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Don't fear the big data reaper

By Max Burkhalter
October 29, 2013

Big data doesn't have to be a challenge for utility providers. In fact, it can be utilized to enhance support and meeting customer demands more efficiently, for firms that are willing to invest in the right technology to manage it.

When many people think of big data today, they think of the cloud. However, big data comes from a wide variety of sources, cloud computing is more of a solution for handling, organizing and storing it. For utility providers, the main source of their data comes from customers, and any firm that has invested in smart grid solutions this means the advanced meters and networks they have already put in place.

According to Renew Grid, smart grid proliferation has driven increased amounts of data to become available to utility companies, and it is up to them to implement the right strategies to benefit from this information. Analytics and improved data management are just one piece of the puzzle, firms also have to optimize their smart grids themselves to ensure the quality of information and real-time access to meters and remote control capabilities.

Beyond growing data concerns, providers have to look at the opportunities big data presents. Reduced operating costs, boosted service reliability, testing of services before deployment and optimized pricing are all very real and achievable goals that smart grids assist with. Moving forward, more utility companies will be able to bridge the gap between data and insight, simply by harnessing a resource they are already considering for other reasons.

Optimizing a smart grid requires high-quality serial to Ethernet solutions and Ethernet I/O deployment. Only with the right technology, monitoring and media converters will providers be able to streamline upgrades and ensure they are moving forward with their goals for smart grid, sustainable energy and big data usage. IT infrastructure plays a large part of the picture, but so do the people that manage it. Providers need to ensure they have the talented staff to install, use and analyze these new resources effectively and efficiently as well.

Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyberassets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.


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