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Friday, August 09, 2019, 16:12
Data center efforts gaining speed in China
By Fan Feifei
Friday, August 09, 2019, 16:12 By Fan Feifei

Development of cutting-edge tech will spur demand for computing power

Workers configure servers at the Tianjin facility of China's Sugon, also known as Dawning Information Industry Co. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

China has taken the lead over global peers in data center construction, with more enterprises looking to scale up their data centers to ensure reliability and stability of data services, as the application of 5G, the internet of things, wearable devices and artificial intelligence spurs a burgeoning demand for computing power, experts said.

The total market size of China's booming data center industry stood at 122.8 billion yuan (US$17.8 billion) last year, up 29.8 percent year-on-year, and the size is expected to reach 200 billion yuan by 2020, according to a report released by idcquan.com, a Beijing-based industry information provider and consultancy.

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"With the rapid development of 5G, the internet of things, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the commercial application of these new cutting-edge technologies, the demand for data processing and information interaction is increasing, which will speed up the construction of data centers and lead to explosive growth of the industry," said Wang Ruobing, a senior analyst with idcquan.com.

China topped the supercomputer list with 219 systems, or 43.8 percent of the total, followed by the US with 116 systems and Japan with 29, followed by France, Britain and Germany

Wang said he remains bullish on prospects for the data center sector, with the market size reaching 190 billion yuan by 2019. "Internet companies have made the biggest contribution to the sector, followed by traditional financial industry, governments, manufacturing industry and energy industry," Wang said.

In addition, China is boosting its computing power and has become the world's leader in terms of supercomputer volume. The nation continues to dominate the list of the world's fastest supercomputers by the number of computer units, according to a semiannual ranking of the Top 500 list.

China topped the supercomputer list with 219 systems, or 43.8 percent of the total, followed by the US with 116 systems and Japan with 29, followed by France, Britain and Germany, according to the ranking.

Major Chinese supercomputer vendors all improved their share in the past six months. Lenovo has the greatest number of systems on the list - 173 - followed by Inspur with 71 - and Sugon with 63.

The Top 500 list is considered one of the most authoritative rankings of the world's supercomputers. It is compiled on the basis of machine performance on the Linpack benchmark by experts from the United States and Germany.

China's leading supercomputer manufacturer Dawning Information Industry Co Ltd, also known as Sugon, is beefing up efforts to build a national-level advanced computing innovation center in Tianjin, considering the burgeoning demand for computing power. The center is set to be completed in 2021.

Cao Zhennan, vice-president of Sugon, said the company focuses on building data centers across the nation, including Jiangsu, Shanxi and Gansu provinces, and promotes the layout of industries related to the advanced computing, in a bid to boost the development of industrial internet, intelligent manufacturing, intelligent city and artificial intelligence.

"We will promote the integration of advanced computing with industry applications," said Cao. He also noted that green computing, which means the environmentally responsible and eco-friendly use of computers and their resources, has become a trend for the construction of IT infrastructure, adding the company has invested a lot in saving energy, improving computing efficiency and integrating advanced technologies.

Sugon is one of China's earliest and largest high-performance computing vendors. Moreover, it is dedicated to developing servers, storage, urban and industrial cloud computing, and big data businesses, and promoting the building of cloud data service networks covering hundreds of cities and sectors.

He Baohong, the cloud computing and big data research institute under the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, said both data centers and computers provide computing resources and services for users, adding the data centers will become more and more open and standardized in the future.

Tech giants like Apple Inc, Tencent Holdings Ltd and Huawei Technologies Co are stepping up efforts to build data centers in Southwest China's Guizhou province due to its mild climate and ample power resources.

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Last year, a data center belonging to Tencent began trial operations in Guizhou. The core data center facilities have been deployed inside tunneled caves drilled inside a hill of about 100 meters high in the Guian New Area.

Pony Ma, chairman and CEO of Tencent, said the Qixing data center will store the company's most important data in the future. The new mega data center will include more than 30,000 square meters of tunneled caves, while the total data center area covers about 513,000 square meters.

With an investment of US$1 billion, Apple's data center, which will cover 67 hectares in Guian New Area, will offer iCloud services on the Chinese mainland. Starting Feb 28, 2018, iCloud services on the Chinese mainland are being operated by a local partner, Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry Co Ltd.

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