Alibaba opens black technology to the whole society: servers “in the water”


In order to make the data center greener, Alibaba engineering once “soaked the server in the water” for cooling, saving energy by more than 70%. Today, the mystery of this black technology has been unveiled.

On January 6, 2020, Alibaba announced that it would open the “technical specifications of immersion liquid cooling data center” to the whole society. This standard aims to provide design basis for the construction of the next generation green base data center with a set of standard processes, and reduce the energy consumption level of the whole society through the popularization of liquid cooling technology. It is preliminarily estimated that if the data centers all over the country adopt liquid cooling technology, hundreds of billions of kilowatt hours of electricity can be saved in a year.

Alibaba opens black technology to the whole society: servers

From 2009 to 2019, it is a decade of great changes in cloud computing industry and it pattern. Cloud has surpassed traditional it and become the center of it innovation, the center of science and technology industry and the core of enterprise digitalization. Internet companies represented by Alibaba are leading the independent R & D and technological innovation of IT infrastructure by virtue of their insight and solid technology. In addition to liquid cooling technology, Alibaba infrastructure business unit has independently developed innovative products such as 400g optical modules, storage components, intelligent power supply technology, etc., pursuing the ultimate improvement of computing power.

In 2016, Alibaba launched the world’s first immersion liquid cooled server, immersing the server in a special insulating coolant. The heat generated by the calculation can be directly absorbed into the external circulation cooling, and the energy consumption for the whole heat dissipation is almost zero. This kind of heat conduction efficiency is 100 times higher than the traditional air cooling, and the energy saving effect is more than 70%.

Alibaba opens black technology to the whole society: servers

Compared with the traditional it, behind the liquid cooling data center is a huge innovation and revolutionary change. The change of hardware and system requires a lot of human and material resources. At present, this field is almost blank, and there is no standard for reference. Alibaba’s open-source set of specifications covers all aspects of the design, construction, deployment, operation and maintenance of the data center. Through the integrated design and reasonable planning, the deployment cost is reduced, the stability is improved, and the data center is led to an efficient, clean and intensive green development path.

Alibaba opens black technology to the whole society: servers

Different from traditional OEM equipment manufacturers, Alibaba has integrated various fields of thinking into its technological innovation system. Taking the self-developed network switch as an example, Ali has self-developed a large-scale, scalable and simplified network architecture of Internet data center. Through the construction of network second level management, management and control system, and many years of operation and maintenance management modeling experience, it finally presents a network switch and network operating system with excellent performance.

“What traditional it lacks is not innovation, but craftsman level innovation,” said Gao Shanyuan, general manager of Alibaba’s infrastructure business unit. Over the past decade, Alibaba people have polished technology as a handicraft. Alibaba has the conditions, resources and responsibilities to become the responsibility of it innovation and share the technology dividend with the society.

Author: Alibaba cloud headlines

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