With data centres being the foundation for any Digital Transformation journey, Wang Di, President, HUAWEI Digital Power, Middle East, outlines top trends CIOs and IT teams should factor in for their data centre facilities.
As remote offices, online education and live broadcasting are becoming increasingly popular, we are in era of digitalisation, which is gaining momentum in various industries. Digital Transformation is accelerating across multiple industry verticals.
Data centres are the foundation of Digital Transformation and are meeting the new opportunities for development.
Trend 1: Zero carbon DC
Carbon neutrality has become the most urgent mission in the world, triggering a green revolution. Green power, such as wind energy and solar energy will be more widely used in data centres. It is an inevitable trend to maximise resource saving (such as energy saving, footprint saving, water saving and material saving) in the entire life cycle of data centres. In the large data centre facility, thermal energy recovery is a new energy saving solution. Data centre PUE will enter the 1.0x Era, and ‘zero carbon’ data centres will be a reality in the near future.
Trend 2: High density
In next five years, IT devices will continue to evolve to high computing power and density, and the CPU and server power will continue to increase. In addition, as the demand for AI applications grows, the AI computing power will increase. To balance efficiency and cost, data centres will develop to high density. It is estimated that by 2025, diversified computing power collaboration will become mainstream and mainstream cloud data centres will form a hybrid deployment of 15 to 30 kW/cabinet.
Trend 3: Scalable
The lifecycle of IT equipment is generally three to five years and the power density is roughly doubled every five years. The lifecycle of data centre infrastructure is 10 to 15 years. The infrastructure must support elastic architecture and phased investment and meet the power evolution requirements of two to three generations of IT devices with optimal CAPEX. In addition, the data centre must be flexible to support hybrid deployment of IT devices with different power density, achieving on-demand capacity expansion scalability and space saving.
Trend 4: Fast deployment
While Internet services have a rapid outbreak in a short period of time, rapid deployment becomes essential. In addition, data centres need to shift from support systems to production systems to meet the diverse application requirements of the cloud and need to be rolled out as quickly as clouds. In the future, the data centre TTM will be reduced from nine to 12 months to six months or even three months.
Trend 5: Simple architecture
To address the disadvantages of slow construction of traditional data centres and high initial investment costs, simplified system-level and data centre-level architectures will become the mainstream. The data centre power supply and cooling architecture evolves from the traditional architecture to integrated link-level converged products. With the prefabricated and modular design, the data centre features fast deployment, elastic capacity expansion, simple O&M and efficient energy saving.
Trend 6: Lithium for all
Traditional data centre power supply systems have issues such as complexity, high footprint, frequent accidents such as fire breakout and difficult maintenance. With the trend of lithium for all we are reshaping the traditional batteries with lithium-based batteries in and lead-acid based batteries phase out. Eventually with the decreasing cost of lithium batteries, data centres will be all lithium-based. Compared with traditional lead-acid batteries, lithium batteries have twice the life span, occupies 1/3 footprint and have enhanced visibility. Additionally, with three level BMS and LFP material lithium batteries ensures high security and reliability.
Trend 7: Air in and water out
Driven by complex O&M and higher PUE and aligning with carbon neutrality goals, traditional chilled water systems will be replaced. In addition, cooling systems with less or no water will become the mainstream. The modular Indirect Evaporative Cooling system adopts an integrated product design, which shortens deployment time and simplifies O&M, while fully utilises natural cooling resources, it greatly reduces the power consumption of the cooling system.
Trend 8: Fully digitalised
With the increasing Digital Transformation, digital, communications and AI technologies are increasingly applied. Digital Twin technologies will become more widely used throughout the lifecycle of the data centre from planning, construction, maintenance and optimisation, making All-DC visible, manageable and controllable, delivering excellent full-lifecycle experience.
Trend 9: AI enabled
With the continuous improvement and widespread application of IoT and AI technologies, data centres will gradually replace manual operation such as repetitive work, expert experience and business decision-making to AI based autonomous driving. Data centres will gradually evolve from single-domain intelligence such as O&M, energy saving, and operation to full-lifecycle digitalisation and autonomous driving, including planning, construction, O&M, and optimisation, AI energy efficiency optimisation and real-time parameter adjustment; AI O&M, 24/7 non-stop inspection, and predictive maintenance; AI operation, online simulation, and automatic service design.
Trend 10: Secure and reliable
As data centre infrastructures become more intelligent, network security threats are multiplied. The data centre must implement system-level, component-level, and device-level predictive maintenance. The data centre must-have six features: hardware reliability, software security, system resilience, security, privacy, and always online availability. Hierarchical defence ensures data centre security and trustworthiness.
Huawei data centre energy products and technologies have made breakthroughs in products and technologies. In addition, Huawei co-operates with industry customers, partners and third-party organisations to build an open, co-operative, win-win industry ecosystem.
Looking forward, Huawei will continuously implement the concept of green and sustainable development, helping achieve the goal of carbon neutrality.
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