Schneider Electric Acquires AST Modular
January 10th, 2014 By: Rich Miller
Schneider Electric has beefed up its position in the market for pre-fabricated data centers with the acquisition of AST Modular, the company said today. AST , which is based in Barcelona, has deployed containers and modular data centers in more than 450 projects in 30 countries around the globe.
The AST deal reflects Schneider’s growing focus on modular solutions, coming just three months after it rolled out a new line of 15 modular enclosures and reference designs. With AST, Schneider adds a major global player in the modular market.
“AST Modular’s capabilities and experience complement Schneider Electric’s strategy to provide global prefabricated solutions and support to meet customer demands in this fast growing segment” said Kevin Brown, Vice President, Data Center Global Offer and Strategy, Schneider Electric. “The acquisition of AST Modular strengthens our regional capabilities in Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa, with factories and custom engineering staff located in Barcelona, Spain and Miami, Florida. We look forward to expanding our library of reference designs and integrating AST Modular’s solutions into our portfolio to create the most comprehensive offer in the industry.”
AST’s client base ranges from large tech players like IBM and AOL to banks and energy companies. It has deployed its modular units in remote areas and unique situations, ranging from the deserts of Iraq to Haiti to Russia to Iceland. The company is also a participant in a large modular data center park planned near Barcelona.
AST Modular’s portfolio have included non-ISO modules, multi-module designs, and modular data center rooms, as well as a broad portfolio of cooling options optimized for the prefabricated IT space. AST is the latest in a series of modular specialists to move beyond standard ISO sizes for shipping containers and develop more versatile designs using several modules to assemble a data hall.
“It has always been AST Modular´s goal to offer the best and most innovative prefabricated data centers,” said Henry Daunert, CEO of AST Modular. “Schneider Electric´s global presence, world class power, cooling and Data Center Infrastructure Management solutions, backed up by an excellent service network, will be a major benefit for our customers.”
Schneider also has worked closely with Datapod, an Australia-based modular specialist.
I think this is a major catalyst for broader adoption of modular here in the US as companies are figuring out the markets overseas are different in the US – from voltages, to zoning, to customer preference.
Blade Room came to the US last year, Schneider made a move into the space and this acquisition gives them broader street cred (implementations), more manufacturing capabilities globally for a broader product set, and gets AST products into the US market through a US company.
Time will tell how successfully they can vertically integrate their manufacturing, supply chain, sales, and implementation. That will be the key for them going forward, as will growing partnerships with others like Ubiquity.