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digital , but how you go digital . At Huawei , our role is to help enterprise customers innovate models , improve quality efficiency , enhance experience , strengthen resilience , to help our customers make progress on this digital journey .
Can you highlight any recent data centre projects that have taken place in this region and the benefits that customers have realised ?
In the last three years , Huawei has signed up around 150 MW of data centres as an EPC contractor just in the Middle East region . We ’ ve constructed another 120 + MW of data centres for our own Huawei cloud business . So , there ’ s a lot of experience in terms of deploying and delivering these data centres . In terms of how our customers have benefitted , I go back to the challenges we talked about ; being able to get the data centre up and running in the shortest possible time is key to most of our customers . At Huawei , our pre-fabricated modular construction approach has benefitted customers in being able to complete the whole design and build of the data centre within 12 – 15 months , which is about half the time compared to the traditional approach . This improves Return on Investment ( RoI ) as well as the return on capital employed . So that ’ s something our customers are demanding .
Energy efficiency is key to our customers . They benefit from the improved PUE , which is offered from highly efficient power trains , including very highly efficient modular UPSs with 97 %+ efficiency , coupled with high efficiency cooling architectures .
The converged cooling solution from Huawei , based on customer ’ s feedback , is helping them to reduce 25 % of the O & M costs and footprint .
How does increased demand for sustainability impact your own innovation strategy ?
Our innovation strategy is all about leveraging power electronics and digital technologies to enable a sustainable growth of this digital economy . We believe that sustainability is key for power generation to use renewables . Power generation with solar will soon overtake pretty much any other renewable energy source because it ’ s convenient , easy to deploy , cost-effective and solar energy is in abundance . So , one of our key elements of our strategy is from a sustainability point of view : how do we help the industry leverage more renewables , especially in the form of solar ?
The second area that ’ s very important is energy storage . Most renewables are not able to provide energy consistently throughout the day and month . With Huawei ’ s grid scale lithium-ion batteries , we are on the way to becoming one of the largest players in utility grade energy storage systems . We believe this is going to help our clients to make solar and renewables more reliable and therefore consume more renewables , helping to reduce the carbon footprint .
What will the data centre of the future look like ?
Across almost all spectrums of our life and our work and play , we will be interacting with digital tools and digital platforms . And so , we will be both consuming a lot of data and producing a lot of data .
And all this data will have to move through networks and will have to be processed somewhere , analysed somewhere and so on . All of that is happening in data centres . So , one thing is very clear : data centres will be almost everywhere .
Most of the conversations to date have been happening on the larger data centres because they are big and worth talking about .
But we believe in the future , there will almost be an equal number of cloud or central data centres and of Edge data near Edge data centres . So , we ’ ll be looking at data centres in hundreds of thousands within the digital economy .
That will bring new challenges in terms of how we will power them and how we host them . We are going to look at data centres in many forms and shapes – and providing them with sustainable energy is going to be very interesting .
With carbon footprint targets and the aim of moving towards green hydrogen , we ’ ll see alternate fuel / energy moving into data centres , so that ’ s going to be the second area .
With better enhancement of materials and new technology , cooling could slowly move out of the data centre .
If data centres can operate at 35 – 40 degrees Centigrade , then there ’ ll be no special cooling requirements that would make the workload and data centre efficiency from an energy point of view , much better . We also believe with AI and Machine Learning , there ’ ll be a lot of automation in the data centre and the future of the data centre will truly be a network of autonomously-working ‘ lightsout ’ data centres . ◊ www . intelligentdatacentres . com