Africa has a significant role to play in the world’s efforts to establish sustainable data centres of the future, said Mourad Younes, C&SP Segment Leader, MEA at Schneider Electric, at last week’s AfricaCom, which formed part of the annual Africa Tech Festival held at the CTICC in Cape Town.

Addressing delegates at the event, Mourad emphasised that 99% of CEOs from major companies are prioritising sustainability. “This bodes well for Africa as these CEOs will also be investing in the continent and establishing a well-defined sustainability strategy is therefore paramount. Without it, securing investment will become a challenge. This trend also underscores the need to elevate Schneider Electric’s approach in offering a succinct sustainability journey for driving data centres for our customers in Africa.”

Schneider Electric strongly believes the combination of electrification and digitisation forms the perfect equation for establishing sustainability. There are also several important steps that should form part of the blueprint for sustainable data centre design.

“Full transparency to see into each connected product, from shop floor endpoints to the cloud is essential providing data that empower organisations to make informed decisions, improve productivity, reduce downtime, and enhance customer experiences.

Mourad Younes, C&SP Segment Leader, MEA at Schneider Electric.

“Digital twin technology also has an invaluable role to play, offering insight into asset performance, predictive maintenance, and operational efficiency all of which enable sustainable datacentre operations. With its ability to simulate, visualise, and predict outcomes, digital twin technology is unlocking new opportunities for innovation and transformation for data centres,” explained Mourad.

Looking at Schneider Electric’s role in establishing sustainable data centres across the African continent, Mourad explained that the development of data centres is based on a comprehensive transformation strategy.

“Our expertise spans electrical, mechanical, and software engineering. However, instead of focusing on the individual components, we take a systematic approach to data centres, regarding it as a complete, integrated system.

“As part of our efforts to establish sustainable data centres, we have developed a TradeOff tool for Data Centre Lifecycle Carbon Assessment that enables operators to calculate a data centre’s lifecycle carbon footprint based on various attributes, such as IT capacity, load ratio, equipment specifications, and power and cooling characteristics,” he concludes.

Schneider Electric’s data centres of the future:

  • Are at the forefront of digitisation and electrification.
  • Represent the evolution of the industry, moving beyond large or hyperscale data centres to include edge and 5G connectivity.
  • Overcome latency challenges, providing data resilience and on-premises access.
  • Digitised that enable the management of (combined) local and centralised data.

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