Juliet justifying her love with a man from a rival family argues, “O, be some other name! What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…” A modern manufacturing OT/IT architecture includes some manner of compute and storage at the site close to the operations that contains robust networking to the cloud.
Generally, we call that rose Edge Computing. But we can also call it a “micro data center” if we wish. This news discusses a partnership between Schneider Electric data center business and Stratus Technologies server business that has a positive effect upon the AVEVA software business and the effectiveness of Systems Integrators (Sis). This news popped last month during the flurry of conferences I was attending.
Stratus Technologies, a provider in simplified, protected, autonomous Edge Computing platforms, has announced that Schneider Electric has released EcoStruxure Micro Data Center architectures standardized on Stratus Edge Computing platforms to accelerate the move of traditional data center capabilities to the factory floor.
The new micro data center architectures integrate Stratus’ fault tolerance and virtualization with Schneider Electric’s uninterrupted power to consolidate software workloads and run critical equipment with no downtime. Jointly developed, the micro data centers are fully tested, validated, and available with pre-loaded software to reduce engineering complexity for System Integrators (SI).
Industry 4.0 Micro Data Centers for Automation and Control
The Schneider Electric EcoStruxure Micro Data Center with Stratus ftServer enables end users to move data center operations to the edge, bringing computing power close to critical equipment to solve data latency and bandwidth issues. Stratus ftServer’s virtualization enables end users to concurrently run monitor and control, on-premises historian, manufacturing execution, asset performance management, and automated material handling applications as well as advanced AI and ML applications. Purpose-built for the operational environment, the unit is physically protected in a single enclosure.
John Knorr, VP of Global IT Alliances, at Schneider Electric said, “When partnering with Stratus, we spoke about the many day-to-day responsibilities of a System Integrator and the security and privacy concerns raised with outsourcing IT. We made it our mission to not only bridge the gap of IT and OT but simplify the purchase, deployment and management cycle all together with a one-stop-shop solution.”
Less Engineering Complexity and Faster Time-to-Market
Previously, SIs and end users had to source the compute platform and power components from separate vendors and distributors, align requirements and costs, and then assemble, configure, and test. With the combined solution, teams have a prevalidated solution available from a single source with service and support from both Stratus and Schneider Electric. As a result, organizations are able to deploy an OT-ready micro data center for 40% less field engineering cost and 20% faster time-to-market.
Tim Black, Global SI Program Manager, at AVEVA said, “This Stratus and Schneider Electric collaboration drastically reduces the engineering work and logistical complexity for AVEVA SIs and distributors deploying micro data centers in OT environments. The EcoStruxure Micro Data Center with Stratus ftServer should be the standard fault tolerant platform for Edge-to-Enterprise digital transformation projects, enabling fast deployments for Performance Intelligence.”
EcoStruxure Micro Data Center Configurations and Sizing
System Integrators and customers can order the EcoStruxure Micro Data Center systems in a range of configurations as well as pre-loaded with industrial software such as AVEVA System Platform and others.
The EcoStruxure Micro Data Center with Stratus ftServer is available in 6U, 12U or 42U rack sizes powered by Schneider Electric Secure Power solutions. Each micro data center has integrated cooling and optional environmental monitoring (temperature, humidity, fluid, smoke) and security (door sensors and camera). The 42U enclosure adds NEMA-12 with filters and ventilation fans and is ideal for larger deployments where additional IT gear is required, and dedicated IT space is not available. Schneider Electric’s smart, uninterrupted power supply (UPS) offers protection against electrical hazards, remote support, and “graceful” calculated shutdown.
Stratus ftServer delivers virtualization to run a range of concurrent software workloads and fault tolerance to eliminate downtime and data loss. Each rack size enclosure offers three Stratus ftServer configurations:
- Stratus ftServer 2900 supports up to 10,000 I/O’s and two (2) remote clients. The unit is powered by a 1.5kVA APC Smart-UPS (uninterrupted power supply) with on-line UPS with network management card with additional capacity for lower power devices.
- Stratus ftServer 4900 is ideal for 25,000-50,000 I/O’s and five (5) remote clients. The unit is powered by a 2.2kVA APC Smart-UPS On-line UPS with network management card. The solution offers an additional 6U of rack space for switches, KVM and other IT gear.
- Stratus ftServer 6900 supports up to 100,000 I/O’s and twenty (20) remote clients. The unit is powered by a 3kVA APC Smart-UPS On-line UPS with network management card.