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Huawei's iCooling@AI solution improves power usage effectiveness (PUE) in data center, cutting energy use by 8 to 15 percent – a significant saving that can help create a greener and smarter future.

The heart of data

There are nearly 4.4 billion Internet users worldwide connecting to the Internet on different devices to access a variety of smart services, from online shopping to online dating. Every one of these services is built upon data centers. The rapid development of emerging technologies, such as 5G, IoT, and cloud computing, has led to demand for massive amounts of data, in turn creating a thriving data center industry for processing, storing, and managing this data.

However, data centers consume about 200 TWh of electricity each year, accounting for about 1 percent of the global total of energy expenditure. According to Recalibrating Global Data Center Energy-use Estimates, global data center computing instances were up by 550 percent in 2018 over 2010, but power consumption had increased by only 6 percent. Therefore, average energy consumption per computing instance has actually decreased year on year since 2010.

This uptick in energy efficiency is the result of concerted efforts by governments and enterprises around the world. As a key stakeholder, the ICT industry is doing its best to save energy and reduce emissions. As the world's leading provider of ICT infrastructure and smart devices, Huawei is committed to using innovative technologies that can help industries save energy and reduce emissions in a bid to stop global warming.

Hungry for data

The demand for massive amounts of data enabled by 5G poses greater challenges to data centers than ever before, making environmental protection and energy conservation more effective throughout the design, construction, and O&M processes.

IT equipment and services and infrastructure are the most power-hungry areas of the ICT ecosystem. For infrastructure, refrigeration systems consume the most power, and so reducing the energy consumption of refrigeration systems represents a first crucial step. As data center loads and their environments constantly change, cooling systems need smart brains that are capable of smart adjustments and on-demand cooling to save on unnecessarily consumed energy. Many leading operators have responded to the call for global environmental protection. China Unicom's Henan branch (China Unicom Henan) introduced Huawei's iCooling@AI solution which integrates big data and AI, enabling data centers to learn to save power and automatically optimize their power efficiency, improving data centers' PUE by 8 to 15 percent.

Central Plains Data Center

Located in Henan’s Zhengzhou, the Central Plains Data Center is one of China Unicom's 12 planned, ultra-large, national data centers. It’s also the only core data center in central China to be built to the T3+/T4 standard. At the start of this strategic partnership project between China Unicom and the Henan provincial government, China Unicom Henan put forward rigid energy consumption requirements for the data center. Its priority was to achieve reliability and a PUE that would be first-class both in China and globally.

In the days before the iCooling@AI solution was adopted for optimizing power efficiency, data center cooling systems were mainly configured manually. This made it difficult to achieve satisfactory results, as the load and environment were constantly changing.

In contrast, iCooling@AI can efficiently and accurately collect all data relating to a data center's power efficiency. It then uses the deep neural network for modeling and accurately compares the created models with the data center's operating status, which is optimized every hour. As a data center's load increases, the cooling mode changes and the AI becomes more capable of learning. This leads to constant improvements in power saving that significantly reduce power consumption and waste.

With the adoption of the iCooling@AI solution, components of a data center cooling system will collaborate intelligently and operate efficiently, optimizing the entire system's power efficiency. iCooling@AI acts like a data center's guardian, helping it save energy and reduce emissions, while ensuring we have greener smart living.

Innovation for green growth

In a world where all things are connected, a sustainable future is only possible when both environmental protection and growth are prioritized. Huawei will continue optimizing the iCooling@AI solution to help build more energy-efficient data centers as part of a greener intelligent world that truly achieves tech for a better planet.

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