Listen to the Voice across Time and Space
In a seemingly ordinary exhibition hall of the BMW Museum, visitors are surrounded by design walls displaying the work photos and design experience of car designers and engineers. The people and vehicle models shown may come from different centuries but their work philosophies have a lot in common, and provide us insights into the source of 100 years driving pleasure.
HPC Facilitates Vehicle Driving
In recent years, IT systems are gradually upgrading from support systems to production systems. IT departments will assume more responsibilities. They need to gain deep insights into business requirements and advanced concepts to create more value for businesses. In the automobile development field, engineers are shortening the R&D cycle, speeding up the launch of new vehicles, and enriching vehicle models through global R&D, more CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) simulations, and higher simulation precision.
Behind the leading automobile technologies is the CAE software that simulates and tests fluid mechanics, collision, and power assembly, and High-Performance Computing (HPC) clusters that run day and night. In this way, engineers can obtain simulation results more quickly, ensure high-quality vehicles, and make things possible. This poses multiple challenges for HPC.
The first challenge is energy consumption. The deployment of hundreds of servers on a large scale increases electricity costs, and power consumption cost accounts for a large proportion of the operations cost. Therefore, low power consumption of the server platform and makes energy saving is one of the key requirement. The second challenge is stability. Outages can result in performance deterioration or service interruption, causing direct and potential revenue loss. Therefore, server stability is of paramount importance. The platform must ensure service continuity and reliability, minimize faults that occur on large-scale servers, and ensure timely troubleshooting. Another challenge that cannot be ignored is deployment speed. The rapid expansion of automobile development services increases demands for servers every year. To meet service rollout requirements, but also imposes great challenges to type selection, testing, O&M management, procurement forecasts, production, and delivery.
Salute to Huawei’s First Collaboration with the BMW Group
The BMW Group’s IT Department required for HPC vendors for product selection. Huawei entered the final list. The BMW Group required all vendors to prove their competencies. With this particular project, besides satisfying product features, HPC suppliers must also be capable of international delivery, continuous product investments and innovation, strong technical support, and quick response to problems.
As a company that operates in more than 170 countries and regions, Huawei invests more than 10 percent of its annual sales revenue in R&D, and builds ICT solutions by innovating products, system architectures, and business models. Huawei joins together with partners to address customers’ challenges in digital transformation, help customers solve problems, and achieve business success.
Huawei was awarded the lot to supply HPC infrastructure for the new DC location in Sweden.
Although this project deployed only standard servers, Huawei products offer other additional highlights. Like car tests, Huawei performed thousands of tests (including brute force insertion and removal tests and EMC tests) on each server for hundreds of hours to ensure high product quality and reliability. With efficiency design, Huawei’s rack servers provide flexible and large-capacity local storage expansion capabilities, energy saving features and, at the same time, ensured excellent computing performance. Furthermore, Huawei servers were designed using comprehensive energy-saving technologies, such as vector airflow management technology, double-faced cellular board technology, Dynamic Energy Management Technology (DEMT), and dynamic power capping technology, greatly reducing power consumption.
Pitea — a small Swedish town near the Arctic Circle, a place 800 kilometers away from Stockholm, offers stable and abundant power resources, and 100 percent of the energy is renewable (hydropower and wind power). Extremely low carbon dioxide emissions met the industry sustainability targets. Pitea’s proximity to the Arctic Circle provides a natural cooling environment for the data center. In addition, almost ubiquitous optical fibers in Sweden provided the basis for high-speed data transmission. Pitea also had high physical security. Natural disasters such as earthquakes seldom occurred in Sweden, and no war had occurred in more than 200 years. In addition, several US Internet giants had set up data centers in northern Sweden, making the region a new highland for strategic data center investments.
Fortlax, a local vendor, to provide the secure data centers and deliver data center hosting services. Fortlax built a new equipment room specifically for HPC cluster. The site was unique — a former top secure cash handling facility.
Successful Server Delivery of the BMW Group’s HPC Cluster in Sweden
The project delivery started from 2016. Huawei utilized the most professional teams and high-quality resources in Germany and Sweden, and invited the most suitable channel partner Consalco to support the entire project. Huawei also signed a service agreement with Fortlax so that Fortlax IT engineers could seek technical support and exchange the spare parts from Huawei’s Global Service Center anytime, providing professional and timely maintenance services for the BMW Group’s HPC cluster.
During the delivery, Huawei’s project team focused on the customer and considered issues from the customer’s perspective. The team fully communicated with each other, with the BMW Group and partners (Consalco and Fortlax) and made full preparations in advance. The initial configuration, cabinet dimensions, cables, equipment room space, floor, and other details were taken into consideration to minimize risks. Huawei R&D personnel effectively resolved batch faults, which greatly reduced fault rates. In addition, to support fast HPC deployment in Sweden and reduce transportation costs and time, Consalco purchased local racks and completed system pre-installation and integrated packaging locally. The cabinets were shipped and transported as integrated racks. On-site deployment personnel only needed to install servers. Services could go online as soon as the power was supplied and network cables were connected.
Ultimately, Huawei collaborated with its partners to deliver the first BMW Group-Huawei project for ICT infrastructure, marking the successful delivery of the BMW Group’s first HPC server cluster in Sweden. After going online, the system has been running stably. Huawei has demonstrated its strength through successful first project delivery.
Digital Transformation Is Vital for Next 100 Years
Over the past, designers and engineers have adhered to the unique idea of creating vehicles. In the next 100 years, urbanization, personalization, and digital transformation trends will shift the urban mobility industry.
Urban mobility is indeed an important part of an intelligent world. As a global leading ICT solutions provider, Huawei is committed to bringing digital to every person, home, and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world. To achieve this, the company offers a large number of innovative ICT technologies and a mutually beneficial ecosystem. Huawei is looking forward to further collaborating with automobile industry in more areas such as cloud computing, the IoV, and unmanned driving as the best partner for digital transformation. We hope Huawei products and solutions will bring more value to our customers by the digital transformation and open the new chapter of personal mobility.