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Abu Dhabi Municipality selects Huawei to build its Disaster Recovery data centre

Abu Dhabi Municipality selects Huawei to build its Disaster Recovery data centre

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As an increase in data volume and new services dominates data centre growth and development, Abu Dhabi City Municipality (ADM) needed to update its data centre setup in order to meet future requirements. It therefore embarked on a digitalisation journey with Huawei.

The Abu Dhabi City Municipality (ADM) chose to partner with Huawei, a company that has the largest share of the global modular data centre market, to build an uptime TIER- IV Municipal Disaster Recovery data centre.

‘The sea on the left, the desert on the right’ — a perfect description of Abu Dhabi’s unique natural environment. With millions of visitors every year, Abu Dhabi is often, somewhat poetically, described as the bright pearl, glimmering on the south coast of the Persian Gulf.

‘Supporting community happiness through the delivery of sustainable urban growth and municipal services’ is the stated vision of ADM. In the age of rapid Digital Transformation, municipal data centres are key, providing not only government office services but resident information management and municipal services, too. Simply put, data centres are indispensable for community life.

However, ADM’s legacy data centre setup was unable to meet future development requirements, given the influx of vast amounts of new services and a massive increase in data volume. The question of how to improve data reliability, security and data centre sustainability became an urgent focus for ADM.

Building the best Disaster Recovery data centre possible with Huawei

Huawei FusionModule2000 was the first data centre to receive Uptime TIER-Ready IV certification. Local construction engineers only needed to carry out simple on-site installation, since this modular data centre is prefabricated in the factory, and it was quickly brought online and ready for use.

Indeed, FusionModule2000 adopts a fully modular design, supporting the sustainable development of municipal services, with flexible capacity expansion possible for a range of subsystems, from power supply to cooling and IT cabinets.

On May 6, 2020, the Uptime Insight officially awarded Uptime TIER- IV design certification to ADM’s municipal Disaster Recovery data centre. Abu Dhabi can now put its trust in the security of its ultra-reliable municipal data storage.

What’s next for the future?

Ahamd Abdulsamad Alhammadi – Acting Director of the Technical Planning Department, Abu Dhabi Municipality, said: “Our digitalisation journey with Huawei has transformed our operations, building more resilience and convenience throughout the municipality. The TIER IV Disaster Recovery data centre, jointly built with Huawei, fully demonstrates the industry’s most advanced solutions and impeccable customer service. We are guided in our digitalisation by the vision of the UAE’s leadership to enhance our community through technology. Huawei is our partner of choice and we look forward to our future cooperation.”

How AI helps Huawei build green data centres

Data centres are being overhauled, revamped and modernised to support Digital Transformation and the power-hungry cloud deployments they contain.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a key part of this overhaul, as energy conservation – to address both cost and environmental concerns – becomes a top consideration for data centres. AI solutions are being deployed in the push to get data centres to become more energy efficient as well as safer and more reliable.

The growth in data traffic volumes shows no sign of letting up, nor does the global demand for High Performance Computing (HPC). This comes with an increase in high-density servers, the use of graphics processing units and specialised AI processing chips, and all of these generate significantly more heat than traditional CPUs. It leads data centres then to require even more power to dissipate the heat they generate. It’s therefore no surprise that heat dissipation and energy management have become a vital topic for the data centre industry.

A data centre’s Power Usage Effectiveness, or PUE, is seen as a key indicator for evaluating its energy efficiency. The PUE value rises as the data centre becomes less efficient. Huawei’s cloud data centre in Ulanqab, for example, achieves an annual PUE as low as 1.15, and is seen as a good example of how green data centres should be built.

Huawei has leveraged Machine Learning (ML) to develop its iCooling intelligent thermal management solution for data centre infrastructure and to address the energy consumption issue. The iCooling system incorporates deep learning to analyse historical data and identify key factors which affect energy consumption and create a PUE prediction. An optimisation algorithm then establishes the ideal parameters which are transmitted to various control systems.

At Huawei’s cloud data centre in Langfang, northern China, the deployment of iCooling has resulted in a PUE that is 8% lower than it previously was, meaning a big saving in annual power costs. And at a China Mobile data centre in Ningxia, the introduction of iCooling technology has reduced the data centre’s total energy consumption by 3.2%, saving more than 400,000 kWh of electricity a year. According to Huawei, as data centre loads increase and AI learning capability improves, 6 million kWh of electricity will be saved in the data centre every year, the equivalent to a reduction of about 3 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions.

While improved power management is a striking example of the value of AI to the data centre industry, AI is also proving hugely valuable in the management of data centres in other ways. It’s used to improve the safety and reliability of data centres.

Prior to the introduction of AI, fault detection would need to be done on a case-by-case basis, isolating the faulty component. By collecting information from the power supply and distribution systems, AI can predict impending device and component failure, warn operations and maintenance personnel, and furnish additional information to assist decision-making.

Huawei’s iPower intelligent power supply and distribution technology, for example, can detect and isolate faults and then recover from them at sub-second speeds, improving the reliability of the data centre’s power infrastructure and reducing the risk of fire. iPower also accurately predicts battery life span and health, allowing preventative maintenance before any failure occurs.

AI can also be used in the data centre to reduce repetitive work and to monitor and manage fragmented resources which might otherwise easily be overlooked. Huawei’s iManager data centre infrastructure management system uses intelligent hardware and IoT sensors to manage power, cooling and space to optimise utilisation, with AI managing the allocation and operation of assets. It’s estimated that iManager increases the resource utilisation rate by 20%. iManager also supports network management, with centralised management for multiple data centres across different locations. As Edge data centres increase in popularity, iManager can be used to reduce the need for site visits, thus improving the efficiency of data centre management.

Research from the McKinsey Global Institute finds that AI has the potential to add about US$13 trillion to global economic activity by 2030, and to boost global GDP by 1.2% a year. AI is spurring profound and potentially disruptive changes in the world and data centres are no exception. The use of AI is leading to safer, more reliable, energy efficient and cleaner data centres. And with the data centre industry forecast to grow by as much as 15% over the next five years, according to M Capital Group, this can only be a good thing.

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