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02 May 2017

Data Driven

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John Bensalhia talks to Gregory Ratcliff, Director, Lifecycle Management at Vertiv, ahead of his sessions at Data Centre World, Hong Kong 2017

“Our goal is to enable both ourselves and our customers to become more data driven for operations, and strategic decision making and planning.” Gregory Ratcliff, Director, Lifecycle Management at Vertiv, is outlining his forthcoming talks at Data Centre World Hong Kong 2017. “I will be describing the steps we took from purely reactive Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring and independent field services, to creating a single data lake that contains all available performance data for our portfolio.”

Gregory has over 15 years of experience in critical systems management for data centres and telecommunications. Before joining Vertiv in 2011, formerly Emerson Network Power, he led the monitoring group product management and marketing efforts in North America.

Gregory says: “My career began in the IoT field, focused on remote monitoring and control for critical systems, first in building management, then in telecom and data centres. More recently, I have been focusing on using that information to increase availability and decrease risk for our customers.”

In his current role, Gregory focuses on increasing the value of Vertiv offerings:  “To continue improving how Vertiv brings actionable information to our customers via Big Data and IoT technologies.”  

Vertiv is a global leader that designs, builds and services critical infrastructure for vital applications in data centres and communication networks, as well as commercial and industrial environments. The company vision is “a world where critical technologies always work” while its mission is “to empower the vital applications of the digital world.”

At the dawn of the 21st century, critical infrastructure technologies came together under the Emerson Network Power umbrella. Originally made up of the ASCO? (Automatic Switch Company) and Liebert? brands, the company instantly became a leading provider of power, thermal management, and monitoring solutions for critical technologies in data centres, telecommunication networks, healthcare, and commercial and industrial facilities. In the early 2000s, the company acquired a number of businesses to further boost its strength and presence. These included the acquisition of outside plant and power business of Marconi in 2004 (which grew its presence in the telecommunications industry); Knurr® in 2006 (increasing its enclosure systems offerings); Avocent® in 2009 (adding software and remote management capabilities); and Chloride? in 2010 (broadening its range of power solutions). The company also introduced new critical infrastructure solutions that delivered higher reliability and efficiency, plus enhanced flexibility for critical technologies.

Vertiv has also pioneered data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) and integrated infrastructure: for example, the Trellis™ DCIM platform, which was the first of its kind to utilise real-time data to boost data centre management. Another pioneering offering is an integrated row-based infrastructure solution. The company has also worked with leading data centre developers to produce the first completely modular free-standing data centres.

Vertiv is now building on a promise to match these trusted solutions with an increased ability to focus on customers and create new solutions for them.

Gregory says that the machine learning opportunities of Big Data systems enable the ability to forecast service life for critical systems. “The key benefit for customers using these systems is the ability to avoid unexpected failures and to shift from time-based maintenance to condition- and use-based maintenance that is driven by data pulled from a large portfolio.”

The past year has been the year of Big Data systems becoming more streaming enabled. “Streaming was the missing capability to tie together IoT and changing values to Big Data analysis,” says Gregory. “Previously, most IoT systems tended to operate in a 'batch' mode.”

Commenting on the future of the Big Data sector, Gregory says that the Vertiv panel discussion will show how one customer has taken the first steps to connect service and IoT data by comparing field performance information with its 10-year performance data set. “We anticipate that the need for binding external data sources will grow. Two examples come to mind: data feeds from utility providers concerning power availability and quality; and weather data feeds to see impact on data centres.”

Gregory's sessions at the Energy Efficiency, Cost Management & DCIM Theatre at Data Centre World, Hong Kong will be held on both days, May 24th and 25th from 11:10-11:35 a.m.

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