XI'AN, China, Jan. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Xi'an, located in Northwest China, is one of the most historical
cities in the world, serving as the capital for much of ancient
China. It's no wonder, then, that
hundreds of millions of tourists visit Xi'an every year to explore sites such as the
Terracotta Warriors, the Daming Palace, and the Drum and
Bell Tower of Xi'an. The city truly boasts a seamless blend
of culture, nature, and modern development.
In today's digital age, however, these droves of visitors bring
massive torrents of data. From a global perspective, according to
third-party database company Statista, 2021 saw a 79 Zettabyte (ZB)
increase in data volume, the equivalent of approximately 79 billion
Terabytes (TB). Such dramatic increases in data volumes put heavy
strains on operators, and those in Xi'an are no exception to this trend.
As one of the world's largest telecommunications carriers, China
Mobile has helped revolutionize connectivity around the world,
enabling more than 2 billion connections between users. Needing a
new data hub for the Northwest
China region, the carrier set an ambitious goal to build its
new Xixian Data Center of China Mobile (Shaanxi) in the ancient capital, Xi'an. And as the speed of data center
construction and expansion directly affects the digital experience,
the carrier was not going to let its users down. Indeed, in
June 2021, the engineers at the
Xixian Data Center achieved their construction goal: deliver a
green data center with 938 cabinets in just six months.
A data center is complex and sophisticated physical
infrastructure that involves many subsystems and thousands of
devices. Typically, a data center building with 1000 cabinets would
take eight months to construct, and 10 months would be required for
equipment installation, commissioning, and acceptance. The
construction would also generate dust and debris, not ideal as
Xi'an aims to become cleaner and
greener. What's more, such a large-scale data center would consume
60 million kWh of electricity and 60 million tonnes of water every
year, which indirectly contributing to nearly 30,000 tonnes of
carbon emissions per year.
Facing such challenges, the China Mobile (Shaanxi) engineers felt confident that they
could achieve a quick service rollout while prioritizing green and
low-carbon results. In collaboration with long-term partner Huawei,
they decided on a solution that involved combining a prefabricated
modular data center with indirect evaporative cooling
The data center was divided into 232 modules with the equipment
all prefabricated and preinstalled in the factory. Then, after
completing onsite preparation, LEGO-like construction was
performed. This allowed engineers to complete the entire service
rollout in just six months, with construction waste and dust
slashed by 80%, and a material recovery rate exceeding 80%.
Traditional data center cooling systems are also extremely
resource-hungry, accounting for more than 30% of total power
consumption and using up all of the water resources available to
the data center. Huawei's indirect evaporative cooling technology,
however, capitalizes on Xi'an's
climate, drawing air from the surroundings to cool the facilities.
Powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, the air
compressor is only needed for two months of the year, with the
facility relying on natural cooling for the other 10 months,
reducing the cooling system's energy consumption by more than 50%.
As such, over a 10-year cycle, nearly 60 million kWh of electricity
is saved, alongside 400,000 tonnes of water, which translates into
slashing carbon emissions by 27,000 tonnes, the equivalent of
planting 37,000 trees.
Such impressive feats were only made possible thanks to China
Mobile (Shaanxi)'s engineering
team, as well as Huawei's innovative Information and Communications
Technology (ICT) infrastructure. And by taking full advantage of
the natural climate from the ancient city, the rapid service
rollout of just six months was achieved, all while prioritizing
environmental protection, serving as a new benchmark for low-carbon
data center development.