On January 6, 2020, Alibaba announced that it would open up the “Infiltration Liquid Cold Data Center Technical Specification” to the whole society. This specification aims to use a standard process to provide a design basis for the construction of the next generation of green base data centers, through the popularization of liquid cooling technology, to reduce the energy consumption level of the whole society. Preliminary estimates suggest that if the country’s data centers use liquid-cooled technology, it could save hundreds of billions of degrees of electricity a year.
2009 to 2019, cloud computing is leading the industry changes in the decade, Alibaba as the representative of the Internet companies with insight advantages and solid technology is leading the IT infrastructure independent research and development and technological innovation, in addition to liquid cooling technology, Alibaba Infrastructure division also independently developed 400G optical modules, Storage components, intelligent power supply technology and other innovative products, the pursuit of the ultimate efficiency of computing.
In 2016, Alibaba launched the world’s first immersion liquid-cooled server, which is soaked in special insulated coolant, and the heat generated can be absorbed directly into the outer cycle for cooling, with almost zero energy consumption for heat dissipation. This form of thermal conduction efficiency is hundreds of times higher than traditional air cooling, energy saving effect of more than 70%.
Compared with traditional IT, liquid-cooled data center is behind the huge innovation and revolutionary changes, hardware and system changes require a lot of human and material input, the current field is almost blank, there are no standards to learn from. This Alibaba open source set of specifications, covering the data center design, construction, deployment, operation and maintenance and other links, through the integrated design of reasonable planning, reduce deployment costs, improve stability, leading the data center on an efficient, clean, intensive green development path.
Unlike traditional OEM equipment manufacturers, Alibaba has incorporated various areas of thinking into its technology innovation system. Taking self-study network switch as an example, Ali has developed a large-scale, scalable, minimalist Internet data center network architecture, through network second-level management, control system construction, and many years of operational management modeling experience, and finally presents a high-performance network switch and network operating system.
“What traditional IT lacks is not innovation, but artisan innovation,” said Takayama, general manager of Alibaba’s infrastructure division.