Moving the Data Center to the Factory Floor

Schneider Electric standardizes its EcoStruxure Micro Data Centers on Stratus Technologies' ftServer edge computing to bring data center operations into industrial operating environments.

At PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2021, Schneider Electric and Stratus Technologies showcased how they’re addressing plant floor data latency and bandwidth issues by pairing Stratus Technologies’ Stratus ftServer with Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Micro Data Center to allow for data center computing power to be brought close to critical equipment.

Protected in a single enclosure, the companies say this combination of technologies is purpose-built for the operational environment.

 According to Stratus, virtualization of the ftServer in EcoStruxure enables end users to concurrently run, monitor, and control on-premises historian, manufacturing execution systems, asset performance management, and automated material handling applications as well as advanced artificial intelligence applications.

 Stratus Technologies' ftServer.Stratus Technologies' ftServer.The EcoStruxure Micro Data Center with Stratus ftServer is available in 6U, 12U or 42U rack sizes powered by Schneider Electric Secure Power systems. Each micro data center has integrated cooling and optional environmental monitoring (temperature, humidity, fluid, smoke) and security (door sensors and camera). The 42U enclosure features NEMA-12 with filters and ventilation fans for larger deployments where additional IT gear is required.

 Each rack size enclosure offers three Stratus ftServer configurations:

  • Stratus ftServer 2900 supports up to 10,000 I/O points and two remote clients. The unit is powered by a 1.5kVA APC Smart-UPS (uninterrupted power supply) with on-line UPS and a network management card with additional capacity for lower power devices.
  • Stratus ftServer 4900 is designed for 25,000-50,000 I/O points and five remote clients. The unit is powered by a 2.2kVA APC Smart-UPS On-line UPS with network management card. This version has additional 6U of rack space for switches, KVM, and other IT gear.
  • Stratus ftServer 6900 supports up to 100,000 I/O points and 20 remote clients. The unit is powered by a 3kVA APC Smart-UPS On-line UPS with network management card.

 Tim Black, global system integrator program manager at Aveva, noted that, before the combination of the ftServer with Ecostruxture Micro Data Center, “Integrators 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 pre-validated 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 with 40% less field engineering cost and 20% faster time-to-market.”

Explaining the applications for which this new product is targeted, John Knorr, vice president of global IT alliances at Schneider Electric, said, “This new architecture is ideal for deployment in consumer packaged goods, water & wastewater, pharmaceutical manufacturing, oil & gas and other industries that want to harness real-time edge data for insight and competitive advantage.”

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