry over the past five years? During the last five years we’ve seen the era of edge really become established, which has meant that due to challenges of latency, application availability and prolific data generation, businesses have begun to deploy more on- premise and distributed IT environments. This brings with it the complex challenges of uptime and management. One can’t for example, have a maintenance specialist on-site at every location, so collaboration among vendors and pre-integration, in addition to the use of cloud-based management software, have become crucial to ensuring minimal downtime for today’s customers. Additionally, we’ve seen an explosion in the number of hyperscale, cloud and colocation service providers, with an increased move towards outsourced data centre services, which has led to growth within the multi-tenant data centre (MTDC) market. 1 What are the main challenges for your sector? Rather than focus on the challenges of the sector, I think one of the biggest challenges has really been a 2 41