Data Center Insights: Joe Reele, Schneider Electric

July 3, 2024
Schneider Electric's VP of Solutions Architects feels us that prefab is a “needle-moving” technique and methodology in today’s mission-critical and data center space.

The Data Center Frontier Executive Roundtable features insights from industry executives with lengthy experience in the data center industry. Here’s a look at the insights from Joe Reele, VP of Solutions Architects for Schneider Electric.

Joe Reele is Vice President, Solution Architects at Schneider Electric, responsible for bringing together the full suite of the company's products and services to provide complete solutions for its customers. Joe has more than 22 years of experience in strategic planning, business development, operations management, and system engineering strategies.

He started his career with the U.S. Air Force Nuclear program and then led one of the world’s largest financial data center portfolios. Joe provides strong technical and business leadership skills with the proven ability to analyze an organization’s business requirements, identify deficiencies and potential opportunities, and develop innovative solutions to meet the customer’s business objectives. 

Here's the full text of Joe Reele's insights from our Executive Roundtable:

Data Center Frontier:  To open the Second Quarter of 2024, Data Center Frontier's Founder and Editor at Large Rich Miller doubled down on a definitive call originally made in his annual industry trends forecast: The age of the gigawatt data center MegaCampus is truly upon us. From your perspective, what are the most pertinent front-of-mind considerations, whether geographic, regulatory or otherwise, for MegaCampus stakeholders including investors, developers, operators, partners, vendors, and customers?  

Joe Reele, Schneider Electric:   I agree with Rich - the MegaCampus is a real thing! 

Top of mind considerations are the ones most talked about, such as electrical utility availability. 

Additionally, we’re seeing more and more investors, developers, and even end-users in some cases, working on the front end of the MegaCampus with both local governments and communities. 

These groups are demonstrating and committing to good corporate citizenship and delivering added value to the local ecosystems. Any input with respect to ESG are impactful considerations when it comes to the MegaCampus.  

Data Center Frontier:  In the industry's now ongoing level-up to global net zero and decarbonization goals, what processes should data center developers and operators be prioritizing for a proactive approach to building greener data centers and fostering resilient sustainability practices, especially in the face of the exponential future power demands associated with AI and GPU-based computing?

Joe Reele, Schneider Electric: Incorporating impactful sustainability processes and guidelines, much like raising a child, takes a village to do correctly!  

With this in mind, we see developers, operators and clients prioritizing more of a “partner – solution process” approach, versus the traditional vendor approach. 

Partners include utilities (electric, natural gas, water); concrete & steel material industries; many types of electrical, mechanical, and digital companies; along with compute, network, and storage companies. All these groups come together to make a data center. 

Prioritizing and proactively bringing the entire ecosystem together allows for the data center to be optimized; matching performance, uptime, financial needs, and sustainability, all together. These partnerships then create a “multiplier effect.” 

Data Center Frontier:  From your view of the data center industry, what are the top opportunities for any type of modular design innovation within or adjacent to hyperscale or colocation facilities, the better to measure up to escalating compute as well as grid and on-site power requirements for meeting the expected, ongoing rise in demand for ultra-cloud, HPC and AI/ML workloads?  

Joe Reele, Schneider Electric:  Prefab is a “needle-moving” technique/methodology in today’s mission critical/data center space. 

Innovating modular design helps overcome known issues, like field labor shortages and fast build schedules, and it also helps to standardize design and operations. 

This positively affects cost, risk, and speed-to-market. 

Prefabricated modular data centers offer several advantages for organizations seeking a fast, sustainable, energy-efficient alternative to buying land and building a large facility designed on their own. 

We're seeing many companies do this to accommodate future growth caused by increasing AI/ML workloads. 

Data Center Frontier:  What are some data points or anecdotes people persistently seem to get wrong or misbelieve about your area of the data center sector?  

Joe Reele, Schneider Electric: The main misconception is that the data center is the enemy. 

Truthfully, data centers support our digital economy. They enable us to function in our everyday tasks and are crucial when it comes to solving some of the world’s most profound challenges such as in medicine, security, and transportation. 

The reason more data centers are coming online is because they are needed to support our new way of living in this digital age. Without them, it simply wouldn’t be possible. 

Advances in medicine, technology, science that have transpired and continue to push us forward are all driven by data centers and digital infrastructure. 

 

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About the Author

Matt Vincent

A B2B technology journalist and editor with more than two decades of experience, Matt Vincent is Editor in Chief of Data Center Frontier.

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