Inspur Information | August 16, 2022
On August 10th, OCP China Day 2022 was held in Beijing, hosted by the Open Compute Project Foundation (OCP) and organized by Inspur Information, a leading IT infrastructure solutions provider. Using an innovative approach of global collaboration, and addressing major issues of data center infrastructure sustainability, open compute is becoming an innovation anchor for data centers. OCP China Day is Asia's largest annual technology summit, offering the widest open computing coverage. It is celebrating its 4th anniversary, with nearly 1,000 IT engineers and data center practitioners in attendance.
Themed "Open Forward: Green, Convergence, Empowering", this year's summit brings together an array of experts and professionals from more than 30 world-renowned companies, universities and research institutions including the OCP Foundation, Inspur Information, Intel, Meta, Samsung, Western Digital, Enflame, NVIDIA, Microsoft, Alibaba Cloud, Baidu, Tencent Cloud, Tsinghua University, etc. to discuss topics such as data center infrastructure innovation, sustainable development and industrial ecosystem.
Driving data center sustainability with green technology
"The confidence that our fellow members and external companies have in OCP is at the root of the community's growing influence," said Steve Helvie, OCP's Vice President of Channels. "Open source hardware designed and validated by a wide range of experts breeds confidence for the companies that purchase and deploy these devices; and efficient hardware designs within the community that can reduce carbon emissions are helping to build confidence for data center sustainability. In the future, the community's research projects in thermal reuse, cooling environments, and other areas will inspire even greater confidence in data center infrastructure innovation."
As data centers become more visible as a new type of infrastructure, there is a growing concern over data center sustainability, such as utilizing renewable energy, recycling, thermal reuse, and the use of liquid-cooling technologies to reduce water consumption. The resulting greener carbon footprint, is one of OCP's top research priorities.
The newly established Cooling Environments Project has become OCP's largest cross-industry collaboration to date, with representatives from multiple companies and industries putting the spotlight on innovations in data center liquid-cooling technologies. The project integrates five sub-projects including Advanced Cooling Solutions (ACS) and Advanced Cooling Facilities (ACF). Examples include the ACS Cold Plate Sub-Project, ACS Door Heat Exchanger Sub-Project, ACS Immersion Sub-Project, Waste Heat Reuse Sub-Project, etc. The goal is to standardize the aforementioned sub-projects and physical interfaces through cross-project coordination between different cooling methods in data centers in order to accelerate data center innovation.
According to William Chen, Server Department Product Planning Director, Inspur Information, the rapidly growing scale of data centers is putting new pressure on global sustainability. Consequently, data centers must adopt and promote new technologies to reduce environmental impact as sustainability has become absolutely essential. A variety of solutions, whether liquid-cooling innovations, improved data center layouts, and clean energy usage, will help reduce energy consumption and overall environmental impact.
In addition to taking an active part in OCP's Cooling Environments Project, many community members have also contributed to data center sustainability. For example, Inspur Information has put forward the company-level strategy of "All in Liquid Cooling" and built the largest liquid-cooled data center production and R&D base in Asia. Its four-product series includes general purpose servers, high density servers, rack servers and AI servers, all of which support cold plate cooling.
Accelerating data center innovation with global collaboration
The Open Compute Project, has created a new global collaboration model that eliminates technical barriers and makes hardware innovation faster than ever before.
Hou Zhenyu, Corporate Vice President, Baidu ABC Cloud Business Group, points out that as data centers move toward centralization and scale, IT infrastructure is encountering bigger challenges in terms of performance, power consumption, and deployment. Open compute is committed to transforming the design standards of data center equipment from closed source to open source, accelerating the implementation of new technologies and facilitating the construction and efficient development of green data centers through the sharing in IT infrastructure including products, specifications and intellectual property.
With over 10 years of development, OCP's innovations now cover all aspects of data centers design, development and management. This includes heterogeneous computing, edge computing and other forward-looking technologies. The newly launched Open Rack 3.0 specification delivers more improvements in terms of space usage, load bearing, power supply, and liquid-cooling support. The design of ORv3 connectors enables blind insertion, and servers, when added to a rack, can be directly inserted into the liquid-cooling manifold. In the field of high-speed network communications, the OCP Mezz (NIC) specification has become the industry standard for I/O options, and SONIC/SAI has been deployed commercially in large volumes in Internet, communications and other industries. The OAM specification for Domain-Specific Architecture Design (DSA), which supports standardized access to multiple AI chips can meet the explosive growth in demand for AI accelerators worldwide, while the BoW specification for Chiplet interconnect allows chip manufacturers to mix and match chips using different manufacturing technologies to enable high-performance chip design across a variety of process steps. The DC-SCM standard (Data Center Security Control Management Module) defines a security control management module that is decoupled from the motherboard, enabling decoupling of the computing and security management units, allowing further simplification of motherboard design.
Dr. Weifeng Zhang, Chief Scientist of Heterogeneous Computing at Alibaba Cloud, noted that in recent years, there has been a clear trend toward decoupling computing system architectures to offset the slowing of Moore's Law. With ongoing advances in chip and interconnectivity technologies, interoperability between computing devices has become key to the sustainable development of future computing.
Open hardware, open software, and hardware-software layered decoupling have emerged as prominent trends in data center development. This has also prompted vendors to shift from a closed proprietary mentality to one which emphasizes open source and collaboration. This openness gives more companies the opportunity to contribute to data center infrastructure innovation and inspire more innovative ideas through global collaboration.
Traditional industries embrace open compute for ecological empowerment
Open compute promotes standardization and ecosystem building by forming a consensus via open collaboration and enabling the delivery of infrastructure in line with open source specifications. This facilitates the rapid application of more innovative technologies. This industrial ecosystem allows hyper-scale data centers to apply open compute technologies on a large scale, and also encourages industry users and even SMEs to start deploying cutting-edge solutions based on open compute.
Open compute has been accelerating to expand from the Internet to other industries, such as telecommunications, finance, gaming, healthcare, auto manufacturing, etc. Omdia predicts that the market share of non-Internet industries in open compute will grow from 10.5% in 2020 to 21.9% in 2025.
The unique technical edge, subtle design thinking, and ecosystem collaboration of open compute are breaking boundaries in data center innovation and enabling the convergence of more technologies. In the future, global collaboration and co-innovation revolving around open compute will drive further data center advancement while addressing worldwide issues such as carbon emissions.
About Inspur Information
Inspur Information is a leading provider of data center infrastructure, cloud computing, and AI solutions. It is the world’s 2nd largest server manufacturer. Through engineering and innovation, Inspur Information delivers cutting-edge computing hardware design and extensive product offerings to address important technology sectors such as open computing, cloud data center, AI, and deep learning. Performance-optimized and purpose-built, our world-class solutions empower customers to tackle specific workloads and real-world challenges.
HYPER-CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE,APPLICATION INFRASTRUCTURE
Service Express | September 13, 2022
Service Express, a leader in global data center and infrastructure solutions, today announced the acquisition of third-party maintenance (TPM) provider Sherlock Services based in Ohio. The acquisition complements Service Express' current third-party maintenance offerings and brings expanded data center solutions to existing Sherlock Services customers.
Founded in 1991, Sherlock Services provides multivendor data center maintenance and hardware solutions for server, storage and network systems. In addition to over 30 years of industry experience, the company brings a talented team of US-based Level 2 and Level 3 Engineers to Service Express.
"We've offered similar solutions and worked alongside Service Express for many years and have been impressed with the level of service the company provides," said Ron Pollard, Co-Owner and President of Sherlock Services. "We look forward to offering our customers a widened portfolio of services and end-to-end data center support."
The acquisition of Sherlock Services strengthens Service Express' technical team, brings additional OEM expertise and builds upon the company's comprehensive third-party maintenance offerings.
"Our primary goal throughout the acquisition is to ensure our people have the resources they need to develop skills and explore potential career opportunities. "We anticipate a seamless transition and look forward to what's next with Service Express."
Greg Brumbaugh, Co-Owner & VP Operations of Sherlock Services
Data center solutions delivered by Service Express offer Sherlock Services customers new options for their day-to-day needs beyond third-party support, including Hybrid Cloud and Managed Infrastructure solutions. Service Express continues to expand its offerings to provide customers with one source for end-to-end data center and infrastructure needs.
"Sherlock Services has great reputation, and they serve their customers and employees well – making them a great fit for Service Express," said Ron Alvesteffer, President and CEO of Service Express. "We're thrilled to welcome Sherlock Services' skilled team to Service Express and offer the company's existing customers more depth and expertise for their data center!"
About Service Express
Service Express is an industry-leading data center solutions provider specializing in global multivendor maintenance, hybrid cloud, managed infrastructure services, hardware solutions and more. Companies around the globe trust Service Express to deliver reliable end-to-end support. Service Express' flagship technology, ExpressConnect®, helps IT teams automate support with monitoring, ticketing, integrations and account management. For more information, visit serviceexpress.com.
About Sherlock Services
Sherlock Services is a data center solutions provider specializing in multivendor third-party maintenance (TPM) and hardware for server, storage and network systems. Since 1991, Sherlock Services has delivered data center support for its global customers. The company resolves hardware failures quickly and cost-effectively with local technicians and onsite parts.
APPLICATION INFRASTRUCTURE,IT SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT
Equinix | September 21, 2022
Continuing its efforts to advance the sustainability of digital infrastructure and reach its climate neutral targets, aligned to science-based targets, by 2030, Equinix, Inc. today announced a partnership with the Centre for Energy Research & Technology (CERT) under the National University of Singapore's (NUS) College of Design and Engineering to explore technologies that enable the use of hydrogen as a green fuel source for mission-critical data center infrastructure.
Together, Equinix and CERT will launch the world's first research project to compare the efficiency of proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells and fuel-flexible linear generator technologies. PEM fuel cells are a leading contender for hydrogen energy, while fuel-flexible linear generators enable operators to easily switch between various clean fuel options including hydrogen, biogas and various renewable liquid fuels. Adoption of these technologies may allow data centers to reduce carbon emissions while meeting the rising demand for data, colocation and interconnection services.
The research collaboration between Equinix and CERT will involve a holistic assessment of the suitability of these technologies for tropical data centers, considering local climatic conditions, site constraints, power demand, supply chain, fuel storage capabilities as well as local regulatory policies.
This research initiative comes under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed earlier this year between the two partners. Under the MOU, CERT will conduct a comprehensive analysis of technologies identified in collaboration with Equinix, to determine the operational viability of the technologies at scale. Based on the results of the research, Equinix expects to develop proof-of-concept projects within its global network of data centers for real-world testing and to support incorporation into future data center designs. By driving innovation in Singapore, the Equinix and CERT partnership aims to accelerate disruptive technologies that can reduce the carbon footprint of global data centers, particularly in tropical locations.
This partnership forms part of Equinix's Future First strategy that underscores the company's commitment to greening the digital economy. Green hydrogen has been identified as a viable source of sustainable energy for data centers. However, hydrogen generation on an industrial scale remains several years away from being commercially viable, making it imperative to assess and adopt alternatives even as global research and development continues.
"Data centers serve as the conduit powering the digital economy, and greening their operations can drive the rise of sustainable business throughout the broader economic landscape. Working with like-minded partners like the Centre for Energy Research & Technology at NUS empowers us with the combined experience and expertise to advance the growth of digital economies in line with environmental obligations, benefiting the data center industry, global economies, and the planet."
Yee May Leong, Managing Director, South Asia, Equinix
Associate Professor Lee Poh Seng, Director, Centre for Energy Research and Technology, NUS College of Design and Engineering
"Sustainability is a key pillar of the global economy. To complement the efforts made by the public sector, timely progress also requires collaboration with stakeholders in the private sector and academia. We are keen to work with industry partners like Equinix, which is known for its sustainability efforts and provides us access to a global network of data centers that can serve as a testbed for a more accurate assessment of operational viability. Through this partnership, we look forward to playing a driving role for green data center innovations that can be applied in Singapore and globally."
Reaffirming Equinix's commitment to creating a more sustainable future for the environment, the company has been recognized with a host of sustainability awards across the Asia-Pacific region. In 2022, Equinix was named Asia's Green Company of the Year at the Asia Corporate Excellence & Sustainability Awards, the Singapore Data Centre Services Company of the Year by Frost & Sullivan, and received the Green Innovation Award under the MNC Category at the 2022 Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards.
Highlights / Key Facts:
Under this partnership, Equinix and NUS CERT will be conducting a comprehensive analysis to compare two clean on-site power generation technologies for data centers of the future. These technologies include:
PEM fuel cells are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to generate power with hydrogen and oxygen. Some designs can also run the process in reverse to produce pure hydrogen for future use with just water and electricity.
Fuel-flexible linear generators offer the ability to switch between fuels like hydrogen, biogas and various renewable liquid fuels, enabling the installation of infrastructure that can be easily adapted to evolving market developments, empowering organizations with enhanced agility.
Equinix was the first in the data center industry to commit to becoming climate neutral, aligned to approved science-based targets, for emissions reduction across global operations and supply chain by 2030. In addition, Equinix continues to evaluate for on-site solar opportunities, onsite generation from fuel cells, and any other distributed low-carbon technology that fits with its overall strategy.
Equinix's renewable energy coverage has been over 90% since 2018. In 2021, the company achieved 95% renewable energy coverage. Year-over-year, Equinix has increased our procurement of renewables by 16% on a GWh-basis.
Earlier this year, Equinix announced the opening of its first Co-Innovation Facility (CIF), located in its DC15 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center at the Equinix Ashburn Campus in the Washington, D.C. area. The CIF is a component of its Data Center of the Future Initiative and is a new capability that enables innovative partners to work with Equinix on trialing and developing methodologies that may be used to help define the future of digital infrastructure and services.
Equinix is the world's digital infrastructure company. Digital leaders harness Equinix's trusted platform to bring together and interconnect foundational infrastructure at software speed. Equinix enables organizations to access all the right places, partners and possibilities to scale with agility, speed the launch of digital services, deliver world-class experiences and multiply their value, while supporting their sustainability goals.