The amount of data the world produces, distributes and consumes is ever increasing. But it’s easy to forget that the relentless increase in data processing and distribution can also lead to a relentless increase in power consumption.
Data centres are the engine of this growth that allows us to be entertained, educated and informed including, ironically, on issues of climate change, which is fuelled by increased electricity consumption.
Research by the International Energy Agency shows that data centres accounted for 200TWh to 250TWh, or 1% of world electricity demand in 2020, while data transmission networks – mobile and fixed lined – accounted for 1.1% to 1.4% of worldwide electricity use, which has been constant over the last 10 years.
But can technology providers maintain this level of efficiency? And can technology vendors support ever demanding workloads, while simultaneously making data centres and networks more efficient, and reducing energy consumption? At MWC in Barcelona earlier this year, Huawei explained how it is enabling providers and operators to do this.
Advances in data storage, including the use of all-flash storage systems that require far less power and cooling than traditional mechanically based hard disks, means systems are more reliable and efficient.
Less power, in a flash
And when it comes to the AI-driven workloads that are imposing an increasing strain on data centres, Huawei’s all-flash OceanStor Dorado can improve efficiency by 60%.
But data centres are just one component of the cloud, and the overall digitalisation equation.
Huawei also used MWC to highlight other energy and efficient processing technologies, including its CloudFabric 3.0 strategy, and its CloudWAN 3.0 technology, based on its NetEngine 8000 F8 routers that feature two patented technologies helping to deliver a 30% reduction in power consumption.
The Cloud Campus 3.0 solution enables further efficiency, with its “concise structure” reducing the classic three-layer model of access, aggregation and core to just two: access and core.
Rectifying the power dilemma
The architecture also features power over Ethernet technology, allowing power to be delivered to terminals over data lines. With each port requiring less than 1W of power, overall energy consumption is reduced by 30%.
Huawei’s Fibre To The Office (FTTO) and Fibre To The Machine (FTTM) solutions enable a new generation of industry 4.0 applications, such as smart factories, while again, working hard to increase efficiency.
For example, Huawei recently showed how a smart healthcare network project at the Union Shenzhen Hospital delivered 10Gbit/s coverage, and reduced the number of O&M nodes by 60%, while a thousand CT images can be uploaded and downloaded within one second.
In the oil extraction sector, Huawei illustrated how the use of FTTM reduces network maintenance costs by up to 70%, while allowing unattended operations across a field of over 60 000 oil wells, all over a single network.
The architecture is similarly applicable to other heavyweight applications such as port management, power infrastructure and metro transit.
Think of Huawei’s vision of the Intelligent Cloud Network as the “power grid” of the digital world, supplying digital technologies efficiently, 24/7, while simultaneously reducing the load on the actual power grid.
These are just some of the examples Huawei demonstrated at this year’s MWC, where the company also showcased how it supports customers in the public and private sectors in implementing innovative solutions and practices. In every scenario, Huawei focuses on reducing carbon emissions, which means that whatever customer problem the company is helping to solve, it also helps solve the biggest problem facing us all.
To get more details on how Huawei is changing the data centre, and the industries that rely on it, check out Huawei Enterprise at Huawei Connect 2022.
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