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CIO Review >> Magazine >> October - 2013 issue

Predictive Maintenance Vs Reactive Maintenance

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Headquartered in Bangalore, Schneider Electric India offers operations and management of physical assets of data centers to help customers increase operational efficiency, minimize downtime, reduce energy costs, and optimize the life of IT equipment.


IT service management is about process, where both virtualization and data center infrastructure management rely on processes. DCIM enforces processes for capacity planning, server refreshes, data center access, migrations and consolidations. As we have progressed, data centers have become large enough and server density has increased. The greatest challenge today is to optimize the cost. So apart from being a cost center, the focus is also on being a profit center. Schneider Electric India is helping enterprises make the most efficient use of the infrastructure which they already have and reducing their Operational Expenditure (OPEX). We offer complete operations and management to help customers increase operational efficiency, reduce cost and optimize infrastructure.

Minimizing Operational Expenditure

The current trend in IT, embodied particularly in cloud computing, is a move towards centralization of computing power. Mobile mania and a "rental society" has driven cloud computing and pay-as-you-go services from large providers, creating numerous threats such as the potential for cascading failures as well as vast repositories of private data. The challenge for the CIOs specific to datacenter is how they optimize on cost. It is not only the CAPEX that is the one time cost; most important is the cost of ownership which also includes OPEX. So the biggest challenge is how to manage this OPEX more efficiently and more effectively. When we look at global data, it says that 70 percent of outage of a datacenter happens because of human error, non-compliance to the standard operating procedure and lack of maintenance. Schneider believes in predictive maintenance instead of reactive maintenance to deal with this problem. The ultimate goal of predictive maintenance is to perform maintenance at a scheduled point in time when the maintenance activity is most cost-effective and before the equipment loses performance within a threshold. The strength lies in the data. We have to know what the data tells us, how the critical infrastructure is operating, through the health checks and from that we say that here is a likely failure to happen.

Security issues

While availing the services, the enterprises have security concerns too. Schneider uses two ways to get its infrastructure connected in the customer's premises, ride on their network and access the information which we need. It touches only some critical parameters of physical infrastructure. We get access to this data point by customer's network and if the customer does not allow a direct access to the network, we use a wireless connectivity, where there are field devices which capture this data and transmit over wireless services and ride on a network which is outside the customer's network. We take precautions to make sure that protocol is not breached. Following the standard of rating procedures is a competency. It is not there with every organization and this is what we would like to provide to the customer as an added value.

Services Bureau

Schneider Electric has made a significant addition to its operations in India with the inauguration of the services bureau in Bangalore, a Center of Excellence that supports Critical Environments including data centers. Coming under the company's IT Business Vertical, the services bureau is a seamless integration of information management systems, monitoring solutions, data science and technical & operational expertise. The services bureau is the core enabler to deliver world-class operational efficiency and legendary reliability in critical environments, including but not limited to industry segments such as retail banking (ATM infrastructure management), healthcare (hospitals), high-end manufacturing and process automation units (that have high productivity targets), telecom (for high network efficiency) and of course data center environments. The services bureau has been set up with an aim to help customers from all these critical environments achieve a much higher utilization of their infrastructure and achieve superior operational efficiency by driving down energy costs, human errors and costly downtime.
The large installed base of our company provides an opportunity to offer a wide range of services, spanning energy, IT infrastructure and data centre management. Data Science is the next step to provide more value addition to customers. This is a methodology to turn Big Data into information that will help people take better action for the short or long term.