APC announces channel partners to drive data centre software sales

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As increasing facility complexity and costs boost demand for software tools, partners will be essential to fulfilling aggressive growth plans for APC's InfraStruxure Management Software portfolio.

APC by Schneider Electric has announced six partners which will comprise its official channel to provide specialised consultancy and implementation services for the company's InfraStruxure Management Software portfolio. The portfolio provides an open and vendor neutral management platform for data centre physical infrastructure, and integrates with power, building and enterprise software to provide an end-to-end view of energy use and cost. The announcement coincides with the recent establishment of a data centre software business unit within Schneider Electric.

The partners accredited for software services are: Comtec Ltd., Keysource Ltd., Lima Networks Ltd., on365 Limited, RMD and Workspace Technology Ltd. Paul Tyrer, Regional VP, APC by Schneider Electric, UK and Ireland said, "All of these companies bring together great knowledge of our products and solutions with an incisive understanding of the needs of data centre customers. They each bring unique competencies and specialised services to the table to build long term value for their customers and for their own businesses."

Paul Tyrer continued, "APC's channel partners already deliver considerable added value to our customers for APC InfraStruxure data centre physical infrastructure which includes power and cooling equipment, racks and security. The software component of data centre management is increasingly important not just in managing the complexity of the system, but also in ensuring that utilisation of all capacities power, cooling and space is maximised."

Paul Tyrer said, "Since the announcement of the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres in 2008, we have experienced a growing demand amongst data centre managers and customers for better management software than the makeshift tools being used. When IT inventory was smaller and power and cooling requirements lower, spreadsheets represented a low cost and relatively effective solution. But the complexity of today's facilities allows no margin for error and the need to utilise all resources responsibly requires applications of an altogether higher order."

Andy Lawrence of data centre analysts, 451 Group said, "Data centres are consuming more power, at higher average rates, as they become denser and larger and do more work. Energy-saving technologies, therefore, can potentially save very significant sums on an annual, repeating basis, especially when applied in large, inefficiently run data centres. For example, a small-to-average-sized 1MW US data centre that uses management software to reduce energy consumption by 10% will save $87,600 per year, or $438,000 over five years. A European data centre may save $650,000 over five years because of higher electricity prices."

According to 451 Group, companies will also be able to use data centre information generated by software tools for compliance and commercial purposes. Data about energy use will help data centres meet internally or externally set targets, track progress against metrics and, if it becomes necessary, meet reporting requirements. It is also likely that metered energy consumption data will increasingly be used to price data centre services, to report on or allocate carbon emissions credits, or to facilitate application chargeback.

APC's InfraStruxure Management Software enables holistic management of the entire data centre ecosystem, integrating the management of the physical infrastructure supporting IT assets with enterprise management systems, building management systems and network management systems. Proactive data centre management is achieved through integrated software applications sharing a centralised repository, enabling design, real-time monitoring, inventory management and planning through predictive simulation.

The APC InfraStruxure Management Software portfolio helps companies improve energy and cost efficiencies, manage physical capacities and support short- and long-term planning, forecasting, and budgeting. The toolset includes InfraStruxure Operations which provides an instant overview of data centre operations together with vendor-agnostic inventory management, a PUE calculator for daily information about energy use, real-time device alarms, and a customisable view enabling data halls to be organised by region, country, campus, site, building and room.

"In the past, data centre managers have been sceptical about the need for complex, integrated software. But this is changing as the move to higher-density data centres and the opportunity to operate within a narrower technical envelope drive the need for more sophisticated monitoring and control systems," said Andy Lawrence of 451 Group. "Clearly, the most effectively managed and eco-efficient data centres will be those where managers have up-to-date, detailed and meaningful information about their data centre's applications, equipment, configurations, power use and environmental data."

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