Aliyun (also known as AliCloud), Alibaba Group’s (NYSE:BABA) cloud hosting arm, has announced the launch of an eco-friendly AliCloud Data Center near the scenic Qiandao Lake in Chun’an County, Zhejiang Province, China. The new data center, Aliyun’s eighth globally, is focused on fulfilling the growing cloud hosting and big data business needs of Alibaba Group.
This data center is the first one for Aliyun to introduce on-demand cooling technology. The control logic of the data center is developed by Alibaba’s infrastructure service team. It features real-time monitoring of server power consumption and operating temperatures, to adapt actual cooling capacity to maximize energy savings. The AliCloud Qiandao Lake Data Center is designed to achieve an average annual Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) ratio below 1.3, as well as Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE) ration below 0.2.
The AliCloud Qiandao Lake Data Center has a unique mechanical cooling system, designed with use of water from Qiandao Lake. Alibaba’s infrastructure team has determined that with proper use of the lake water, almost year round free cooling can be achieved under the optimal water temperature. The lake water enables free cooling in this data center for more than 90% of the time without mechanical cooling such as the use of chillers. This creative practice would cut energy costs for the AliCloud Qiandao Lake Data Center by 80% compared to mechanical cooling.
At the AliCloud Qiandao Lake Data Center, physical filtered lake water is pumped into each level of the data center. Then the return chilled water runs through the 2.5km central canal across Qingxi New Town. In the future, the heat from return chilled water will be recovered for heating the buildings nearby. Moreover, the AliCloud Qiandao Lake Data Center adopts green technology like solar energy, hydraulic power, and heat recovered from server operations for heating offices within the facility.
“At the AliCloud Qiandao Lake Data Center, every drop of water contributes to the future of cloud computing and big data,” said Jian Wang, Chief Technology Officer, Alibaba Group. “With its smart use of lake water for cooling and recycling, the AliCloud Qiandao Lake Data Center combines the best of natural resources with the comforts of modern city life and state-of-the-art technology in a unique way.”