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Alibaba Cloud launches new energy-efficient Qiandao Lake Data Center

September 8, 2015

Hangzhou, China, September 8, 2015 – Alibaba Cloud, Alibaba Group's (NYSE: BABA) cloud computing arm, today announced the launch of its innovative and eco-friendly Alibaba Cloud Qiandao Lake Data Center. The new data center, Alibaba Cloud's eighth globally, is focused on fulfilling the growing cloud and big data business needs of Alibaba Group.

Located near the scenic Qiandao Lake in Chun'an County, Zhejiang Province, China, the Alibaba Cloud Qiandao Lake Data Center incorporates several technical innovations as well as environmentally-friendly firsts in line with Alibaba Group's focus on sustainability and its drive to operate more efficiently.

The data center is the first in which Alibaba Cloud has introduced on-demand cooling technology. The control logic is developed by the Alibaba Infrastructure Service team with real-time monitoring of server power consumption and operating temperatures to adapt actual cooling capacity to maximize energy savings.

The Alibaba Cloud Qiandao Lake Data Center also has a unique mechanical cooling system designed with use of water from Qiandao Lake. Data centers typically rely on mechanical cooling. However 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 the data center for more than 90% of the time without mechanical cooling methods such as chillers. This creative practice cuts energy costs for the Alibaba Cloud Qiandao Lake Data Center by 80% compared to mechanical cooling, and more importantly, without a negative impact on the environment.

At the Alibaba Cloud Qiandao Lake Data Center, physically filtered lake water is pumped into each level of the data center. Then the return water runs through the 2.5km central canal across Qingxi New Town. In the future, the heat from return water will be recovered for heating the buildings nearby.

Moreover, the Alibaba Cloud Qiandao Lake Data Center adopts green technology like solar energy, hydraulic power, and heat recovered from server operations for heating offices within the facility. The renewable energy and design innovations have resulted in one of the most energy efficient data centers in the world. The Alibaba Cloud Qiandao Lake Data Center is designed to achieve an annual average Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) ratio below 1.3, as well as Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE) ration below 0.2.

"At the Alibaba Cloud Qiandao Lake Data Center, every drop of water contributes to the future of cloud computing and big data. With its smart use of lake water for cooling and recycling, the Alibaba Cloud 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," said Jian Wang, Chief Technology Officer of Alibaba Group.

The new Alibaba Cloud Qiandao Lake Data Center is a showcase of Alibaba innovations that improves operational efficiency in the delivery of cloud computing and big data services for the rapidly growing Alibaba Group businesses.

The Qiandao Lake Data Center features technologies including:

  • AliRack 2.0 which has a unique plug-and-play, roll & rack design that enables the Alibaba Group to deliver 5,000 servers a day, 10x faster than traditional methods. At the new Qiandao Lake Data Center, AliRack 2.0 design capacity has 30% more servers in a given space compared to a traditional data center.
  • Alibaba Data Center Modules (ADMs) which are used at Alibaba Cloud's data centers, shorten the delivery time and enhance manageability during capacity expansion. The ADMs can be delivered in 45 days, against the market average of four months.
  • AliFlash storage, an innovation that currently supports the Alibaba cloud computing, database, and content delivery network (CDN) businesses, delivers a further performance boost to Alibaba Cloud's data centers. AliFlash disks are 70% faster and up to 10 times more productive than systems available in the market today.

"Our work with data centers complements our focus in other scientific disciplines. Alibaba Cloud recently announced breakthroughs in artificial intelligence with DTPAI and recently set up a Quantum Computing Laboratory with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. We will continue to push the envelope in scientific discovery and applied science, accelerating the pace of innovation in China and around the world," Wang added.

The world-class Alibaba Cloud Qiandao Lake Data Center is Alibaba Cloud's 8th data center globally. Alibaba Cloud has data centers in Beijing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Silicon Valley, with a Singapore facility to come online shortly.

About Alibaba Cloud

Established in September 2009, Alibaba Cloud , Alibaba Group's cloud computing arm, develops highly scalable platforms for cloud computing and data management. It provides a comprehensive suite of cloud computing services to support the participants of Alibaba Group's online and mobile commerce ecosystem, including sellers and other third-party customers and businesses. Alibaba Cloud is a business within Alibaba Group.