The future of data processing has arrived -- here's how companies can take the next step

We’ve come a long way from the information superhighway.

What do a university, a commercial mechanic, and a pharmaceutical company have in common?

They are all tech firms.

It’s the nature of today’s business world that all companies are tech companies, and there isn’t an industry left that doesn’t dabble in data.

Edge computing is a new way of accessing data and this next step up from the cloud is revolutionising industries by offering higher speeds, more reliable service and uncontended bandwidth.

“Think of it as a series of mini data centres at the edge of the network,” said Joe Craparotta, Vice President, IT Division and Strategic Customers & Segments at Schneider Electric, a leading designer and manufacturer of automation and control systems in the edge computing space.

“It means that the information processing occurs at the source of the data, like an IoT device or even your smartphone, rather than having to process in the core of the cloud.”

“Schneider Electric’s strong legacy and alliances with the largest IT vendors in compute, storage, networking and security have also been a critical success factor for making it all work,” Craparotta added.

A university, a mechanic, and a pharmaceutical company

Murdoch University has recently built a $2.6 million game development and networking laboratory, which includes an industrial data centre for edge computing.

“Murdoch University School of Engineering and IT is proud to launch a new state-of-the-art networking and gaming facility featuring an IT innovation hub that provides the latest technology for online gaming development. This facility allows students to take their IT and networking education to the next level,” said Louis Grynfeltt, IT Manager, Murdoch University.

Schneider Electric worked closely with Murdoch University on the design of the data centre.

“[The partnership is] enables us to provide low levels of latency, capital cost savings and efficiency to our students and teachers. Schneider Electric has designed the facility’s data centre and IT infrastructure, which includes power, cooling, racks, lighting, and cabling in the modern self-contained unit,” Louis added.

Airmaster, a commercial mechanic, was able to reduce connectivity costs by using edge computing. It was previously able to only send the information that was crucial to running services. Its partnership with Schneider has allowed a “lights out” approach to management allowing Airmaster to operate its data processing centres remotely.

“APC by Schneider Electric’s edge computing solutions are vital to the Building Services Network which we have installed at the Tuggeranong Office Park in Canberra. We used the APC IT infrastructure because we were confident they would provide the reliability and performance we need. The solution means that the building is now edge computing-enabled, and future-enabled. We are confident of improving and replicating this system, working with Schneider Electric, in other key buildings in Canberra,” says Rob Huntington, ACT Branch Manager, Airmaster.

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health New Zealand manages the research and development, and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals. With such a diverse environment, the business entity requires local infrastructure of supporting servers and locally installed applications.

“With APC by Schneider Electric, we now have a ‘smart’ room, which gives us greater control and options,” Jason McDonald, Local Infrastructure Manager said. “We are also looking to gain further insights into the efficiency of the rooms by delving into the analytics we are now recording.”

What’s next?

Craparotta advised that Schneider is actively working on the benefits and application of edge computing across many segments including smart buildings, mining sites, food and beverage facilities, healthcare, airports, train stations, retail outlets, government bodies, oil and gas, and education.

“Edge computing is providing many benefits including resilience in the infrastructure layer, speed and mobility which in turn is increasing safety and security in these segments but also delivering an increase in productivity, efficiency and therefore economic value,” Craparotta said.

The ability to leverage this level of access to data is what is going to create a technologically enhanced future.

It’s the kind of future that The Jetsons inspired, and it is here now.

Schneider Electric is the global specialist in energy management and automation. They develop connected technologies and solutions to manage energy and process in ways that are safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable.
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