Coordinated development of East and West calculations

Weaving the "Computing Network" in the Digital Economy Era

  "East and West" is here!

  The National Development and Reform Commission, the Central Cyberspace Administration of China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the National Energy Administration jointly issued a notice a few days ago, agreeing to conduct a joint operation in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Chengdu-Chongqing, Inner Mongolia, Guizhou, Gansu, and Ningxia. It started the construction of a national computing power hub node, and planned 10 national data center clusters such as the Zhangjiakou cluster.

So far, the overall layout design of the national integrated big data center system has been completed, and the "East and West" project has been officially launched.

  Then, what is the "East and West", which is regarded as another major infrastructure project after the South-to-North Water Diversion, West-to-East Power Transmission, and West-to-East Gas Transmission, and what is the significance of such a layout?

How will "East Number and West Count" be promoted, and how will it help my country achieve the "dual carbon" goal and high-quality development?

  Reconstructing the network structure and enhancing international competitiveness

  Speaking of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, West-to-East Electricity Transmission and other projects, everyone is not unfamiliar.

So, what kind of project is "counting the east and counting the west"?

  "Simply put, power transmission from west to east means sending electricity from the west to the east. Counting the electricity from the east to the west means taking the numbers from the east to the west to calculate." National Development and Reform Commission Innovation-Driven Development Center (Digital Economy Research and Development Center) Center) Deputy Director Xu Bin said.

  The "number" in "East and West Calculation" refers to data; "calculation" refers to computing power, that is, the ability to process data.

  In recent years, technologies such as the Internet, big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and blockchain have accelerated innovation and are increasingly integrated into the entire process of economic and social development. It is becoming a key force in reorganizing global factor resources, reshaping the global economic structure, and changing the global competition pattern.

  As the core element of the digital economy, data is closely related to our production and life.

Browsing news, watching movies online, shopping on the go, financial planning...we generate a lot of data every day.

  The data released at the 2021 China International Big Data Industry Expo shows that since 2015, the average annual growth rate of my country's data increment has exceeded 30%; in 2019, the amount of data generated by my country accounted for about 9.3% of the world's total, ranking second in the world.

As a result, the demand for computing power is also increasing.

  "As the core productivity of the digital economy, computing power has become the new focus of global strategic competition." The responsible comrade of the High Technology Department of the National Development and Reform Commission said when answering a reporter's question on the situation of "East and West".

  At present, the scale of my country's data centers has reached 5 million standard racks, and the computing power has reached 130EFLOPS (1.3 trillion floating-point operations per second).

With the continuous penetration of digital technology into all areas of the economy and society, the demand for computing power in the whole society is still very urgent, and it is expected to continue to grow rapidly at a rate of more than 20% every year.

  As far as my country's current situation is concerned, most of the data centers are located in the eastern region, and less than 20% of the data centers are located in the western region.

However, building a data center requires not only land, but also energy, making it unsustainable to develop data centers on a large scale in the east.

  The western region of my country is rich in resources, especially renewable energy, such as solar energy and wind energy, and so on.

In some places, the climate is relatively cool, which is also conducive to reducing costs for data center cooling, and has the potential to develop data centers and meet the computing power demand in the east.

Therefore, it is urgent to increase the top-level design of the national computing power network, transform the network-centric development model as soon as possible, and reconstruct the network structure around the data center.

  The "East and West" project came into being.

  "Like the South-to-North Water Diversion Project and the West-to-East Power Transmission Project, we should give full play to the advantages of my country's system and mechanism, integrate the layout from a national perspective, optimize the allocation of resources, and improve the efficiency of resource use." said a responsible comrade of the High Technology Department of the National Development and Reform Commission.

  East counts, west counts.

It is of great significance to implement the "East Data and Western Calculation" project to promote the rational layout of data centers, optimize supply and demand, green intensification and interconnection. Promote coordinated regional development.

  Taking into account regional development and network latency to achieve optimal resource allocation

  According to the layout of the national integrated big data center system, the 8 national computing power hub nodes will serve as the backbone connection points of my country's computing power network, develop data center clusters, and carry out collaborative construction between data centers and networks, cloud computing, and big data.

  Within each hub node, plan to set up 1 to 2 data center clusters.

According to industry insiders, the relationship between computing power hubs and clusters is similar to that of transportation hubs and passenger stations.

In the future, large and super-large data centers nationwide will in principle be built within these eight computing power hub nodes.

  From the layout of the 8 national computing power hub nodes, it is not difficult to see that in addition to the hub nodes located in the western regions such as Inner Mongolia, Guizhou, and Gansu, the country has also made layouts in the eastern regions such as Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and the Yangtze River Delta.

Different computing power hub nodes have different positioning and play different roles.

  According to the "Reply Letter from the National Development and Reform Commission and other departments on agreeing to start the construction of a national hub node for the national integrated computing power network in the Yangtze River Delta region", the hub plans to establish two data center clusters, namely the Yangtze River Delta Ecological Green Integrated Development Demonstration Zone Data Central cluster, Wuhu data center cluster.

  In the future, these two data center clusters will optimize the computing power layout, actively undertake the real-time computing power needs of the central cities in the Yangtze River Delta, guide the warm and cold business to migrate to the west, and build a "integrated coordination and radiation of the whole area" of computing power resources in the Yangtze River Delta region. development pattern.

  This also means that not all "East numbers" have to be "Western".

  Such a layout not only serves the needs of implementing major regional development strategies, but also takes into account network latency requirements.

  "Guizhou, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, and Ningxia are the four nodes to build a non-real-time computing power guarantee base for the whole country." The responsible comrade of the National Development and Reform Commission said that these four nodes are positioned to continuously improve the computing power service quality and utilization efficiency. , give full play to its resource advantages, consolidate basic guarantees such as the network, and actively undertake non-real-time computing power needs such as background processing, offline analysis, and storage backup nationwide.

  The four nodes of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and Chengdu-Chongqing should serve the implementation needs of major regional development strategies.

It is positioned to further coordinate the layout of data centers in the city and surrounding areas, realize the coordination and sustainability of large-scale computing power deployment and resources such as land, energy, water, and electricity, optimize the supply structure of data centers, and expand the space for computing power growth.

  "'East number and west calculation' must be built on the basis of meeting people's needs, and then realize the optimal allocation of resources." Cheng Xusen, a researcher at the National Institute of Development and Strategy of Renmin University of China and a professor at the School of Information, said, especially for those Businesses with high timeliness requirements, such as industrial Internet, financial securities, disaster warning, mobile medical care, etc., are not suitable for priority layout in the west.

Because if the layout is in the west, there may be a delay due to the long network transmission distance, which cannot meet the relevant business requirements.

  In fact, in recent years, "East and West" has been practiced at the industrial level.

Last year, there were more than 20 data centers in operation or under construction in Guizhou, the country's first comprehensive pilot zone for big data.

The HUAWEI CLOUD data center located in Gui'an New District, Guizhou Province is a vivid example of "counting the east and counting the west".

  "Put hot data in the east and cold data in the west to achieve the best overall energy efficiency," said a person in charge of the Huawei Cloud Marketing Department.

  In line with the "dual carbon" goal, promote the green and sustainable development of the digital economy

  Huailai, Hebei, one of the eight major computing power hub nodes in the national layout - an important part of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei computing power hub node.

  According to the "Reply Letter from the National Development and Reform Commission and other departments on the approval of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region to start the construction of a national hub node for a national integrated computing power network", the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei hub plans to establish a Zhangjiakou data center cluster, and the starting area is Huailai County, Zhangjiakou City , Zhangbei County, Xuanhua District.

  In the big data industry base in Huailai, a data center covering an area of ​​1,000 acres is under construction, and the first phase is scheduled to be put into operation in July this year.

  According to the person in charge of Hebei Huailai Big Data Industry Base, at present, in the first start-up area of ​​about 500 mu, 9 plots are data centers.

After the completion of these 9 plots, the total number of servers will reach 500,000.

By 2025, there will be an agglomeration of 3 million servers.

  In addition to the investment in electromechanical and civil engineering, it is also planned to build wind and photovoltaic power generation projects in Zhangjiakou area.

When all completed, it will become a zero-carbon big data industrial base.

  Green, low-carbon, and promoting the sustainable development of the digital economy are exactly the meaning of the "East and West" project.

  According to industry insiders, data centers are known as "smoke-free steel mills" and "electric tigers", and electricity costs account for "the bulk" of their operating costs.

The head of a big data company who has worked hard in the data industry for many years admitted that a super-large data center consumes nearly 100 million kilowatt-hours of electricity every year.

Guide the construction of new data centers to the new energy power generation side, consume new energy locally, and promote the continuous optimization of the energy structure of data centers, which can help achieve the "dual carbon" goal.

  The relevant staff of the Gansu Provincial Development and Reform Commission told reporters that the computing power hub node in Qingyang City is based on its abundant renewable energy and climate, which is conducive to the reduction of energy consumption and operation and maintenance costs of the data center.

  "At present, the utilization rate of green electricity in data centers is about 20%." Xu Bin said that through the "East and West" project, after a large number of data centers are built in the west, the use of green electricity can be improved. "If The utilization rate can be increased to 80%, then by 2025, the total carbon emissions of 1.6 Beijing cities can be reduced."

  In addition, promote the creation, operation and maintenance and renovation of green data centers, encourage the application of high-efficiency IT equipment, cooling systems, power supply and distribution systems, and auxiliary system technology products, and promote enterprises to deepen the green design, construction, procurement and operation management of new data centers It can also contribute to the realization of the "double carbon" goal.

  Industry insiders said that after the development of the digital economy, with the support of data centers, through big data, artificial intelligence, etc., cities will greatly improve the efficiency of production and life, and the role of energy conservation and carbon reduction will also be highlighted.

  Our reporter Wang Zhen

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