5G, Internet of Things, Made in China 2025, and artificial intelligence technologies are becoming important forces driving innovation and achieving digital transformation. A new digital economy era is coming. At the same time, the rapid development of smart grids and microgrids, as well as the continuous reduction of alternative energy costs and energy storage costs, have promoted more interaction and integration of data center physical infrastructure with the upstream grid and downstream IT. As a global leader in the field of data center infrastructure construction and services, Schneider Electric is keen to grasp market changes and customer needs based on deep industry insights and practical experience to continuously innovate physical infrastructure, software and digital solutions, and whole life Periodic services provide guarantees for the construction and operation and maintenance of high-availability digital cornerstones. Looking forward to 2019, Schneider Electric believes that the data center will usher in the following five new trends and five technical solutions:
One of the new trends: edge computing and cloud computing will develop synergistically
In the past year, we have seen a lot of hype about edge computing, such as: "The cloud center is dead, edge computing is superior?", "Edge computing will change the future of the Internet and the Internet of Things", "Edge computing will lead the next IT Change "and so on. But we don't think cloud computing will die out, and edge computing will not replace cloud computing. Rather, edge computing and cloud computing will develop together. With the rapid development of the Internet of Things, AI, and 5G, people have higher and higher requirements for latency and broadband. Edge computing is specifically designed for this "speed and bandwidth need."
Schneider Electric believes that the future IT architecture will be a hybrid IT architecture that will consist of three types of data centers, each of which is a central cloud data center located in a remote area for ultra-large-scale computing and storage. Area edge data centers near users for large-scale computing and storage, and edge data centers located locally near data generation and use locations. Edge data centers will solve the fast response problem of computing locally, and cloud computing will provide powerful back-end computing support and data storage capabilities for edge computing. At the same time, we also believe that edge computing data centers will first develop rapidly in the two major areas of the retail industry and network operators to meet people's needs for low latency and high bandwidth.
New trend two: the era of liquid cooling is coming
Air-cooled IT occupies a very important position in data centers. Today, air-cooled IT is still the main data center. However, the application of artificial intelligence places huge demands on the processing capabilities of data centers. Artificial intelligence has begun to leapfrog development, and has developed from laboratory research to real business and consumer applications. These applications are so computationally intensive that many IT hardware architects started using GPUs as core processors or auxiliary processors. Many GPU-based servers, or what we call TDP-Total Design Power, typically generate around 300 watts of heat, compared to 130 to 150 watts for traditional servers. GPU-based servers generate twice as much heat as traditional servers, which is one of the main drivers of the rise of liquid cooling.
According to the survey, we found that the power density of the current cabinet in the data center is about 7 kilowatts, but the power density of each cabinet may be as high as tens of kilowatts in the future. We think that if the power density of the cabinet is less than 20 kilowatts, the traditional cooling system is very cost-effective. However, when the power density of the cabinet exceeds 20 kWh, the traditional air cooling technology will face challenges such as air volume, power consumption, and noise. At this time, liquid cooling technology is required.
Especially in the first-tier cities (such as Beijing and Shanghai), government management departments have increasingly strict requirements for data center energy consumption and emissions per unit of output value. On September 26, 2018, the `` Restrictions and Prohibited Catalogs of New Industries in Beijing 2018 Edition '' requires that new and expanded data centers for Internet data services / information processing and storage support services be banned in central urban areas and Beijing sub-centers. New cloud computing data centers with PUE below 1.4 are allowed. On October 29, 2018, the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economics and Information Technology issued the "Shanghai Three-Year Action Plan for Promoting the Construction of New-Generation Information Infrastructure to Boost Urban Energy Levels and Core Competitiveness (2018-2020)", and proposed that the new data center PUE must be low At 1.3, the PUE of the existing data center is not higher than 1.4, and at least 50% of the new data is AI-oriented. At this time, the traditional air cooling method is difficult to achieve these PUE requirements, which will also become an important driving factor to promote the rise of liquid cooling.
New trend three: lithium batteries will have more applications in data centers
We started using lithium batteries in digital DV more than two decades ago, but why isn't it popular in the data center field? The main reason is that lithium batteries cannot provide UPS suppliers with a balance of price, energy density, safety and reliability. However, in recent years, the rapid development of electric vehicles and new energy has promoted the advancement and price reduction of lithium battery technology. Today, the cost of lithium batteries has decreased by 70% compared with 5 years ago. At the same time, the chemical cost and technology of lithium batteries have improved It also provides realistic solutions for suppliers.
Compared with traditional lead-acid batteries, lithium batteries have excellent characteristics, including higher energy density (70-260 kWh / kg vs. 15-50 kWh / kg), longer life cycle (10-15 years vs. 4-6 years), fast charging (1 / 2–1 hour vs. 6-12 hours), occupies 50-80% of land saving, 60-80% of weight reduction, charging and discharging times> 1000 cycles vs. <400 Cycle, etc., will gradually replace the traditional lead-acid batteries as the backup battery of choice for data center UPS. According to a global data center survey conducted by Uptime in 2017, 10% of data centers have adopted lithium batteries as a backup energy source.
As the cost of microgrids, smart grids, new energy, and energy storage is reduced, and many countries and regions have higher requirements for the sustainable development of data centers, more and more data center owners are beginning to consider Through lithium battery energy storage to reduce costs and achieve the goal of sustainable development of data centers. As the world's largest lithium battery producer, China's excess lithium battery capacity also needs to explore new application growth points, such as wind and solar energy storage, grid frequency and peak modulation, and communication power. Therefore, we believe that lithium batteries will be used more and more in data centers.
Fourth new trend: The value of data center management as a service (DMaaS) in data center planning, construction and operation is becoming more prominent
Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) system was originally designed to collect information from the physical infrastructure equipment of a single data center and was deployed as a local software solution. The new cloud-based management solution will be located in the cloud, which can help users collect massive data from a wider range of IoT-based devices, and the software management platform can implement a single, hundreds, or thousands Physical infrastructure management for large or small data centers.
These new systems are often referred to as Data Center Management as a Service (DMaaS). They can help users make predictive decisions through big data analysis, thereby reducing unexpected events or downtime. At the same time, It is also much faster than traditional DCIM solutions. As a cloud-based management software, the software can use the "data resource pool" to collect and store data and analyze trends, which can help data center users to plan their business from a strategic level.
The cloud-based management software also simplifies the requirements for new equipment deployments, as well as tasks for upgrading existing installations, and software updates can be performed at multiple different locations. Because it is very challenging to manage and upgrade the sites one by one, especially for edge data centers, using local management software.
Fifth new trend: the construction of very large-scale data centers requires increasingly high deployment cycles
We believe that the demand for cloud computing in the data center market will neither weaken nor slow down. It will accelerate development in 2019, which means that network giants or managed service providers will add more computing capabilities by building very large-scale data centers. However, the data center market will drive them to build these facilities faster and faster, that is, 10 to 100 MW data center projects need to complete from design, construction to operation in less than a year.
In order to solve the various challenges faced by users in a constantly changing market environment, data center infrastructure solution providers with Schneider Electric as the leader will provide users with the following five technical solutions through continuous technological innovation:
One of the technical solutions: edge computing solutions
With the development of edge computing, Schneider Electric believes that the past understanding of the availability of a single data center is insufficient. We need to change our mindset and look at the issue of availability from the perspective of user experience. As long as the user's application or network is interrupted For example, applications that cannot connect to the APP should be called faults. Therefore, we need an edge data center with high availability that should include air-conditioning, UPS, monitoring, IT equipment, network, storage and other equipment.