China Accelerates East-West IT Resource Transfer Project | Kathmandu Grandstand

By Wang Junling

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), among other government bodies, recently approved the start of construction of eight national data centers and plans to build 10 national data center clusters. The eight national computer centers will be built in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (north China), Guizhou (southwest China). province, Gansu Province (northwest China) and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

This decision signals that the country has officially started to implement its plan to transfer computer resources from east to west for a better development of the digital economy.

The mega project aims, by forming a new type of computing power network, to send data collected in the more prosperous eastern regions of China to the less developed but resource-rich western regions for storage, computing and feedback, and to establish national computer centres. in western China, which can help the country improve its imbalance in digital infrastructure layout and maximize the value of the data production factor, an industry insider pointed out.

China will strive to accelerate the implementation of its East-West IT resource transfer project during the period of the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), when the country’s digital economy will enter into a new phase of development with further application, normalized development and inclusive sharing, said a plan to facilitate the development of the digital economy during the period of the 14th five-year plan rolled out by the State Council Chinese not so long ago.

In recent years, as the digital transformation and upgrading of various industries is accelerating, the country has witnessed an explosive growth in the total amount of data generated in the society, which has led to a substantial increase in the demand for storage, calculation, data transmission. , and enforcement, said NDRC spokesperson Jin Xiandong.

The IT resource transfer project, while solving the problems faced by eastern regions of China, such as insufficient power consumption quota, high electricity costs and limited space for the development of large-scale data centers, can make the most of the rich renewable energy resources and wastelands available. in the west of the country, said Liu Miao, general manager of Lenovo Enterprise Technology Group’s service solutions business.

The project can also engage the western vast regions in the wave of digital economy driven by intelligentization, and help them better release their laggard advantage and achieve rapid development, Liu said.

A number of companies have already deployed data centers in western regions, due to the advantage of lowering costs, saving energy and reducing carbon emissions.

In August 2020, a super data center established by Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, in Ulanqab city, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, officially started providing computing services in cloud. The data center primarily uses electricity generated from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power.

Since the annual average temperature in the city of Ulanqab is only 4.3 degrees Celsius, the data center can take advantage of the natural environment to cool its equipment for nearly 10 months a year.

Well-known Chinese technology company Huawei has also made deployments in Ulanqab, one of China’s important regions in terms of renewable energy development.

“The data center consumes a lot of electricity. With a suitable climate and abundant and cheap energy sources, western regions of China can meet the needs of data centers for green and high-quality development,” said an executive from Huawei Cloud, a provider of cloud services affiliated with Huawei.

Huawei Cloud now has two large cloud data centers, one in Gui’an New Area, Guizhou, and the other in Ulanqab, according to the executive.

Based on the natural environment of the locality, the company’s data center in the new area of ​​Gui’an adopted an air handling unit (AHU), a liquid cooling system, as well as other devices and technologies to maintain balance in server load, thereby improving the efficiency of resource utilization, the executive said.

When operating at full capacity, the data center’s power utilization efficiency (PUE) can be as high as 1.12, according to the executive. It is estimated that the data center can save 1.01 billion kWh of electricity and reduce carbon emissions by 810,000 tonnes per year, the executive added.

The rapid development of China’s digital economy in recent years has helped the country accumulate many valuable data resources. However, the country still has a long way to go before becoming one of the world leaders in the development of IT facilities.

The computing power of the country is currently not able to satisfy the huge computing demand generated by the drastic increase in the amount of data.

An important reason is the imbalance between supply and demand for data centers that provide computing power, said Wang Qing, deputy chief engineer at the Academy’s Industry and Planning Research Institute. China Information and Communications Technology (CAICT).

“In the context of the project to transfer computing resources from east to west, many companies in the digital economy engaged in services such as data storage and offline data analysis can purchase cloud services from of data centers in western regions to realize the remote allocation of computing and storage resources, so as to effectively reduce operating costs and gain additional profits,” Wang said.

At the same time, the upstream and downstream industrial chain of the IT industry attracted to western regions by data centers is of great importance for the economic transformation and upgrading of these regions, Wang added.

Sherry J. Basler