Africa’s first Microsoft Technology Centre (MTC), located in Johannesburg, has rolled out a complete power and cooling solution from APC by Schneider Electric.

The high-tech multi-million rand MTC facility aims to assist local companies of all sizes become more globally competitive by providing customers, partners, SMEs and entrepreneurs access to collaborative environments, innovative technologies and world-class expertise, in order to develop “next-generation solutions” for their most pressing business problems

According to Markus Hain, the director of the MTC, the Schneider Electric modular data centre solution has provided the local setup with a world class, fully installed data centre solution that provides core capabilities to the many solutions running in the MTC. Added to this, the Schneider Electric solution will also be used for demonstration purposes.

“What impressed us most was the speedy implementation time as everything just clicks into place. The overall efficiency of the racks, cooling and software monitoring has enabled us to focus more on helping customers and less on administration of the data centre,” he continues.

“The MTC has many hardware partners and the simple, uniform and standardised construction of the racks mean that we can add and remove hardware with no effort at all, while StruxureWare provides a management layer informing us about the power, cooling and other important factors vital to efficient data centre usage.”

Hain adds that some hardware platforms, through the use of StruxureWare, have even further integration to enable seamless failover in case of power outages, which the MTC is able to demonstrate using the Schneider Electric solution.

Bruce Grobler, director of the IT business unit at Schneider Electric South Africa highlights that challenges can occur at every stage within the data centre, from planning, monitoring and operation, and at server, rack, row, room and building levels.

“The complexity of implementing data centre infrastructure management software across functions is the most significant barrier to adopting an integrated, company-wide approach for sustainability. StruxureWare for Data Centers is a management software suite designed to collect and manage data about a data centre’s assets, resource use and operation status throughout the data centre lifecycle.

“This information is then distributed, integrated, and applied in ways that help managers optimise the data centre’s performance and meet IT, business and service-oriented goals. From IT assets to racks, rows, rooms and buildings, StruxureWare for Data Centers delivers the right information to the right users at the right time,” he explains.

Grobler also strongly believes that APC by Schneider Electric’s partnership with Microsoft will provide the energy management specialist with numerous opportunities to showcase its latest technology innovations to partners, consultants and end users, thereby strengthening the leadership position of the organisation.

“The MTC community has uniformly adopted APC by Schneider Electric as its partner of choice worldwide. It continues to demonstrate world class solutions using Schneider Electric solutions, hardware partners and Microsoft software in order for customers to examine the full solution in operation, so as to ensure their own success,” says Hain.